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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820283

ABSTRACT

Low air quality in Poland is a problem of particularly high urgency. Therefore, Poles must be aware of air quality levels, also during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to compare air-pollution-related information-seeking behaviour between the pre- and intra-pandemic periods as well as between the actual and theoretical machine-learning-forecasted intra-pandemic models. Google Trends search volumes (GTSVs) in Poland for air-pollution-related keywords were collected between January 2016 and January 2022. To investigate the changes that would have occurred without the outbreak of the pandemic, Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) machine-learning models were trained. Approximately 4,500,000 search queries were analysed. Between pre- and intra-pandemic periods, weighted mean GTSVs changed by -39.0%. When the actual intra-pandemic weighted mean GTSVs were compared to the intra-pandemic forecasts, the actual values were lower by -16.5% (SARIMA's error = 6.2%). Compared to the pre-pandemic period, in the intra-pandemic period, the number of search queries containing keywords connected with air pollution decreased. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic might have facilitated the decrease. Possible causes include an attention shift towards everyday problems connected to the pandemic, worse mental health status and lower outdoor exposure that might have resulted in a lower intensity of non-pandemic-related active information-seeking behaviour.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Pandemics , Poland/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2310, 2022 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815535

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of understanding and managing information seeking behavior. Information-seeking in humans is often viewed as irrational rather than utility maximizing. Here, we hypothesized that this apparent disconnect between utility and information-seeking is due to a latent third variable, motivation. We quantified information-seeking, learning, and COVID-19-related concern (which we used as a proxy for motivation regarding COVID-19 and the changes in circumstance it caused) in a US-based sample (n = 5376) during spring 2020. We found that self-reported levels of COVID-19 concern were associated with directed seeking of COVID-19-related content and better memory for such information. Interestingly, this specific motivational state was also associated with a general enhancement of information-seeking for content unrelated to COVID-19. These effects were associated with commensurate changes to utility expectations and were dissociable from the influence of non-specific anxiety. Thus, motivation both directs and energizes epistemic behavior, linking together utility and curiosity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Motivation , Anxiety , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Pandemics
3.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266276, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789183

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing interest in online information about coronavirus worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the digital health literacy (DHL) level, information-seeking behaviour, and satisfaction of information on COVID-19 among East and South-East Asia university students. This cross-sectional web-based study was conducted between April to June 2020 by recruiting students from universities in China, Malaysia, and the Philippines. University students who have Internet access were invited to participate in the study. Items on sociodemographic variables, DHL, information-seeking behaviour, and information satisfaction were included in the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were conducted. A total of 5302 university students responded to the survey. The overall mean score across the four DHL subscales was 2.89 (SD: 0.42). Search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo) (92.0%) and social media (88.4%) were highly utilized by the students, whereas Websites of doctors or health insurance companies were of lower utilization (64.7%). Across the domains (i.e., adding self-generated content, determining relevance, evaluating reliability, and protecting privacy) higher DHL was positively associated with higher usage of trustworthy resources. Providing online information on COVID-19 at official university websites and conducting health talks or web-based information dissemination about the strategies for mental health challenges during pandemic could be beneficial to the students. Strengthening DHL among university students will enhance their critical thinking and evaluation of online resources, which could direct them to the quality and trustworthy information sources on COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Literacy , COVID-19/epidemiology , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Pandemics , Personal Satisfaction , Reproducibility of Results , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities
5.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 325, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770496

