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1.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 13, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607916

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Individual behavioural decisions are responses to a person's perceived social norms that could be shaped by both their physical and social environment. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, these environments correspond to epidemiological risk from contacts and the social construction of risk by communication within networks of friends. Understanding the circumstances under which the influence of these different social networks can promote the acceptance of non-pharmaceutical interventions and consequently the adoption of protective behaviours is critical for guiding useful, practical public health messaging. METHODS: We explore how information from both physical contact and social communication layers of a multiplex network can contribute to flattening the epidemic curve in a community. Connections in the physical contact layer represent opportunities for transmission, while connections in the communication layer represent social interactions through which individuals may gain information, e.g. messaging friends. RESULTS: We show that maintaining focus on awareness of risk among each individual's physical contacts promotes the greatest reduction in disease spread, but only when an individual is aware of the symptoms of a non-trivial proportion of their physical contacts (~ ≥ 20%). Information from the social communication layer without was less useful when these connections matched less well with physical contacts and contributed little in combination with accurate information from physical contacts. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that maintaining social focus on local outbreak status will allow individuals to structure their perceived social norms appropriately and respond more rapidly when risk increases. Finding ways to relay accurate local information from trusted community leaders could improve mitigation even where more intrusive/costly strategies, such as contact-tracing, are not possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Communication , Contact Tracing , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Curr Opin Psychiatry ; 34(3): 277-286, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599453

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Direct face-to-face interview between a psychiatrist and a patient is crucial in psychiatric evaluation, however, such traditional interviews are becoming difficult to conduct because of the infection risk in the COVID-19 era. As telepsychiatry, video interviews using internet are suggested to be useful to evaluate and assist individuals with mental disorders. However, some patients especially with social phobia, depression, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) hesitate to use even such face-to-face-like tools. Communication robots have been proposed as future assistant tools for such patients. Herein, we summarize recent advancements in robot psychiatry, and propose the benefits of communication robots in psychiatric evaluation. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have suggested that communication robots are effective in assisting people with ASD. As a pilot trial, we herein conducted semi-structured interviews to evaluate depression and hikikomori, a form of pathological social withdrawal, using a communication robot and a psychiatrist, respectively. There was almost identical evaluation between the two. Interestingly, a person with hikikomori answered that the robot was easier to disclose. SUMMARY: Robots can reduce the burden of human resources and the infection risk in the COVID-19 era. Robot interview is expected to be implemented for future evaluation system in psychiatry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Psychiatry , Robotics , Humans , Psychiatry/trends , Robotics/trends
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593793

ABSTRACT

This research aims to identify the factors that influence caregivers' decisions about the aged care providers they select for their elder relatives when caring from a distance and what they value once they have engaged a service. Adult long-distance carers for older relatives living within Australia were purposively sampled and they participated in audio-recorded interviews. A thematic analysis was employed to investigate the data. A sample of 13 participants enabled data saturation with no new major themes identified in the final three interviews. Participants were 50 to 65 years (Mean = 59.8) and mostly (77%) female. Four themes emerged relating to selection of care providers: (1) availability of care, (2) financial arrangements, (3) proximity and location, and (4) reputation of care provider. Five themes detailed valued qualities of care: (1) vigilant monitoring and responsivity, (2) communication with family, (3) flexibility and proactiveness of care, (4) staffing, and (5) access to appropriate and holistic care to maintain wellbeing. Long-distance caregivers face barriers in selecting and managing aged care services from afar within a complex Australian aged care system. They strongly value regular, proactive communication about the wellbeing of their relatives and may be particular beneficiaries of communication and assistive monitoring technologies.


