Association Between COVID-19 Symptoms, COVID-19 Vaccine, and Somatization Among A Sample of the Lebanese Adults

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Antonio Nehme
Muna Barakat
Diana Malaeb
Sahar Obeid
Souheil Hallit
Georges Haddad


COVID persistent symptoms, Somatoform disorders, Somatization; COVID 19, Vaccine, Lebanon


Objectives: Long COVID syndrome, the poorly defined illness, has been increasingly mentioned in recent studies yet is still poorly understood especially when it comes to precipitating and modulating factors, the high prevalence of mental health problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the hypothesis of the existence of a psychological component associated with the persistence of symptoms and if vaccination may serve as a modulating factor. This study aims to examine the prevalence of somatization disorders and association between persistent COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 vaccine with somatization among a sample of the Lebanese general population. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out between September and October 2021. The snowball sampling technique was picked to choose a sample that addressed all Lebanese Mohafazat. Patient Health Questionnaire-15 (PHQ-15) was used to assess somatization. Results: A total of 403 participants was enrolled in this study, with a mean age of 32.76 ± 13.24 years, 108 (26.8%) had medium somatization symptoms (PHQ-15 scores ≥10). Having persistent COVID symptoms (β=2.15) was significantly associated with more somatization, whereas the intake of COVID vaccine (β=-1.17) was significantly associated with less somatization. Conclusion: Long lasting COVID-19 symptoms were closely related to somatization, although the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine was associated with less somatization. However, further studies are needed to

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