COVID-19-Related Anxiety Predicts Somatic Symptoms in the UK Population

M Shevlin, Emma Nolan, Marcin Owczarek, Orla McBride, Jamie Murphy, Jilly Gibson Miller, Todd K Hartman, Liat Levita, Liam Mason, Anton P Martinez, Ryan McKay, Thomas VA Stocks, Kate M Bennett, Philip Hyland, Richard P. Bentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to estimate the association between anxiety associated with COVID-19 and somatic symptoms, using data from a large, representative sample (N = 2,025) of the UK adult population. Results showed that moderate to high levels of anxiety associated with COVID-19 were significantly associated with general somatic symptoms and in particular with gastrointestinal and fatigue symptoms. This pattern of associations remained significant after controlling for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), pre-existing health problems, age, gender, and income. This is the first evidence that anxiety associated with COVID-19 makes a unique contribution to somatization, above and beyond the effect of GAD.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2020


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • COVID-19 related anxiety
  • somatic symptoms

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19-Related Anxiety Predicts Somatic Symptoms in the UK Population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Shevlin, M., Nolan, E., Owczarek, M., McBride, O., Murphy, J., Gibson Miller, J., Hartman, T. K., Levita, L., Mason, L., Martinez, A. P., McKay, R., Stocks, T. VA., Bennett, K. M., Hyland, P., & Bentall, R. P. (2020). COVID-19-Related Anxiety Predicts Somatic Symptoms in the UK Population. British Journal of Health Psychology.