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BMJ Open ; 12(11): e061896, 2022 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119267


OBJECTIVE: Migrants and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have lower levels of vaccine uptake in some contexts. We aimed to determine the extent and nature of social media use in migrant and ethnic minority communities for COVID-19 information, and implications for preventative health measures including vaccination intent and uptake. DESIGN: A systematic review of published and grey literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We searched databases including Embase, Web of Science, PubMed NIH, CINAHL, facilitated through the WHO Global Research on COVID-19 database from 31 December 2019 to 9 June 2021. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR STUDY SELECTION: Research reporting the use of social media by migrants and/or ethnic minority groups in relation to COVID-19. DATA EXTRACTION: We extracted data on key outcomes, study design, country, population under study and sample size. RESULTS: 1849 unique records were screened, and 21 data sources were included, including populations in the UK, USA, China, Jordan, Qatar and Turkey. We found evidence of consistent use of a range of social media platforms for COVID-19 information in some migrant and ethnic minority populations (including WeChat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube), which may stem from difficulty in accessing COVID-19 information in their native languages or from trusted sources. Some evidence suggested circulating misinformation and social media use may be associated with lower participation in preventative health measures, including vaccine intent and uptake, findings which are likely relevant to multiple population groups. CONCLUSIONS: Social media platforms are an important source of information about COVID-19 for some migrant and ethnic minority populations. Urgent actions and further research are now needed to better understand effective approaches to tackling circulating misinformation, and to seize on opportunities to better use social media platforms to support public health communication and improve vaccine uptake. REGISTRATION: This study has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021259190).

COVID-19 , Social Media , Transients and Migrants , Humans , Minority Groups , Ethnicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , Pandemics/prevention & control
BMC Psychol ; 10(1): 244, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098462


Conspiracy theories can have particularly harmful effects by negatively shaping health-related behaviours. A significant number of COVID-19 specific conspiracy theories emerged in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic outbreak. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature on conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic (2020), to identify their prevalence, their determinants and their public health consequences. A comprehensive literature search was carried out in PubMed and PsycINFO to detect all studies examining any conspiracy theory related to COVID-19 between January 1st 2020, and January 10th 2021. Forty-three studies were included with a total of 61,809 participants. Between 0.4 and 82.7% of participants agreed with at least one conspiracy belief. Certain sociodemographic factors (young age, female gender, being non-white, lower socioeconomic status), psychological aspects (pessimism, blaming others, anger) and other qualities (political conservatism, religiosity, mistrust in science and using social media as source of information) were associated with increased acceptance of conspiracy theories. Conspiracy beliefs led to harmful health-related behaviours and posed a serious public health threat. Large-scale collaborations between governments and healthcare organizations are needed to curb the spread of conspiracy theories and their adverse consequences.

COVID-19 , Social Media , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Public Health