An International Systematic Review Concerning the Effect of Social Media Exposure on Public Compliance with Infection Prevention and Control Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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AbstractBackground Effective health communication is crucial for achieving positive population health outcomes. This is important for infection prevention and control (IPC), which relies on widespread public compliance to be effective. Whilst social media (SM) platforms disseminate health information, there is conflicting evidence to suggest their influence on compliance with public health guidelines. Objective To appraise the available evidence and determine the extent to which social media exposure contributes to public compliance with IPC measures. Methods A systematic protocol based on the MOOSE and PRISMA guidelines was followed. Observational studies were identified through systematic searches of four electronic databases and a hand search. Following data extraction, eligible studies were quality assessed, and the findings were integrated using narrative synthesis. Findings 15 studies were included. The studies located presented heterogeneous designs and findings. A weak positive association was identified, with 60% of the studies observing a positive association between social media and compliance with IPC measures. 26.7% identified a negative correlation, and 13.3% identified no correlation. Several factors were identified to mediate the relationship, including knowledge and conspiracy beliefs. Discussion This systematic review identified a weak positive correlation between exposure to social media and public compliance with recommended IPC measures, suggesting that social media should be utilised in future IPC related communication strategies. Social media provides a cost-effective, publicly accessible platform to disseminate accurate information, and neutralise misinformation. Recommendations are made for further research to reduce the uncertainty created by the identification of heterogenous studies.
CitationJournal of Infection Prevention, page 175717742311595
DescriptionFrom Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router
History: epub 2023-02-22, issued 2023-02-22
Publication status: Published