21st Century Health Communication Challenges: Public Health Emergencies

A special issue of European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education (ISSN 2254-9625).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 25091

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traditionally, health professionals have been a source of reference for knowledge related to health and illness. If someone had a problem, the only solution was to put it in the hands of those who knew about it and listen to them. However, the evolution of society has brought with it an overwhelming ease of access to information and education. In a big part of the world, everyone today is sufficiently educated and has easy enough access to information through the media or the internet, especially through social media.

Who guarantees that the information we have access to is true and reliable, though, and who can guarantee that the tools we now have are used well from the point of view of an individual’s health, or of public health?

Previous references exist to health emergencies where the media, and social media, had an important role in spreading not just information but also misinformation/disinformation across the population. Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an incredible increase in misinformation and disinformation, even by political authorities and journalists, due to the complete absence of scientific and/or health advisors. The essential characteristic of social media, their freedom to share information (an important and incredibly necessary characteristic), gives rise to processes such as fake news, disinformation, pseudo therapies, etc., which can spread easily and fool even educated social media users as they have the same characteristics as scientific evidence and/or expert consensus. Generating confusion, fear, stress, and even more negative feelings creates an environment of disaffection about the measures to control the pandemic.

We need more research in this field to know how to implement effective actions to block fake news and recover the role of reference in health information to the population, and more in times of health emergencies.

This Special Issue aims to present and foster the research developed by health professionals, communication professionals, managers, health economists, etc., in relation to the analysis of:

  • Health information, kind, formats, ways to spread it, etc.;
  • Analysis of characteristics of peoples to direct this health information—how to adequately prepare information for certain groups;
  • Programs for the promotion of health;
  • Analysis of emotions related to health information;
  • Etc.

We accept original articles, Reviews, etc.

Dr. Iván Herrera-Peco
Dr. Carlos Ruiz-Nuñez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Communication
  • COVID-19
  • Disinformation
  • Emergencies
  • Fake News
  • Health
  • Health emergencies
  • Health promotion
  • Infodemic
  • Misinformation
  • Public Health
  • Media
  • Social Media
  • Social support

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 227 KiB  
Editorial
Preface of Special Issue “21st Century Health Communication Challenges: Public Health Emergencies”
by Carlos Ruíz-Núñez and Ivan Herrera-Peco
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(3), 553-555; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13030042 - 5 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Over recent years, the tendency to seek health information has increased exponentially worldwide [...] Full article