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The health impacts of COVID-19 are not evenly distributed in societies. Chronic patients are highly affected and develop dangerous symptoms of COVID-19. Understanding their information seeking about COVID-19 may help to improve the effectiveness of public health strategies in the future, the adoption of safety measures, and minimize the spread of the pandemic. However, there is little evidence on information seeking specifically on COVID-19 in this study setting. Therefore, this study aimed to assess information seeking about COVID-19 and associated factors among chronic patients. METHOD: An institutional-based cross-sectional study supplemented with qualitative data was conducted at Bahir Dar city public hospitals in Northwest Ethiopia from April 8 to June 15, 2021. A total of 423 chronic patients were selected using systematic random sampling techniques with an interval of 5. Bi-variable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was fitted to identify factors associated with information seeking about COVID-19. A p-value < 0.05 was used to declare statistical significance. Qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic approach. Finally, it was triangulated with quantitative findings. RESULT: The proportion of information seeking about COVID-19 among chronic patients was 44.0% (95% CI = 39.0, 49.0). Being living in urban [AOR = 4.4, 95% CI (2.01, 9.58)], having high perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 [AOR = 3.4, 95%CI (1.98, 5.70)], having high perceived severity to COVID-19 [AOR = 1.7, 95%CI (1.04, 2.91)], having high self-efficacy to COVID-19 [AOR = 4.3, 95%CI (2.52, 7.34)], and having adequate health literacy [AOR = 1.8, 95%CI (1.10, 3.03)] were significant factors associated with information-seeking about COVID-19. CONCLUSION: The overall proportion of information seeking about COVID-19 among chronic patients was low. Thus, health promotion programs should emphasize the chronic patients living in a rural area; enhance perceived risk and severity of COVID-19, enhancing self-efficacy and health literacy interventions to improve information seeking.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Information Seeking Behavior , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Hospitals, Public , Humans
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760608

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant infodemic have emphasized the importance of digital health literacy (DHL) to global public health research and practice. The aim of this study was to examine information-seeking behavior, the ability to find, understand and deal with health information among university college students in Denmark and/in addition we wanted to examine the impact of their close social network on students' ability to find and understand health information. This research was carried out as part of the COVID-HL university student survey by using a uniform questionnaire consisting of elaborated scales. Data were collected from a cross-sectional survey conducted at University College South during 4 weeks in April and May 2020. To capture DHL, four subscales of the DHL instrument were adapted to the pandemic context. A total of 59.9% of the students have sufficient DHL-most students find it rather easy to find information and are satisfied with the information they find on the internet. However, some (28.1%) students find it difficult to judge the quality and reliability of the information. Students with a sufficient level of DHL are more likely to seek information through search engines and websites of official institutions, while students with a limited level of DHL more often use social media for health information. Students with sufficient DHL more often share health information and less often ask for support in their network.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Literacy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Denmark/epidemiology , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results , Students , Universities
7.
Brain Behav Immun ; 87: 30-32, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719334

ABSTRACT

This study hypothesized that national population health literacy might reflect on their keywords searching. We applied Google searches for "wash hands" and "face mask" during January 19 to February 18 as a surrogate of national population health literacy among 21 countries, and examine whether google searches for "wash hands" and "face masks" would protect from increased numbers of confirmed cases of among 21 countries We found the increased google searches for "wash hands" from January 19 to February 18, 2020, correlated with a lower spreading speed of COVID-19 from February 19 to March 10, 2020 among 21 countries (Pearson's correlation coefficient of -0.70, P < 0.001). The result highlights the importance of public awareness of hand washing in preventing COVID-19 disease spreading.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hand Disinfection , Information Seeking Behavior , Internet , Masks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Search Engine , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
BMC Oral Health ; 22(1): 29, 2022 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708802

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The internet is increasingly used as a source of health information. This study aimed to explore the online oral health information seeking experience, to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of oral health, and to investigate the associations between online oral health information seeking experience and oral health KAP of participants. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted. Three hundred and ninety-five university students participated in the study. Required data were gathered using two valid questionnaires eHIQ (e-Health Information Questionnaire) and Oral Health Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior Questionnaire. eHIQ was a 2-part instrument with 37 items. eHIQ-Part 1 includes 11 items related to general views of using the internet in relation to health. eHIQ-Part 2 includes 26 items related to the consequences of using specific health-related online sources. The second questionnaire includes 30 items as a combination of multiple-choice and yes/no type questions. The data were analyzed using the statistical analysis software SPSS version 20. Mean scores, standard deviation, and frequency distribution were obtained. Independent T-test, correlation coefficients and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used in the analysis. RESULTS: Participants had good KAP of oral health. The between-group differences tests showed that oral health knowledge and attitudes were significantly different between gender and years of study groups, but the differences of oral health practices were significant only based on years of study. Participants had moderate scores regarding all sub-scales of eHIQ-Parts 1 and 2. Findings revealed that online oral health information seeking behavior was associated with oral health KAP (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: According to the results the general views of using the internet in relation to health and the consequences of using specific health-related online sources were in a moderate level among the participants. Such results can emphasize the need for more planning, education and empowerment of the population`s health literacy. The present study also provides good insights for the latter and has practical and policy implications besides its research values.