Subject(s)
Caregivers , Communication , Adult , Aged , Australia , Female , Humans , Qualitative Research
6.
Ann Glob Health ; 87(1): 123, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593662

ABSTRACT

A framework for guiding risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) during COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is worthwhile in order to guide interventions aimed at improving vaccine uptake. This requires setting up standardised early-warning indicators to predict or detect low uptake; coordination of response activities by all partners, real-time information exchange, innovativeness in designing strategies to deal with arising and anticipated challenges; flexibility to adapt quickly to changing demands and evolving circumstances; and documentation of progress and lessons learnt.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communication , Developing Countries , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
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
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592746

ABSTRACT

Medical humanity is an essential element of medical education, and the respective courses are introduced to the curricula of medical schools worldwide. However, significant differences in this type of medical education were identified in Italy, Spain, and the UK. In Poland, this issue was not yet analyzed. The classes offered on a compulsory and not elective basis secure the uniform skills of future physicians. Therefore, we were prompted to ask a question: do Polish medical students receive equal compulsory education in medical humanities? To answer that question, we performed a content analysis of mandatory classes' frequency, types, and content on medical humanization and communication in Polish medical schools. The study used publicly available information provided on the home pages of the universities to perform content and comparative analyses. Of 22 identified universities, 15 had publicly listed teaching programs, and nine had freely available syllabi. The names and types of courses varied from school to school. The number of hours the courses offered throughout medical education ranged from 15 to 216. In some medical schools, the classes were scheduled during the early, pre-clinical part of the study, whereas in other schools they were offered each year. The content of the courses always covered the topics of physician-patient communication but rarely offered protocols, such as the Calgary Cambridge guide. We conclude that the medical humanities represented by medical humanization and communication courses are included in the publicly available compulsory curriculum of most Polish medical schools. However, to secure equal education of future Polish physicians, there is a need to unify the medical humanities program.


Subject(s)
Humanities , Schools, Medical , Communication , Curriculum , Humans , Poland
10.
Comput Intell Neurosci ; 2021: 8016525, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598096

ABSTRACT

Smart health surveillance technology has attracted wide attention between patients and professionals or specialists to provide early detection of critical abnormal situations without the need to be in direct contact with the patient. This paper presents a secure smart monitoring portable multivital signal system based on Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology. The implemented system is designed to measure the key health parameters: heart rate (HR), blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), and body temperature, simultaneously. The captured physiological signals are processed and encrypted using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm before sending them to the cloud. An ESP8266 integrated unit is used for processing, encryption, and providing connectivity to the cloud over Wi-Fi. On the other side, trusted medical organization servers receive and decrypt the measurements and display the values on the monitoring dashboard for the authorized specialists. The proposed system measurements are compared with a number of commercial medical devices. Results demonstrate that the measurements of the proposed system are within the 95% confidence interval. Moreover, Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), and Mean Relative Error (MRE) for the proposed system are calculated as 1.44, 1.12, and 0.012, respectively, for HR, 1.13, 0.92, and 0.009, respectively, for SpO2, and 0.13, 0.11, and 0.003, respectively, for body temperature. These results demonstrate the high accuracy and reliability of the proposed system.


Subject(s)
Cloud Computing , Internet of Things , Communication , Humans , Reproducibility of Results
11.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261622, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597835

ABSTRACT

The skill of analyzing and interpreting research data is central to the scientific process, yet it is one of the hardest skills for students to master. While instructors can coach students through the analysis of data that they have either generated themselves or obtained from published articles, the burgeoning availability of preprint articles provides a new potential pedagogical tool. We developed a new method in which students use a cognitive apprenticeship model to uncover how experts analyzed a paper and compare the professional's cognitive approach to their own. Specifically, students first critique research data themselves and then identify changes between the preprint and final versions of the paper that were likely the results of peer review. From this activity, students reported diverse insights into the processes of data presentation, peer review, and scientific publishing. Analysis of preprint articles is therefore a valuable new tool to strengthen students' information literacy and understanding of the process of science.


