Background:This study examined the influence of beliefs in Coronavirus conspiracy theories on the reluctance to receive COVID-19 vaccines among adults. Additionally, it investigated how existential anxiety and spiritual well-being might moderate this relationship.
Methods: A total of 850 employees, comprising 368 males and 482 females, were recruited from various universities in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan, using convenient sampling techniques within a cross-sectional research framework. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 55 years, with a mean age of 33.56 years and a standard deviation of 10.71. To assess various constructs, four established psychological instruments were employed in this study: the Coronavirus Conspiracy Beliefs Scale, the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Scale, the Existential Anxiety Questionnaire, and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale.
Results: In this study, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy displayed significant positive associations with beliefs in Coronavirus conspiracy theories and existential anxiety, while exhibiting a significant negative relationship with spiritual well-being. Specifically, higher endorsement of Coronavirus conspiracy beliefs positively predicted greater vaccine hesitancy, whereas increased spiritual well-being negatively predicted vaccine hesitancy. Notably, existential anxiety did not emerge as a significant predictor of vaccine hesitancy. Moreover, neither existential anxiety nor spiritual well-being functioned as significant moderators in the relationship between beliefs in Coronavirus conspiracy theories and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Gender differences indicated that males exhibited higher levels of both COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and beliefs in Coronavirus conspiracy theories, whereas females scored higher on religious well-being and existential anxiety compared to their male counterparts.
Conclusions: This study illuminates the role of Coronavirus conspiracy beliefs and existential anxiety in heightening COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among adults. Additionally, it underscores the moderating influence of spiritual well-being in mitigating these associations.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Atqa Noor, Soulat Khan, Ushba Rafaqat, Dua Butt