Research

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11 pages, 1403 KiB  
Article
Moral Disengagement, Dark Triad and Face Mask Wearing during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Gina Chávez-Ventura, Henry Santa-Cruz-Espinoza, Julio Domínguez-Vergara and Nancy Negreiros-Mora
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(9), 1300-1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12090090 - 2 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
Not wearing a face mask, despite the sanitary recommendation, represented a public health risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the aim of the study was to determine the mediating role of moral disengagement in the relationship between the dark triad and [...] Read more.
Not wearing a face mask, despite the sanitary recommendation, represented a public health risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the aim of the study was to determine the mediating role of moral disengagement in the relationship between the dark triad and face mask wearing during the second wave of the pandemic. We worked with a sample made up of 534 adults, who were administered the Dirty Dozen Dark test, the Moral Disengagement Mechanisms Scale and a questionnaire on the frequency of use of face masks. The results showed that moral disengagement mediates the effect of each trait of the dark triad (Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism) on the use of face masks. It is concluded that those who possess any of the dark personality traits morally disengage in order not to use a face mask, exercising a reckless behavior of the possible contagion of COVID-19 to others. Full article
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7 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Improving the Reliability of Literature Reviews: Detection of Retracted Articles through Academic Search Engines
by Elena Pastor-Ramón, Ivan Herrera-Peco, Oskia Agirre, María García-Puente and José María Morán
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(5), 458-464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12050034 - 4 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4075
Abstract
Nowadays, a multitude of scientific publications on health science are being developed that require correct bibliographic search in order to avoid the use and inclusion of retracted literature in them. The use of these articles could directly affect the consistency of the scientific [...] Read more.
Nowadays, a multitude of scientific publications on health science are being developed that require correct bibliographic search in order to avoid the use and inclusion of retracted literature in them. The use of these articles could directly affect the consistency of the scientific studies and could affect clinical practice. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the capacity of the main scientific literature search engines, both general (Gooogle Scholar) and scientific (PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and Web of Science), used in health sciences in order to check their ability to detect and warn users of retracted articles in the searches carried out. The sample of retracted articles was obtained from RetractionWatch. The results showed that although Google Scholar was the search engine with the highest capacity to retrieve selected articles, it was the least effective, compared with scientific search engines, at providing information on the retraction of articles. The use of different scientific search engines to retrieve as many scientific articles as possible, as well as never using only a generic search engine, is highly recommended. This will reduce the possibility of including retracted articles and will avoid affecting the reliability of the scientific studies carried out. Full article
18 pages, 3057 KiB  
Article
Aggregating Twitter Text through Generalized Linear Regression Models for Tweet Popularity Prediction and Automatic Topic Classification
by Chen Mo, Jingjing Yin, Isaac Chun-Hai Fung and Zion Tsz Ho Tse
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(4), 1537-1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040109 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3136
Abstract
Social media platforms have become accessible resources for health data analysis. However, the advanced computational techniques involved in big data text mining and analysis are challenging for public health data analysts to apply. This study proposes and explores the feasibility of a novel [...] Read more.
Social media platforms have become accessible resources for health data analysis. However, the advanced computational techniques involved in big data text mining and analysis are challenging for public health data analysts to apply. This study proposes and explores the feasibility of a novel yet straightforward method by regressing the outcome of interest on the aggregated influence scores for association and/or classification analyses based on generalized linear models. The method reduces the document term matrix by transforming text data into a continuous summary score, thereby reducing the data dimension substantially and easing the data sparsity issue of the term matrix. To illustrate the proposed method in detailed steps, we used three Twitter datasets on various topics: autism spectrum disorder, influenza, and violence against women. We found that our results were generally consistent with the critical factors associated with the specific public health topic in the existing literature. The proposed method could also classify tweets into different topic groups appropriately with consistent performance compared with existing text mining methods for automatic classification based on tweet contents. Full article
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22 pages, 1995 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Lockdown-Related Changes in Mood, Health and Academic Functioning
by Pauline A. Hendriksen, Johan Garssen, Elisabeth Y. Bijlsma, Ferdi Engels, Gillian Bruce and Joris C. Verster
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(4), 1440-1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040103 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4785
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns were accompanied by an abrupt transition from face-to-face education to online education. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic functioning and mood in Dutch pharmacy students and PhD candidates. A [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns were accompanied by an abrupt transition from face-to-face education to online education. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic functioning and mood in Dutch pharmacy students and PhD candidates. A total of n = 341 participants completed an online survey including questions on mood and academic functioning, assessed retrospectively for before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, during COVID-19 lockdown, significantly more time was spent on academic activities, and study grades/output significantly improved. However, the overall effects were of small magnitude, and there was great variability among students, reporting either improved, unchanged or poorer academic functioning. Compared to before COVID-19, the lockdown periods were associated with significantly increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and loneliness, and a significant reduction in optimism and happiness. Significant negative correlations were found between ‘performance quality’ and stress, ‘performance quality’ and fatigue, ‘study grades/output’ and stress, and between ‘study grades/output’ and fatigue. Correlations of mood and items related to academic interactions were not statistically significant. Differential effects were seen when the data was analyzed according to sex, living situation, and ethnicity, revealing that women, students living alone, and those with a migration background reported that COVID-19 lockdowns had greater negative mood effects and a more negative impact on academic functioning. Poorer sleep quality and reduced quality of life were significantly associated with reduced mood, as well as reduced academic performance quality and role satisfaction. Regression analysis revealed that being young and not having a non-Western migration background were predictors of improved performance quality. However, only being young was a significant predictor of improved study grades/output during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased levels of stress and fatigue were significant predictors of both reduced performance quality and poorer study grades/output during the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, for the sample as a whole, the transition to online education during the COVID-19 lockdown was judged as having significant positive effects on academic performance. The lockdown periods were associated with significantly reduced mood and reduced social interactions. It should be taken into account that about one third of students reported academic functioning to be poorer during the COVID-19 pandemic. This represents a substantial group of students who require more attention and guidance to make a successful transition to online education and cope with lockdown-associated stress and fatigue. Full article
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10 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Is Electronic Health Literacy Associated with Learning Outcomes among Medical Students in the First Clinical Year?: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Krittai Tanasombatkul, Kanokporn Pinyopornpanish, Chaisiri Angkurawaranon, Nida Buawangpong, Auswin Rojanasumapong and Wichuda Jiraporncharoen
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(3), 923-932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11030068 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2906
Abstract
Medical students tend to use the internet as a primary resource when seeking health information. This study aims to assess the patterns of internet use, eHL level, and learning outcomes with eHL among medical students at Chiang Mai University. A cross-sectional study was [...] Read more.
Medical students tend to use the internet as a primary resource when seeking health information. This study aims to assess the patterns of internet use, eHL level, and learning outcomes with eHL among medical students at Chiang Mai University. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 88 medical students in the first clinical year. The eHL level was determined using the Thai version of the electronic Health Literacy Scale or eHEALS. The patient case report scores were obtained representing the learning outcome. Linear regression was used to identify factors influencing their eHL level and case report scores. Students recognized the importance and usefulness of the internet. The mean eHEALS score was 33.45. There was a lower degree of agreement on questions regarding internet usage, having skills to evaluate the resources, and confidence in using health information to make health decisions. The eHEALS score had no statistically significant association with most variables and case report scores, but with the longer time of internet use (p-value = 0.014). Although medical students perceived that they have high eHL levels, they report lower confidence in using the information. Including critical thinking skills for electronic health information in the medical curriculum could be useful. Full article

