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1.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252890, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270949

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus has spread worldwide with over 140 million cases and resulting in more than 3 million deaths between November 2019 to April 2021, threatening the socio-economic and psychosocial stability of many families and communities. There has been limited research to understand the consequences of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations in West Africa, and whether such consequences differ by countries' previous experience with Ebola. Using a media analysis of leading online news sources, this study identified the populations particularly vulnerable to the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, described the consequences of COVID-19 experienced by these populations, and reported on the solutions to address them. All articles from the selected news sources published between January 1 and June 30, 2020 on 6 West African countries were imported into Dedoose. A total of 4,388 news articles were coded for excerpts on vulnerable populations, only 285 excerpts of which mentioned the existing effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations or implemented solutions. News articles from countries with past experience with Ebola were more likely to mention the pandemic's effects on vulnerable populations, especially on incarcerated people. Vulnerable groups were reported to have experienced a range of effects including economic disruptions, heightened domestic and sexual abuse, arbitrary arrests, health care inaccessibility, and educational challenges throughout the pandemic. With implications for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030 in West Africa, these countries should consider and focus more strategic efforts on vulnerable populations to overcome their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieve the SDG for 2030.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Internet/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sustainable Development/trends , Vulnerable Populations/classification
2.
Can J Psychiatry ; 66(1): 34-42, 2021 01.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189987

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Examine the association between news media use frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic and the scale of psychological distress in pregnant women, considering this distress known harmful effects on the fetus development. METHOD: Pregnant women living in Quebec province (N = 1014) have been recruited in April 2020 through social media, while a state of health emergency was declared. Participants were divided in 4 groups, according to self-reported frequency of news media consulting (little or none; one time a day; several times a day; constant). They filled measures of depressive symptoms, negative affects, post-traumatic stress symptoms and anxiety specific to COVID-19. Instrument scores were grouped under a unique factor of psychological distress. RESULTS: An ANCOVA controlling for age, gestational age, education level, household annual revenue and a diagnosed mental disorder present at the time of participation in study shows that news media exposure frequency is significantly associated with psychological distress severity in pregnant women, during COVID-19 pandemic, F(3,998) = 27.02, p < 0.001, η2 partial = 0.08. Given the mean comparisons a posteriori, higher psychological distress rates are found as soon as news media exposure exceeds once a day (effect sizes between 0.38 and 0.81). CONCLUSIONS: The more pregnant women report consulting the news media during the COVID-19 pandemic, the more likely they are to exhibit psychological distress. Results provide one of the first empirical supports to recommendations of World Health Organization, Canada government and psychiatric associations that encourage population to limit their news media consulting during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Depression/epidemiology , Pregnant Women/psychology , Psychological Distress , Adult , Anxiety/psychology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/psychology , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Young Adult
3.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0247517, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127787

ABSTRACT

False news stories cause welfare losses and fatal health consequences. To limit its dissemination, it is essential to know what determines the ability to distinguish between true and false news stories. In our experimental study, we present subjects corona-related stories taken from the media from various categories (e.g. social isolation, economic consequences, direct health consequences, and strong exaggeration). The subject's task is to evaluate the stories as true or false. Besides students with and without healthcare background, we recruit healthcare professionals to increase the external validity of our study. Our main findings are: (i) Healthcare professionals perform similar to students in correctly distinguishing between true and false news stories. (ii) The propensity to engage in analytical thinking and actively open-minded thinking is positively associated with the ability to distinguish between true and false. (iii) We find that the residence of the subjects (East- or West-Germany) plays only a minor role. (iv) If news stories are in line with existing narratives, subjects tend to think that the stories are true.


Subject(s)
Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Information Dissemination/methods , Knowledge , Students/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Communications Media/standards , Educational Status , Female , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Male , Regression Analysis , Young Adult
4.
Front Public Health ; 8: 609347, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1005863

ABSTRACT

Internet use in the youth has increased manifold during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) generally have a higher risk of problematic internet use. The aim of this study is to investigate the differences in internet and related digital media use between children with ASD and their typically developing counterparts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this online survey in Japan conducted from April 30 to May 8, 2020, we analyzed digital media time of 84 children with ASD and 361 age- and gender-matched controls before and after school closure. Digital media use duration was significantly longer in the ASD group than in the control group before the pandemic. The increase of media use time was more prominent in the control group than in the ASD group. We observed excessive Internet use among children with ASD and without ASD, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is necessary to establish strategies to prevent excessive internet use in not only children and adolescents with ASD but also without ASD in the post-pandemic world.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Education, Distance/statistics & numerical data , Internet Use/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Students/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(16)2020 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717733

ABSTRACT

During the Covid-19 pandemic, risk communication has often been ineffective, and from this perspective "fake news" has found fertile ground, both as a cause and a consequence of it. The aim of this study is to measure how much "fake news" and corresponding verified news have circulated in Italy in the period between 31 December 2019 and 30 April 2020, and to estimate the quality of informal and formal communication. We used the BuzzSumo application to gather the most shared links on the Internet related to the pandemic in Italy, using keywords chosen according to the most frequent "fake news" during that period. For each research we noted the numbers of "fake news" articles and science-based news articles, as well as the number of engagements. We reviewed 2102 articles. Links that contained fake news were shared 2,352,585 times, accounting for 23.1% of the total shares of all the articles reviewed. Our study throws light on the "fake news" phenomenon in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A quantitative assessment is fundamental in order to understand the impact of false information and to define political and technical interventions in health communication. Starting from this evaluation, health literacy should be improved by means of specific interventions in order to improve informal and formal communication.


Subject(s)
Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Communications Media/standards , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Communication/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Health Literacy , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(16)2020 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-711377

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is lasting longer than expected, which has a huge impact on the economy and on personal life. Each country has a different response method, and the damage scale is also distinct. This study aims to find out how COVID-19-related news was handled in the domestic media to seek ways to minimize the pandemic. The paper focuses on the number of news features by period and by disaster and analyzes related words based on big data. The results of the analysis are as follows. First, in the initial response phase, keywords to identify accurate sources of actual broadcast contents, fake news, social networking service (SNS), etc. were also ranked in the top 20. Second, in the active response phase, when the number of confirmed persons and the government's countermeasures were announced, more than 100 COVID-19-related articles were issued, and the related words increased rapidly from the initial response stage. Therefore, the fact that COVID-19 has been expressed as a keyword indicates that our society is watching with great interest in the government's response to the disease.


Subject(s)
Big Data , Communications Media/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Government , Humans , Mass Media/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media/statistics & numerical data
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