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1.
Syst Rev ; 11(1): 107, 2022 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951337

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends in a large part on individual and societal actions which is influenced by the quality and salience of the information to which they are exposed. Unfortunately, COVID-19 misinformation has proliferated. To date, no systematic efforts have been made to evaluate interventions that mitigate COVID-19-related misinformation. We plan to conduct a scoping review that seeks to fill several of the gaps in the current knowledge of interventions that mitigate COVID-19-related misinformation. METHODS: A scoping review focusing on interventions that mitigate COVID-19 misinformation will be conducted. We will search (from January 2020 onwards) MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science Core Collection, Africa-Wide Information, Global Health, WHO Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease Database, WHO Global Index Medicus, and Sociological Abstracts. Gray literature will be identified using Disaster Lit, Google Scholar, Open Science Framework, governmental websites, and preprint servers (e.g., EuropePMC, PsyArXiv, MedRxiv, JMIR Preprints). Study selection will conform to Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers' Manual 2020 Methodology for JBI Scoping Reviews. Only English language, original studies will be considered for inclusion. Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data. A narrative summary of findings will be conducted. Data analysis will involve quantitative (e.g., frequencies) and qualitative (e.g., content and thematic analysis) methods. DISCUSSION: Original research is urgently needed to design interventions to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation. The planned scoping review will help to address this gap. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATIONS: Systematic Review Registration: Open Science Framework (osf/io/etw9d).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Publications , Review Literature as Topic
2.
J Health Commun ; 26(12): 846-857, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612315

ABSTRACT

The duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends largely on individual and societal actions which are influenced by the quality and salience of the information to which they are exposed. Unfortunately, COVID-19 misinformation has proliferated. Despite growing attempts to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation, there is still uncertainty regarding the best way to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 misinformation. To address this gap, the current study uses a meta-analysis to evaluate the relative impact of interventions designed to mitigate COVID-19-related misinformation. We searched multiple databases and gray literature from January 2020 to September 2021. The primary outcome was COVID-19 misinformation belief. We examined study quality and meta-analysis was used to pool data with similar interventions and outcomes. 16 studies were analyzed in the meta-analysis, including data from 33378 individuals. The mean effect size of interventions to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation was positive, but not statistically significant [d = 2.018, 95% CI (-0.14, 4.18), p = .065, k = 16]. We found evidence of publication bias. Interventions were more effective in cases where participants were involved with the topic, and where text-only mitigation was used. The limited focus on non-U.S. studies and marginalized populations is concerning given the greater COVID-19 mortality burden on vulnerable communities globally. The findings of this meta-analysis describe the current state of the literature and prescribe specific recommendations to better address the proliferation of COVID-19 misinformation, providing insights helpful to mitigating pandemic outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e30753, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Expanding access to and use of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is a key component of overdose prevention. An important barrier to the uptake of MOUD is exposure to inaccurate and potentially harmful health misinformation on social media or web-based forums where individuals commonly seek information. There is a significant need to devise computational techniques to describe the prevalence of web-based health misinformation related to MOUD to facilitate mitigation efforts. OBJECTIVE: By adopting a multidisciplinary, mixed methods strategy, this paper aims to present machine learning and natural language analysis approaches to identify the characteristics and prevalence of web-based misinformation related to MOUD to inform future prevention, treatment, and response efforts. METHODS: The team harnessed public social media posts and comments in the English language from Twitter (6,365,245 posts), YouTube (99,386 posts), Reddit (13,483,419 posts), and Drugs-Forum (5549 posts). Leveraging public health expert annotations on a sample of 2400 of these social media posts that were found to be semantically most similar to a variety of prevailing opioid use disorder-related myths based on representational learning, the team developed a supervised machine learning classifier. This classifier identified whether a post's language promoted one of the leading myths challenging addiction treatment: that the use of agonist therapy for MOUD is simply replacing one drug with another. Platform-level prevalence was calculated thereafter by machine labeling all unannotated posts with the classifier and noting the proportion of myth-indicative posts over all posts. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate promise in identifying social media postings that center on treatment myths about opioid use disorder with an accuracy of 91% and an area under the curve of 0.9, including how these discussions vary across platforms in terms of prevalence and linguistic characteristics, with the lowest prevalence on web-based health communities such as Reddit and Drugs-Forum and the highest on Twitter. Specifically, the prevalence of the stated MOUD myth ranged from 0.4% on web-based health communities to 0.9% on Twitter. CONCLUSIONS: This work provides one of the first large-scale assessments of a key MOUD-related myth across multiple social media platforms and highlights the feasibility and importance of ongoing assessment of health misinformation related to addiction treatment.


