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Assessment of COVID-19 information overload among the general public

Mohammed, M, Shaaban, A, Jatau Abubakar, I, Yunusa, I, Isa, AM, Wada, AS, Obamiro, O ORCID: 0000-0002-0265-1953, Zainal, H and Ibrahim, B 2021 , 'Assessment of COVID-19 information overload among the general public' , Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00942-0.

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Abstract

Background A relentless flood of information accompanied the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. False news,conspiracy theories, and magical cures were shared with the general public at an alarming rate, which may lead to increasedanxiety and stress levels and associated debilitating consequences.Objectives To measure the level of COVID-19 information overload (COVIO) and assess the association between COVIO andsociodemographic characteristics among the general public.Methods A cross-sectional online survey was conducted between April and May 2020 using a modified Cancer InformationOverload scale. The survey was developed and posted on four social media platforms. The data were only collected from thosewho consented to participate. COVIO score was classified into high vs. low using the asymmetrical distribution as a guide andconducted a binary logistic regression to examine the factors associated with COVIO.Results A total number of 584 respondents participated in this study. The mean COVIO score of the respondents was 19.4 (±4.0). Sources and frequency of receiving COVID-19 information were found to be significant predictors of COVIO. Participantswho received information via the broadcast media were more likely to have high COVIO than those who received informationvia the social media (adjusted odds ratio ([aOR],14.599; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.608–132.559; p = 0.017). Also, participants who received COVID-19 information every minute (aOR, 3.892; 95% CI, 1.124–13.480; p = 0.032) were more likely tohave high COVIO than those who received information every week.Conclusion The source of information and the frequency of receiving COVID-19 information were significantly associated withCOVIO. The COVID-19 information is often conflicting, leading to confusion and overload of information in the general population.This can have unfavorable effects on the measures taken to control the transmission and management of COVID-19 infection.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mohammed, M and Shaaban, A and Jatau Abubakar, I and Yunusa, I and Isa, AM and Wada, AS and Obamiro, O and Zainal, H and Ibrahim, B
Keywords: COVID 19, information overload, public, assessment
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
ISSN: 2197-3792
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s40615-020-00942-0
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute

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