This research reports on the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the FCV- 19S, testing a sample of 1077 people. This sample included more participants than those involved in the English version scale (Ahorsu et al., 2020), as well as versions in Hebrew (Tzur Bitan et al., 2020), Italian (Soraci et al., 2020), Arabic (Alyami et al., 2020), Russian (Reznik et al., 2020) and Indian (Doshi et al., 2020). However, our sample was smaller than the validation-sample for the Turkish version (Satici et al., 2020), the Greek version (Tsipropoulou et al., 2020) and the Bangla version (Sakib et al., 2020).
The descriptive statistics of the scale show good levels of corrected item - total correlation ranging from (0.51 to 0.67), the sample was adequate to perform a factor analysis when the assumptions were fulfilled, so it was randomly divided into two sub-samples.
In the first subsample (n = 517) factorial loads and eigenvalues were studied to discover the structure of the scale, two well-differentiated factors were found, with large factorial loads in only one of the factors and with eigenvalues greater than 1 and with good level of explained variance, since this model explains 61.09% of the total variance. The items that were grouped in the first factor are those containing words such as: afraid, uncomfortable, nervous and anxiety, so this factor was called “psychological symptoms”. The items grouped in the second factor describe words like: clammy, sleep and heart roots, so this factor has been called “physiological symptoms”.
This two-factors model was confirmed using subsample 2 (n = 560) and according to which all the adjustment indices have been correct, indicating that the scale has two well- defined factors. This has also been found in the validation of the scale in Hebrew (Bitan et al., 2020). It is important to mention that the original authors of the scale stated that more studies are necessary to confirm the single-factor structure of the scale (Ahorsu et al., 2020).
Similarly, for the Italian version (Soraci et al., 2020), authors also stated the importance of carrying out more research with a larger sample size to confirm the structure of the scale, since they report that they found covariance between items 1 and 5, which in our sample remains at factor 1. This difference found is not a contrary to what has already been published, but, in our study, it was possible to carry out an exploratory analysis first and then a confirmatory analysis, both with quite optimal sample sizes compared to the publications mentioned above.
Although the Turkish version also reports a single factor and has a good sample size, its authors directly carried out a confirmatory factor analysis, like others researchers did (Sakib et al., 2020; Satici et al., 2020; Tsipropoulou et al., 2020). This could explain why the Turkish version authors did not find two factors, since they directly performed the confirmatory analysis of the original one-dimensional model (Ahorsu et al., 2020). This has also been highlighted by the authors of the original scale (Pakpour et al., 2020).
Regarding the internal consistency of the full scale and the factors, adequate Cronbach’s alpha values were obtained, the first being similar to the other adaptations and to the original scale (Ahorsu et al., 2020; Satici et al., 2020; Soraci et al., 2020). Construct validity was performed by comparing the scores of the FCV–19S with the scores obtained in the HDAS and the FQ, where both scales correlated positively, but weakly. The explanation for this might be that the scores in specific phobia, anxiety and depression were low in our sample, taking into account that at the time of data collection, the country was managing COVID–19 sufficiently well. This was also noted in the Russian validation of the scale (Reznik et al., 2020).
Limitations of this study included that sample was obtained in a non-probabilistic way and from the general population, which means that was not selected on the base of a specific diagnosis, and scale sensitivity and specificity were not studied. Also, the two- factor model should be studied in other samples with adequate sample sizes to described scale structure properly.
In conclusion, the Spanish version of the FCV–19S is a 7-item scale with two dimensions, psychological symptoms (items 1, 2, 4, and 5) and physiological symptoms (items 3, 6, and 7) with robust psychometric properties.