Subject(s)
Students, Medical , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Iran , Oral Health , Surveys and Questionnaires
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(4)2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630982

ABSTRACT

Crisis motivates people to track news closely, and this increased engagement can expose individuals to politically sensitive information unrelated to the initial crisis. We use the case of the COVID-19 outbreak in China to examine how crisis affects information seeking in countries that normally exert significant control over access to media. The crisis spurred censorship circumvention and access to international news and political content on websites blocked in China. Once individuals circumvented censorship, they not only received more information about the crisis itself but also accessed unrelated information that the regime has long censored. Using comparisons to democratic and other authoritarian countries also affected by early outbreaks, the findings suggest that people blocked from accessing information most of the time might disproportionately and collectively access that long-hidden information during a crisis. Evaluations resulting from this access, negative or positive for a government, might draw on both current events and censored history.


Subject(s)
Access to Information , COVID-19/psychology , Information Seeking Behavior/physiology , Access to Information/legislation & jurisprudence , Access to Information/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Humans , Political Systems , Politics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media/legislation & jurisprudence , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/trends
12.
Epidemiol Health ; 43: e2021085, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594853

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Identifying determinants of prevention behaviours during the emergence of a new infectious disease is important. We investigated the associations between information-seeking and prevention behaviours during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and mediating effects of psychiatric factors. METHODS: In total, 1,970 participants from the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Etiology Research Center cohort participated in an online survey 55 days after the first COVID-19 case in Korea was diagnosed. Time spent seeking information related to COVID-19; information sources; psychiatric factors, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), and the fear of COVID-19; and prevention behaviours were examined. The mediating effect of psychiatric factors was estimated using mediation analysis. RESULTS: Time spent seeking information and information sources affected several behavioural responses. In men, anxiety mediated associations between information-seeking and prevention behaviours, including purchasing sanitary supplies (effect size [ES], 0.038; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.002 to 0.095) and hoarding (ES, 0.029; 95% CI, 0.002 to 0.068). The fear of COVID-19 also mediated associations between information-seeking and prevention behaviours including refraining from going out (men: ES, 0.034; 95% CI, 0.009 to 0.068; women: ES, 0.052; 95% CI, 0.030 to 0.080), wearing face masks (men: ES, 0.085; 95% CI, 0.031 to 0.184), avoiding public transportation (men: ES, 0.020; 95% CI, 0.000 to 0.044; women: ES, 0.031; 95% CI, 0.015 to 0.051), hoarding (women: ES, 0.051; 95% CI, 0.029 to 0.792), and trying alternative remedies (men: ES, 0.024; 95% CI, 0.004 to 0.053). Depressive symptoms and PTSS did not have any mediating effects. CONCLUSIONS: While the availability of information related to COVID-19 can help prevent infections, it can also promote anxiety and fear, leading to negative behaviours such as hoarding and trying unverified alternative treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Depression/prevention & control , Fear/psychology , Female , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580740

ABSTRACT

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world, the amount of health-related information available has skyrocketed. Individuals can easily access health information through the internet, which may influence their thoughts or behavior, causing potential technological risks that may affect their lives. This study examined the online health information-seeking behavior of undergraduate students. Taking health issues as a guiding framework, content analysis was adopted to assess participants' online health information-seeking behavior using a computer screen recording software, and coding analysis was conducted. The study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic with a formal sample of 101 participants. In terms of online health information-seeking behavior, 59% of the study participants used nouns as keywords, only 27% used Boolean logic retrieval techniques, 81% paid attention to the date of the data, and 85% did not consider the author's professionalism. The results indicate that health information-seeking behavior and outcome judgments may be a missing piece of the puzzle in higher education. Consequently, the development of online health information-seeking skills through programs for undergraduate students is suggested to ensure that online readers have access to appropriate health information.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , SARS-CoV-2 , Students
14.
Am J Emerg Med ; 53: 1-5, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588529

