Journal of Medical Internet Research (Jun 2020)

COVID-19-Related Information Sources and the Relationship With Confidence in People Coping with COVID-19: Facebook Survey Study in Taiwan

  • Wang, Peng-Wei,
  • Lu, Wei-Hsin,
  • Ko, Nai-Ying,
  • Chen, Yi-Lung,
  • Li, Dian-Jeng,
  • Chang, Yu-Ping,
  • Yen, Cheng-Fang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 6
p. e20021


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BackgroundPeople obtain information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the internet and other sources. Understanding the factors related to such information sources aids health professionals in educating individuals. ObjectiveThis study used data collected from the online survey study on COVID-19 in Taiwan to examine what major COVID-19 information sources are available and which sources are significantly related to the self-confidence of people in coping with COVID-19 in Taiwan. MethodsA total of 1904 participants (1270 non–health-care workers and 634 health care workers) were recruited from the Facebook advertisement. Their major sources of information about COVID-19, the relationships between the sources and demographic factors, and the relationships between the sources and the self-confidence in coping with COVID-19 were surveyed. ResultsMost Taiwanese people relied on the internet for COVID-19 information. Many respondents also used a variety of sources of information on COVID-19; such variety was associated with sex, age, and the level of worry toward COVID-19, as well as if one was a health care worker. For health care workers, the use of formal lessons as an information source was significantly associated with better self-confidence in coping with COVID-19. The significant association between receiving information from more sources and greater self-confidence was found only in health care workers but not in non–health-care workers. ConclusionsMedical professionals should consider subgroups of the population when establishing various means to deliver information on COVID-19.