Do Personality Traits Lead to Cyberchondria and What are the Outcomes for Well-being?
S. Karabeliova, E. Ivanova
The current study is based on the hypothesis that cyberchondria leads to poor well-being. We also hypothesise that certain personality traits are prerequisites for unfounded concerns about personal health following online information search. For the purposes of the study, in which 615 respondents took part, we applied a battery of questionnaires measuring: anxiety aroused by online health information seeking, cyberchondria, satisfaction with life, psychological well-being, eudaimonic well-being, depression, and personality traits. After carrying out regression and mediation analyses with the data, we registered that Neuroticism predicts anxiety aroused by online health information seeking, escalation and persistence of concerns. Negative associations were registered between Consciousness and escalation of concerns, and between Openness and health anxiety. Furthermore, the assumption that cyberchondria leads to decreased well-being was justified. The current study is the first of its kind in Bulgarian context and the results enrich research achievements in the field by bringing out new characteristics about cyberchondria which should be considered in addressing the problem.