Roles of health professionals in infodemic management related with the novel coronavirusl disease
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Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, 06100, Sihhiye, Ankara, Turkiye
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A386
Background and objective:
Infodemic is a global threat. This study is carried out with one of the qualitative research methods, in-depth interview, aimed determining the views and roles of healthcare professionals on the widespread “infodemic” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondary aim is to develop possible solution proposals regarding the roles of healthcare professionals in the fight against infodemic.

Within the scope of the research, in-depth interviews were held with 23 academic staff from the field of health at Hacettepe University (Health) Campus in the 2021-2022 period. Eight physicians, 5 pharmacists, 3 nurses, 3 dieticians, 2 dentists, 1 physiotherapist and 1 child development specialist participated. Due to the pandemic conditions, various online meeting platforms were used for the interviews. The interviews were transcribed by the researchers. Themes categories and codes were determined for content analysis. In the end, categories and codes compatible with 6 themes were determined. The Project was funded by Hacettepe University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit (Nb. 19340).

In the interviews, participants stated that infodemic was a problem before COVID-19. Thus, its frequency became more visible with the pandemic. The infodemic, in general, has made life difficult in many ways. All participants think that health workers have a significant role in the fight against infodemic. Although being a health worker is the common ground in the stated roles, different occupational groups also underlined their expertise-specific roles. Besides they declared that the fight against infodemic was stated as a multidisciplinary field of study and an institutional approach must be developed.Conducting future studies with an interdisciplinary approach, development of individual and community education, professionalism and strengthening of healthcare and other systems were emphasized.

Planning sustainable programs will be helpful to respond to the actual needs in infodemic management.

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