Hand Washing and Pandemic Stress (12-29-20)

Triugakos, Chawla, and McCarthy evaluated stress levels among employees during the pandemic and the effects of hand washing on those stress levels.  They determined that “there is little understanding of how COVID-19 health anxiety(CovH anxiety)—that is, feelings of fear and apprehension about having or contracting COVID-19—impacts critical work, home, and health outcomes. . . . Consistent with predictions, CovH anxiety was found to impair critical work (goal progress), home (family engagement) and health (somaticcomplaints) outcomes due to increased emotion suppression and lack of psychological need fulfillment. Further, individuals who frequently engage in handwashing behavior were buffered from the negative impact of CovH anxiety.”  This work highlights an important reason to support hand washing via design.

John Triugakos, Nitya Chawla, and Julie McCarthy. 2020.  “Working in a Pandemic:  Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 Health Anxiety on Work, Family, and Health Outcomes.”  Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 105, no. 11, pp. 1234-1245, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/apl0000739