Affordable Access

Access to the full text

COVID-19–Induced Fear in Infoveillance Studies: Pilot Meta-analysis Study of Preliminary Results

Authors
  • Geronikolou, Styliani1
  • Chrousos, George1
  • 1 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens , (Greece)
Type
Published Article
Journal
JMIR Formative Research
Publisher
JMIR Publications
Publication Date
Feb 03, 2021
Volume
5
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2196/21156
PMID: 33400681
PMCID: PMC7860927
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Background The World Health Organization named the phenomenon of misinformation spread through social media as an “ infodemic ” and recognized the need to curb it. Misinformation infodemics undermine not only population safety but also compliance to the suggestions and prophylactic measures recommended during pandemics. Objective The aim of this pilot study is to review the impact of social media on general population fear in “ infoveillance ” studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) protocol was followed, and 6 out of 20 studies were retrieved, meta-analyzed, and had their findings presented in the form of a forest plot. Results The summary random and significant event rate was 0.298 (95% CI 0.213-0.400), suggesting that social media–circulated misinformation related to COVID-19 triggered public fear and other psychological manifestations. These findings merit special attention by public health authorities. Conclusions Infodemiology and infoveillance are valid tools in the hands of epidemiologists to help prevent dissemination of false information, which has potentially damaging effects.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times