Subject(s)
Opioid-Related Disorders , Social Media , Communication , Humans , Machine Learning , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Prevalence
4.
JMIR Ment Health ; 8(3): e26589, 2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160624

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antidepressants are known to show heterogeneous effects across individuals and conditions, posing challenges to understanding their efficacy in mental health treatment. Social media platforms enable individuals to share their day-to-day concerns with others and thereby can function as unobtrusive, large-scale, and naturalistic data sources to study the longitudinal behavior of individuals taking antidepressants. OBJECTIVE: We aim to understand the side effects of antidepressants from naturalistic expressions of individuals on social media. METHODS: On a large-scale Twitter data set of individuals who self-reported using antidepressants, a quasi-experimental study using unsupervised language analysis was conducted to extract keywords that distinguish individuals who improved and who did not improve following the use of antidepressants. The net data set consists of over 8 million Twitter posts made by over 300,000 users in a 4-year period between January 1, 2014, and February 15, 2018. RESULTS: Five major side effects of antidepressants were studied: sleep, weight, eating, pain, and sexual issues. Social media language revealed keywords related to these side effects. In particular, antidepressants were found to show a spectrum of effects from decrease to increase in each of these side effects. CONCLUSIONS: This work enhances the understanding of the side effects of antidepressants by identifying distinct linguistic markers in the longitudinal social media data of individuals showing the most and least improvement following the self-reported intake of antidepressants. One implication of this work concerns the potential of social media data as an effective means to support digital pharmacovigilance and digital therapeutics. These results can inform clinicians in tailoring their discussion and assessment of side effects and inform patients about what to potentially expect and what may or may not be within the realm of normal aftereffects of antidepressants.

5.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(11): e22600, 2020 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-969095

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several disruptions in personal and collective lives worldwide. The uncertainties surrounding the pandemic have also led to multifaceted mental health concerns, which can be exacerbated with precautionary measures such as social distancing and self-quarantining, as well as societal impacts such as economic downturn and job loss. Despite noting this as a "mental health tsunami", the psychological effects of the COVID-19 crisis remain unexplored at scale. Consequently, public health stakeholders are currently limited in identifying ways to provide timely and tailored support during these circumstances. OBJECTIVE: Our study aims to provide insights regarding people's psychosocial concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging social media data. We aim to study the temporal and linguistic changes in symptomatic mental health and support expressions in the pandemic context. METHODS: We obtained about 60 million Twitter streaming posts originating from the United States from March 24 to May 24, 2020, and compared these with about 40 million posts from a comparable period in 2019 to attribute the effect of COVID-19 on people's social media self-disclosure. Using these data sets, we studied people's self-disclosure on social media in terms of symptomatic mental health concerns and expressions of support. We employed transfer learning classifiers that identified the social media language indicative of mental health outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress, and suicidal ideation) and support (emotional and informational support). We then examined the changes in psychosocial expressions over time and language, comparing the 2020 and 2019 data sets. RESULTS: We found that all of the examined psychosocial expressions have significantly increased during the COVID-19 crisis-mental health symptomatic expressions have increased by about 14%, and support expressions have increased by about 5%, both thematically related to COVID-19. We also observed a steady decline and eventual plateauing in these expressions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have been due to habituation or due to supportive policy measures enacted during this period. Our language analyses highlighted that people express concerns that are specific to and contextually related to the COVID-19 crisis. CONCLUSIONS: We studied the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 crisis by using social media data from 2020, finding that people's mental health symptomatic and support expressions significantly increased during the COVID-19 period as compared to similar data from 2019. However, this effect gradually lessened over time, suggesting that people adapted to the circumstances and their "new normal." Our linguistic analyses revealed that people expressed mental health concerns regarding personal and professional challenges, health care and precautionary measures, and pandemic-related awareness. This study shows the potential to provide insights to mental health care and stakeholders and policy makers in planning and implementing measures to mitigate mental health risks amid the health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Psychology/methods , Social Media , Humans , Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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