Subject(s)
Data Analysis , Preprints as Topic , Science/education , Teaching , Communication , Humans , Peer Review , Teaching Materials
12.
J Cancer Res Ther ; 17(6): 1540-1546, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597096

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the entire health-care system and has led to a sense of fear and anxiety in the minds of patients. Patient's perceptions in this scenario of the pandemic are unknown. Providing continued care for cancer patients during the lockdown has been challenging. Measures are needed to improve patient safety and satisfaction during these challenging times and hence the importance of measuring the degree of satisfaction for the quality of care provided. The aim of the study was to evaluate the factors related to patients' satisfaction and also understand their apprehensions, fears, and anxieties they face as they receive radiotherapy treatment amid COVID-19 pandemic. The study's objective was to explore other aspects such as logistic issues, patient-staff communication, and also perceptions of the patients toward the outbreak. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted from April to September 2020. A questionnaire was created for which the patients were asked to provide answers. Parameters assessed included general information such as mode of transport used, frame of mind during treatment, awareness about pandemic, satisfaction toward care provided by health-care staff, and also documenting the suggestions to improve the quality of care. Results: During this period, we interviewed 108 patients: 56 males (51.9%) and 52 females (48.1%). 90.7% of the participants were satisfied with the condition and safety measures employed in waiting area and billing section. Majority (88.9%) were found to be aware about COVID-19. 74.1% of the participants were very satisfied with the services provided to them in the department of radiation oncology. Conclusion: The survey was useful in measuring the patient satisfaction, in understanding their fears and anxieties, and also in determining their awareness about the pandemic. The survey was also useful to get the patients' opinion and ideas for improvement in the health-care services.


Subject(s)
Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Patient Satisfaction/statistics & numerical data , Professional-Patient Relations , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communication , Fear/psychology , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Quality of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
13.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e30962, 2021 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595538

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The importance of effective communication during public health emergencies has been highlighted by the World Health Organization, and it has published guidelines for effective communication in such situations. With video being a popular medium, video communication has been a growing area of study over the past decades and is increasingly used across different sectors and disciplines, including health. Health-related video communication gained momentum during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and video was among the most frequently used modes of communication worldwide. However, although much research has been done regarding different characteristics of video content (the message) and its delivery (the messenger), there is a lack of knowledge about the role played by the characteristics of the recipients for the creation of effective communication. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review is to identify how health video communication outcomes are shaped by recipient characteristics, as such characteristics might affect the effectiveness of communication. The main research question of the study is as follows: do the characteristics of the recipients of health videos affect the outcomes of the communication? METHODS: A scoping review describing the existing knowledge within the field was conducted. We searched for literature in 3 databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Embase) and defined eligibility criteria based on the relevance to the research question. Recipient characteristics and health video communication outcomes were identified and classified. RESULTS: Of the 1040 documents initially identified, 128 (12.31%) met the criteria for full-text assessment, and 39 (3.75%) met the inclusion criteria. The included studies reported 56 recipient characteristics and 42 communication outcomes. The reported associations between characteristics and outcomes were identified, and the potential research opportunities were discussed. Contributions were made to theory development by amending the existing framework of the Integrated-Change model, which is an integrated model of motivational and behavioral change. CONCLUSIONS: Although several recipient characteristics and health video communication outcomes were identified, there is a lack of robust empirical evidence on the association between them. Further research is needed to understand how the preceding characteristics of the recipients might affect the various outcomes of health video communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communications Media , Health Communication , Communication , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e28022, 2021 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595188

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Loneliness and social isolation can have severe effects on human health and well-being. Partial solutions to combat these circumstances in demographically aging societies have been sought from the field of information and communication technology (ICT). OBJECTIVE: This systematic literature review investigates the research conducted on older adults' loneliness and social isolation, and physical ICTs, namely robots, wearables, and smart homes, in the era of ambient assisted living (AAL). The aim is to gain insight into how technology can help overcome loneliness and social isolation other than by fostering social communication with people and what the main open-ended challenges according to the reviewed studies are. METHODS: The data were collected from 7 bibliographic databases. A preliminary search resulted in 1271 entries that were screened based on predefined inclusion criteria. The characteristics of the selected studies were coded, and the results were summarized to answer our research questions. RESULTS: The final data set consisted of 23 empirical studies. We found out that ICT solutions such as smart homes can help detect and predict loneliness and social isolation, and technologies such as robotic pets and some other social robots can help alleviate loneliness to some extent. The main open-ended challenges across studies relate to the need for more robust study samples and study designs. Further, the reviewed studies report technology- and topic-specific open-ended challenges. CONCLUSIONS: Technology can help assess older adults' loneliness and social isolation, and alleviate loneliness without direct interaction with other people. The results are highly relevant in the COVID-19 era, where various social restrictions have been introduced all over the world, and the amount of research literature in this regard has increased recently.