Review

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25 pages, 1009 KiB  
Review
Towards A Socioeconomic Model of Sleep Health among the Canadian Population: A Systematic Review of the Relationship between Age, Income, Employment, Education, Social Class, Socioeconomic Status and Sleep Disparities
by F. A. Etindele Sosso, Marta Kreidlmayer, Dess Pearson and Imene Bendaoud
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(8), 1143-1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12080080 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4227
Abstract
A better understanding of the contribution of the socioeconomic status (SES) in sleep health could guide the development of population-based interventions aiming to reduce “the silent public health issue” that are sleep disturbances. PRISMA was employed to identify relevant studies having examined the [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the contribution of the socioeconomic status (SES) in sleep health could guide the development of population-based interventions aiming to reduce “the silent public health issue” that are sleep disturbances. PRISMA was employed to identify relevant studies having examined the association between social class, social capital, education, income/assets, occupation/employment status, neighborhood deprivation and sleep health. Sixteen cross-sectional and three longitudinal studies were selected, having sampled 226,029 participants aged from 2 months to 85 years old. Findings showed that: (1) sleep health disparities among children and adolescent are strongly correlated to parental socioeconomic indicators; (2) poor parental income, poor family SES and poor parental education are associated with higher sleep disturbances among children and adolescents; (3) lower education is a predictor of increased sleep disturbances for adults; (4) low SES is associated with high sleep disturbances in adults and old people and; (5) low income and full-time employment was significantly associated with short sleep among adults and old people. In conclusion, sleep health should be an important public health target. Such intervention would be beneficial for populational health, for all taxpayers and public administrations, which would see a reduction in absenteeism and productivity losses attributable to sleep-related health problems in the global economy. Full article
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