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore trends and patterns of laypeople's activity for seeking telephone number of emergency medical services (EMS) based on analysis of online search traffic, including changes of the search activity with onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, in five countries - the United States of America (USA), India, Brazil, the United Kingdom (UK) and Russia. METHODS: Google Trends (GT) country-level data on weekly relative search volumes (RSV) for top queries to seek EMS number were examined for January 2018-October 2021, including a comparison of RSVs between pre-COVID-19 period (January 2018-October 2019) and COVID-19 period (January 2020-October 2021), and evaluation of temporal associations of RSVs with weekly numbers of new COVID-19 cases. RESULTS: The countries demonstrated diverse patterns of the search activity with significantly different mean RSVs (the USA 1.76, India 10.20, Brazil 2.51, the UK 6.42, Russia 56.79; p < 0.001). For all countries excepting the USA mean RSVs of the COVID-19 period were significantly higher compared with the pre-COVID-19 ones (India +74%, Brazil +148%, the UK +22%, Russia +9%; p ≤ 0.034), and exhibited positive correlations with numbers of new COVID-19 cases, more pronounced for 2021 (India rS = 0.538, Brazil 0.307, the UK 0.434, Russia 0.639; p ≤ 0.045). CONCLUSION: Laypeople's activity for seeking EMS telephone number greatly varies between countries. It clearly responds to the spread of COVID-19 and could be reflective of public need for obtaining emergency help. Further studies are required to establish the role of GT for conducting real-time surveillance of population demand for EMS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Hotlines/statistics & numerical data , Information Seeking Behavior , Brazil , COVID-19/therapy , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Hotlines/methods , Humans , India , Russia , United States , Web Browser/statistics & numerical data
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572479

ABSTRACT

Although several theories posit that information seeking is related to better psychological health, this logic may not apply to a pandemic like COVID-19. Given uncertainty inherent to the novel virus, we expect that information seeking about COVID-19 will be positively associated with emotional distress. Additionally, we consider the type of news media from which individuals receive information-television, newspapers, and social media-when examining relationships with emotional distress. Using a U.S. national survey, we examine: (1) the link between information seeking about COVID-19 and emotional distress, (2) the relationship between reliance on television, newspapers, and social media as sources for news and emotional distress, and (3) the interaction between information seeking and use of these news media sources on emotional distress. Our findings show that seeking information about COVID-19 was significantly related to emotional distress. Moreover, even after accounting for COVID-19 information seeking, consuming news via television and social media was tied to increased distress, whereas consuming newspapers was not significantly related to greater distress. Emotional distress was most pronounced among individuals high in information seeking and television news use, whereas the association between information seeking and emotional distress was not moderated by newspapers or social media news use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Social Media , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Public Health Nurs ; 39(3): 553-561, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571054

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study examined Filipinos' health information-seeking behaviors, specifically their information engagement and apprehension of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the reasons for vaccination, and how these factors influenced their decision to get vaccinated. DESIGN: Quantitative, cross-sectional, and predictive approaches. SAMPLE: This study conducted a national online survey using convenience sampling (n = 2709). MEASUREMENT: The Health Information Orientation Scale (HIOS) and Statista.com's "reasons for not getting a COVID-19 vaccination" were used to collect data. Demographic characteristics that predict information engagement and apprehension were identified using multivariate linear regression analysis. RESULTS: Responses to information engagement and apprehension revealed "often true" and "sometimes true," respectively. The majority of participants intended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. "Concerned about the vaccine's safety" is the most common reason for not getting vaccinated. Female gender, college graduate, employed, and using social media to obtain COVID-19 vaccine information were all significant predictors of information engagement and apprehension. Information engagement and apprehension were predicted by age and religion, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Policymakers should consider how people seek information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and why some people refuse to get vaccinated. Additionally, public health nurses should educate the public about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
17.
Public Health Nutr ; 24(16): 5338-5349, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559726

