DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20220836

Preventive health practices and the mass media in view of the COVID-19 pandemic

Ogochukwu C. Ofiaeli, Joy C. Ebenebe, Chioma P. Nnamani, Ogochukwu R. Ofiaeli, Ifeoma B. Udigwe, Chika I. Ofiaeli, Chisom G. Chigbo

Abstract


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a highly infectious disease caused by a novel corona virus. Preventive strategies are vital in controlling its spread and the mass media play a central role in disseminating needed information to the public. This study was carried out to determine how mass media has impacted on the health behaviour of individuals globally in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study targeting individuals in all inhabited continents of the world using an online anonymous pre-tested self-administered questionnaire.

Results: The data of 485 respondents were analysed. Respondents who had heard of COVID-19 were 98.4% (477) and those who knew it was a disease caused by a new corona virus were 92.4% (448); 81.9% (397) believed COVID-19 had no cure. Information on COVID-19 was from the mass media 77.5% (376); 52.8% (256) was from the internet while 23.5% (114) was from the television. All information on COVID-19 were thought to be authentic and believable 58.8% of the time (285). Respondents would always use a face mask when away from home 47.8% (232), maintain at least an arm length from others in public 32.4% (157), wash their hands with soap and water 58.6% (284) or use an alcohol based hand-sanitizer 45.2% (219). Source of information was significantly associated with knowledge on COVID-19 (p=0.002).

Conclusions: Preventive practices to militate against the spread of COVID-19 are suboptimal in view of the spread and severity of this pandemic. Most information on COVID-19 were obtained from mass media. The mass media can therefore be actively and better mobilized as means of disseminating vital information on COVID-19.


Keywords


Covid-19, Information, Media, World

Full Text:

PDF

References


Google. COVID-19 information and sources. Available at: https://www.google.com/covid19/. Accessed on 20 May 2020.

World Health Organization. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Available at: https://www.who.int/ emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019. Accessed on 2 April 2020.

Harcourt HM. The role and influence of mass media. CliffsNotes. Available at: https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/sociology/contemporary-mass-media/the-role-and-influence-of-mass-media. Accessed on 2 April 2020.

UKEssays. Influence of Mass Media. Updated 2017 May. Available at: https://www.ukessays.com/ essays/media/the-simple-definition-of-mass-media-media-essay.php. Accessed on 3 May 2020.

Enikolopov R, Petrova M. Mass media and its influence on behaviour. Els Opuscles del CREI. CREI, Barcelona; 2017.

Oroles F. Positive and negative influences of the mass media upon education. Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2014;149:349-53.

Pavelka J. The factors affecting the presentation of events and the media coverage of topics in the mass media. Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2014;140:623-29.

Abubakar UI, Hassan I. Regulatory and political influence on mass media operation in Nigeria. Sch J Arts Humanit Soc Sci. 2017;5:1935-41.

Imhonopi D. The development and influence of mass media in the Nigerian Society. Peoples and Culture of Nigeria, Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. 2004.

Kadiri KK, Muhammed YA, Raji A, Sulaiman AR. Mass media for sustainable democracy and development in Nigeria. J Sustain Develop Africa. 2015;17:52-64.

Usacheva V. Development of Mass Media in Modern Africa: New Opportunities, Old Limitations. Institute for African Studies. Available at: https://www.inafran.ru/en/node/247. Accessed on 3 May 2020.

Zhong BL, Luo W, Li HM, Zhang QQ, Liu XG, Li WT, et al. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards COVID-19 among Chinese residents during the rapid rise period of the COVID-19 outbreak: A quick online cross-sectional survey. Int J Biol Sci. 2020;16:1745-52.

Gallè F, Sabella EA, Da Molin G, De Giglio O, Caggiano G, Di Onofrio V, et al. Understanding knowledge and behaviors related to COVID–19 epidemic in Italian undergraduate students: the EPICO study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17:3481.