Subject(s)
Ambient Intelligence , COVID-19 , Aged , Communication , Humans , Loneliness , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , Technology
15.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(52)2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594409

ABSTRACT

Although declines in intent to vaccinate had been identified in international surveys conducted between June and October 2020, including in the United States, some individuals in the United States who previously expressed reluctance said, in spring 2021, that they were willing to vaccinate. That change raised the following questions: What factors predicted an increased willingness to inoculate against COVID-19? And, to what extent was the change driven by COVID-specific factors, such as personal worry about the disease and COVID-specific misinformation, and to what extent by background (non-COVID-specific) factors, such as trust in medical authorities, accurate/inaccurate information about vaccination, vaccination history, and patterns of media reliance? This panel study of more than 8,000 individuals found that trust in health authorities anchored acceptance of vaccination and that knowledge about vaccination, flu vaccination history, and patterns of media reliance played a more prominent role in shifting individuals from vaccination hesitance to acceptance than COVID-specific factors. COVID-specific conspiracy beliefs did play a role, although a lesser one. These findings underscore the need to reinforce trust in health experts, facilitate community engagement with them, and preemptively communicate the benefits and safety record of authorized vaccines. The findings suggest, as well, the need to identify and deploy messaging able to undercut health-related conspiracy beliefs when they begin circulating.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination/psychology , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Behavior , Communication , Female , Humans , Influenza Vaccines , Intention , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trust , United States , Vaccination/ethics , Young Adult
16.
Acta Psychol (Amst) ; 222: 103480, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588581

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Fostering physical activity, muscle strengthening and communication skills in diverse environments are vital to ensuring healthy infant development; however, promotion of these skills may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore healthcare workers, parents and childcare providers' perceptions of the pandemic's influence on how they engage with infants to promote physical activity, muscle strength and communication. METHODS: 37 subjects (12 = parents; 12 = childcare providers, 13 = healthcare workers) participated in a semi-structured interview. Data were analyzed via an inductive content analysis. RESULTS: The majority of caregivers identified concerns related to: limitations in social interactions (especially masks impacting communication), lack of access to peer modeling, fewer opportunities for physical exploration, and a need for creative activities in diverse environments (e.g., home/childcare) for infant development during and after the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers are concerned about the role COVID-19 is having on infant development. Additional resources on how to promote infant physical activity, muscle strength and communication despite challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Communication , Humans , Infant , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Am J Nurs ; 122(1): 48-53, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1584032

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: COVID-19 has accelerated the dialogue surrounding access to health insurance, including the potential for a public option, "Medicare for All," or modification of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. A dizzying array of terms and assertions surround these health policy discussions, as well as misrepresentation and lack of specificity. This article offers a primer on contemporary reform terms and options that are likely to be prominent over the next several years and outlines some health care-related elements of the American Rescue Plan Act, a massive COVID-relief act passed in March 2021. The aim of this nonpartisan overview is to enhance nurses' understanding of these terms as a basis for effective participation in public policy and patient advocacy.


Subject(s)
Communication , Health Care Reform/methods , Health Care Reform/trends , Health Policy , Humans , United States
18.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 255, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582111