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: During COVID-19, the Internet was a prime source for getting relevant updates on guidelines and desirable information. The objective of the present study was to determine the nutritional immunity information-seeking behaviour during COVID-19 in India. DESIGN: Google Trends (GTs) data on relevant COVID-19 and nutritional topics were systematically selected and retrieved. Data on newly reported COVID-19 cases were also examined on a daily basis. The cross-correlation method was used to determine the correlation coefficient between the selected terms and daily new COVID-19 cases, and the joinpoint regression models were utilised to measure monthly percent change (MPC) in relative search volumes (RSV). SETTING: Online. PARTICIPANTS: People using Google search during the period 1 January 2020-31 August 2020 in India. RESULTS: The date of peak searches can be attributed to the COVID-19 guidelines announcement dates. All the nutritional terms showed a significant increase in average monthly percentage change. The higher than the average daily rise in COVID-19 cases leads to a higher than average increase in RSV of nutritional terms with the greatest association after 14-27 d. The highest mean relative search volume for nutritional terms was from Southern India (49·34 ± 7·43), and the lowest was from Western India (31·10 ± 6·30). CONCLUSION: There was a significant rise in the Google searches of nutritional immunity topics during COVID-19 in India. The local/regional terms can be considered for better outreach of public health guidelines or recommendations. Further automation of Google Trends using programming languages can help in real-time monitoring and planning various health/nutritional events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Data Analysis , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Internet , SARS-CoV-2 , Search Engine
18.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259523, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533418

ABSTRACT

This study explored relations between COVID-19 news source, trust in COVID-19 information source, and COVID-19 health literacy in 194 STEM-oriented adolescents and young adults from the US and the UK. Analyses suggest that adolescents use both traditional news (e.g., TV or newspapers) and social media news to acquire information about COVID-19 and have average levels of COVID-19 health literacy. Hierarchical linear regression analyses suggest that the association between traditional news media and COVID-19 health literacy depends on participants' level of trust in their government leader. For youth in both the US and the UK who used traditional media for information about COVID-19 and who have higher trust in their respective government leader (i.e., former US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson) had lower COVID-19 health literacy. Results highlight how youth are learning about the pandemic and the importance of not only considering their information source, but also their levels of trust in their government leaders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Government , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy/standards , Leadership , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trust , Adolescent , Adolescent Behavior , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Female , Health Behavior , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Male , Social Media , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(22)2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523970

ABSTRACT

Health information-seeking behavior provides a variety of benefits, such as reducing knowledge gaps and educating individuals outside the medical office. This study aimed at evaluating if different sources used to gather information on COVID-19 could affect the willingness to undergo dental appointments. An anonymous survey was posted on social media. The 1003 respondents used several channels of communication, clearly distinguishing reliable from unreliable ones. Multiple logistic regression estimated the effect of different information channels on the probability of being strongly influenced by COVID-19 in accessing upcoming dental appointments. Newspapers were the most-used channel of information (61.2%), blogs and forums the least used (11.2%). Overall, the more an individual was informed, the higher was the risk of missing upcoming dental care appointments (OR 2.05, CI 1.45-2.90, p < 0.001). The two most reliable channels of communication were identified in journals/websites of medicine and healthcare professionals. Women proved to be more active in gathering information and relying on less secure but more personal channels, such as social media and friends and family, thus having an increased risk of being influenced by COVID-19 information regarding upcoming dental care appointments (OR 3.62, CI 0.85-15.52, p < 0.1 and OR 1.60, CI 1.00-2.58, p < 0.1, respectively). Social media should have a greater presence on the side of medical service providers to avoid distortions of information and fake news that ultimately cause fear among citizens and compromise their health. Healthcare professionals and institutions should adapt their communication channels based on the audience they want to address to optimize the education and information of the final users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Information Seeking Behavior , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dental Care , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
20.
J Health Commun ; 26(10): 728-741, 2021 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517697

ABSTRACT

This study examines the emotional mechanisms of how public trust in the governments' actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic shapes individuals' risk information-seeking and avoidance. To make cross-cultural comparisons, we conducted a multi-country survey early in the pandemic in South Korea, the United States (US) and Singapore. The results suggest that trust was negatively related to fear, anger, sadness and anxiety, and positively related to hope. These emotions were significant mediators of the effect of trust on information seeking and avoidance, except for anger on avoidance. Importantly, the indirect effects of trust in government varied by country. Fear was a stronger mediator between trust and information seeking in South Korea than in the US. In contrast, sadness and anger played more prominent mediating roles in Singapore than in South Korea. This study offers theoretical insights into better understanding the roles of discrete emotions in forming information behaviors. The findings of this study also inform communication strategies that seek to navigate trust in managing pandemics that impact multiple nations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Emotions , Government , Humans , Information Seeking Behavior , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust , United States/epidemiology
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