Olaimat AN, Aolymat I, Shahbaz HM, Holley RA. Knowledge and information sources about COVID-19 among university students in Jordan: a cross-sectional study. Front Public Health. 2020;8:254.

Bekele D, Tolossa T, Tsegaye R, Teshome W. The knowledge and practice towards COVID-19 pandemic prevention among residents of Ethiopia. An online cross-sectional study. PLoS One. 2021;16:e0234585.

Reuben RC, Danladi MMA, Saleh DA, Ejembi PE. Knowledge, attitudes and practices towards COVID-19: an epidemiological survey in north-central Nigeria. J Community Health. 2020;1-14.

Anikwe CC, Ogah CO, Anikwe IH, Okorochukwu BC, Ikeoha CC. Corona virus disease 2019: knowledge, attitude, and practice of pregnant women in a tertiary hospital in Abakaliki, southeast Nigeria. Int J Gynecol Obstet. 2020;151:197-202.

Adesegun OA, Binuyo T, Adeyemi O, Ehioghae O, Rabor DF, Amusan O, et al. The COVID-19 crisis in sub-saharan Africa: knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the Nigerian public. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020;103:1997-2004.

Negera E, Demissie TM, Tafess K. Inadequate level of knowledge, mixed outlook and poor adherence to COVID-19 prevention guideline among Ethiopians. BioRxiv. 2020.

Nicholas T, Mandaah FV, Esemu SN, Vanessa ABT, Gilchrist KTD, Vanessa LF, et al. COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes and practices in a conflict affected area of the South West Region of Cameroon. Pan Afr Med J. 2020;35(Supp 2).

Worldometer. Countries in the world population. Available at: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/. Accessed on 2 May 2020.

Countries-of-the-world.com. 7 continents of the world. Available at: https://www.countries-ofthe-world.com/continents-of-the-world.html. Accessed on 2 May 2020.

Ikenwa C. The six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and their states. Nigerian Guide. Available at: https://nigerianguide.com.ng/six-geopolitical-zones-in-nigeria-their-states/. Accessed on 2 May 2020.

The Survey System. Sample Size Calculator. Creative Research Systems. 2012. Available at: https://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm#two. Accessed on 5 May 2020.

Meterko M, Restuccia JD, Stolzmann K, Mohr D, Brennan C, Glasgow J, et al. Response rates, non response bias and data quality. Public Opin Quart. 2015;75:130-44.

Turner AG. Sampling Strategies. Hand book on Designing of Household Sample Surveys. United Nations Secretariat, Statistics Division; 2003:3-5,19-24.

Google. Google forms. Available at: https://www.google.com/forms/about/. Accessed on 2 May 2020.

Olapegba P, Ayandele O, Kolawole S, Oguntayo R. COVID-19 knowledge and perceptions in Nigeria. 2020. Available at: https://psyarxiv.com/ j356x/download?format=pdf. Accessed on 2 April 2020.

Zhang M, Zhou M, Tang F, Wang Y, Nie H, Zhang L, et al. Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding COVID-19 among health care workers in Henan, China. J Hosp Infect. 2020;105:183-7.

Chan AKM, Nickson CP, Rudolph JW, Lee A, Joynt GM. Social media for rapid knowledge dissemination: early experience from the COVID-19 pandemic. Vol. 75, Anaesthesia. Blackwell Publishing Ltd; 2020:1579-1582.

Africa Internet Users, 2021 Population and Facebook Statistics. Available at: https://www. internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm. Accessed on 14 March 2020.

Ali SH, Foreman J, Tozan Y, Capasso A, Jones AM, DiClemente RJ. Trends and predictors of COVID-19 information sources and their relationship with knowledge and beliefs related to the pandemic: Nationwide cross-sectional study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020;6:e21071.

Fridman I, Lucas N, Henke D, Zigler CK. Association between public knowledge about COVID-19, trust in information sources, and adherence to social distancing: cross-sectional survey. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020;6:e22060.