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the quality of the doctor-patient relationship (DPR) in China and possible influencing factors during the COVID-19 period from the patient's perspective. METHODS: An online survey was carried out nationwide from March 12, 2020 to March 30, 2020 in China via a convenience sampling strategy. Patients who met the inclusion criteria were invited to complete a questionnaire regarding the quality of DPR, including sociodemographic information, the Patient-Doctor Relationship Questionnaire (PDRQ-9), and influencing factors for DPR during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 1903 patients were included. Our result showed that participants had a higher PDRQ-9 score during the COVID-19 pandemic (4.18 ± 0.51) than that before the COVID-19 pandemic (3.86 ± 0.67). Importance-performance analysis (IPA) revealed that doctor-patient communication, patient satisfaction, consultation time, doctor's attitude, and medical knowledge were specific aspects that needed to be prioritized to improve the DPR. Multiple linear regression analysis suggested that positive media reports, telemedicine, and national policies had a significantly positive effect on the DPR during the pandemic (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In general, the DPR had been improved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research found the key points that needed to be prioritized to improve the DPR during the pandemic, which may provide effective suggestions for building a harmonious DPR in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Communication , Humans , Physician-Patient Relations , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 260, 2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582065

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Because breastfeeding offers short- and long- term health benefits to mothers and children, breastfeeding promotion and support is a public health priority. Evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is not likely to be transmitted via breastmilk. Moreover, antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are thought to be contained in breastmilk of mothers with history of COVID-19 infection or vaccination. WHO recommends direct breastfeeding as the preferred infant feeding option during the COVID-19 pandemic, even among women with COVID-19; but conflicting practices have been adopted, which could widen existing inequities in breastfeeding. This study aims to describe how information about breastfeeding was communicated in Mexican media during the pandemic and assess Mexican adults' beliefs regarding breastfeeding among mothers infected with COVID-19. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective content analysis of media coverage on breastfeeding in Mexico between March 1 and September 24, 2020, excluding advertisements. For the content analysis, we performed both a sentiment analysis and an analysis based on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) for breastfeeding promotion. Additionally, we conducted a descriptive analysis of nationally representative data on adults' beliefs about breastfeeding from the July 2020 round of the ENCOVID-19 survey in Mexico and stratified the results by gender, age, and socioeconomic status. RESULTS: A total of 1014 publications on breastfeeding were identified on the internet and television and in newspapers and magazines. Most information was published during World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated in August. The sentiment analysis showed that 57.2% of all information was classified as positive. The SWOT analysis indicated that most information focused on current actions, messages, policies, or programs that enable breastfeeding (i.e., strengths) or those not currently in place but that may enable breastfeeding (i.e., opportunities) for breastfeeding promotion. However, ENCOVID-19 survey results showed that 67.3% of adults living in households with children under 3 years of age believe that mothers with COVID-19 should not breastfeed, and 19.8% do not know whether these mothers should breastfeed. These beliefs showed differences both by gender and by socioeconomic status. CONCLUSIONS: While the Mexican government endorsed the recommendation on breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, communication was sporadic, inconstant and unequal across types of media. There was a widespread notion that mothers with COVID-19 should not breastfeed and due to differences on beliefs by socioeconomic status, health inequities could be exacerbated by increasing the risk of poorer breastfeeding practices and preventing vulnerable groups from reaping the short and long-term benefits of breastfeeding.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Breast Feeding , Child , Child, Preschool , Communication , Female , Humans , Infant , Mexico , Mothers , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
20.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 468, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582017

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The proliferation of false information on COVID-19 mostly through social media is adversely affecting control efforts. The objective of this study was to identify areas where targeted effective messaging can be useful in demystifying misinformation against COVID-19. RESULTS: The study showed high levels of misinformation on COVID-19 in the study area [mean score 2.71; standard deviation (SD) 1.5]. The highest levels of misinformation were observed in Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district, North West province (mean score: 3.84; SD: 2.1) and Sedibeng district, Gauteng province (mean score: 3.56; SD 1.7). Higher levels of misinformation were reported by those aged 18-24 years (mean score: 3.48; SD: 1.8), and men (mean score: 2.73; SD: 1.8). Across the two provinces, we identified geospatial hot and coldspots of misinformation highlighting the need to implement point of care strategies such as targeted messaging. Findings showed the need for targeted interventions to young people, students, those with low levels of education and the self-employed in the two districts more importantly, as South Africa expands its nationwide vaccination roll-out.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Communication , Geography , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa
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