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Health Literacy and Communicable Diseases

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Diseases, Chronic Diseases, and Disease Prevention".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2024) | Viewed by 3712

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Prevention, Local Health Authority Roma1, 00135 Rome, Italy
2. Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: systematic reviews on public health; virology and infectious diseases; the role and application of micronutrients in different research areas; planning surveys concerning various public health topics; oncological screenings; the relationship between health literacy and cancer screening adherence

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Guest Editor
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: vaccine hesitancy; vaccination coverage; public health; evidence-based medicine; health literacy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to the Special Issue “Health Literacy and Communicable Diseases”, to be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), which is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, open access journal containing research pertaining to public health. More information about the journal can be found at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of health information available on the internet was amplified. Within this context, health literacy is more important than ever, in order for individuals to navigate these information environments and use health information to inform their behavior. Reliable and trustworthy information is key for people to understand recommendations and know what to do to protect themselves and others. The risk of being infected is dependent on other people's behavior, such as their adherence to the precautionary procedures and national measures. In addition, COVID-19 vaccination campaigns have certainly suffered from the influence of inadequate health literacy, even though its real impact is yet to be quantified.

For this reason, there is a strong need to foster research in the field of health literacy, health information, and digital health.

Original research articles and reviews addressing these topics are invited for this Special Issue.

We look forward to receiving your contributions!

Dr. Alessandra Sinopoli
Dr. Valentina Baccolini
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2500 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

  • health literacy
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • health-promoting behaviors
  • health information
  • community
  • misinformation
  • digital health literacy
  • social media

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 996 KiB  
Article
A Co-Created Tool to Help Counter Health Misinformation for Spanish-Speaking Communities in the San Francisco Bay Area
by Lucía Abascal Miguel, Andres Maiorana, Gustavo Santa Roza Saggese, Chadwick K. Campbell, Beth Bourdeau and Emily A. Arnold
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(3), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21030294 - 2 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Background: Health misinformation, which was particularly prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, hampers public health initiatives. Spanish-speaking communities in the San Francisco Bay Area may be especially affected due to low digital health literacy and skepticism towards science and healthcare experts. Our study aims [...] Read more.
Background: Health misinformation, which was particularly prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, hampers public health initiatives. Spanish-speaking communities in the San Francisco Bay Area may be especially affected due to low digital health literacy and skepticism towards science and healthcare experts. Our study aims to develop a checklist to counter misinformation, grounded in community insights. Methods: We adopted a multistage approach to understanding barriers to COVID-19 vaccine uptake in Spanish-speaking populations in Alameda and San Francisco counties. Initial work included key informant and community interviews. Partnering with a community-based organization (CBO), we organized co-design workshops in July 2022 to develop a practical tool for identifying misinformation. Template analysis identified key themes for actionable steps, such as source evaluation and content assessment. From this, we developed a Spanish-language checklist. Findings: During formative interviews, misinformation was identified as a major obstacle to vaccine uptake. Three co-design workshops with 15 Spanish-speaking women resulted in a 10-step checklist for tackling health misinformation. Participants highlighted the need for scrutinizing sources and assessing messenger credibility, and cues in visual content that could instill fear. The checklist offers a pragmatic approach to source verification and information assessment, supplemented by resources from local CBOs. Conclusion: We have co-created a targeted checklist for Spanish-speaking communities to identify and counter health misinformation. Such specialized tools are essential for populations that are more susceptible to misinformation, enabling them to differentiate between credible and non-credible information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Literacy and Communicable Diseases)
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13 pages, 1089 KiB  
Article
Sentiment Analysis on Twitter: Role of Healthcare Professionals in the Global Conversation during the AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspension
by Carlos Ruiz-Núñez, Ivan Herrera-Peco, Silvia María Campos-Soler, Álvaro Carmona-Pestaña, Elvira Benítez de Gracia, Juan José Peña Deudero and Andrés Ignacio García-Notario
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032225 - 26 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
The vaccines against COVID-19 arrived in Spain at the end of 2020 along with vaccination campaigns which were not free of controversy. The debate was fueled by the adverse effects following the administration of the AstraZeneca-Oxford (AZ) vaccine in some European countries, eventually [...] Read more.
The vaccines against COVID-19 arrived in Spain at the end of 2020 along with vaccination campaigns which were not free of controversy. The debate was fueled by the adverse effects following the administration of the AstraZeneca-Oxford (AZ) vaccine in some European countries, eventually leading to its temporary suspension as a precautionary measure. In the present study, we analyze the healthcare professionals’ conversations, sentiment, polarity, and intensity on social media during two periods in 2021: the one closest to the suspension of the AZ vaccine and the same time frame 30 days later. We also analyzed whether there were differences between Spain and the rest of the world. Results: The negative sentiment ratio was higher (U = 87; p = 0.048) in Spain in March (Med = 0.396), as well as the daily intensity (U = 86; p = 0.044; Med = 0.440). The opposite happened with polarity (U = 86; p = 0.044), which was higher in the rest of the world (Med = −0.264). Conclusions: There was a general increase in messages and interactions between March and April. In Spain, there was a higher incidence of negative messages and intensity compared to the rest of the world during the March period that disappeared in April. Finally, it was found that the dissemination of messages linked to negative emotions towards vaccines against COVID-19 from healthcare professionals contributed to a negative approach to primary prevention campaigns in the middle of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Literacy and Communicable Diseases)
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