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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-46

Role of media on perceived vulnerability of the public at early stage of COVID-19 pandemic

1 Community and Maternity Health Unit, College of Nursing, University of Duhok, Iraq
2 Psychiatric and Pediatric Nursing Unit, College of Nursing, University of Duhok, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Deldar Morad Abdulah
Community Health Unit, College of Nursing, University of Duhok, Duhok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iopn.iopn_73_21

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Introduction: The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has spread across the world. The COVID-19 pandemic could have a considerable psychological effect. We aimed to explore the role of media on the level of perceived infectability and germ aversion toward coronavirus infection of the public at early stage of the pandemic. Methods: In this study, 708 individuals who live in different geographical locations of the Duhok Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan were included between March 16 and 25, 2020. Results: The mean age of the participants was 27.40 (18–74 years). The participants reported that traditional news services have a relaxing role regarding the coronavirus pandemic (58.3%) in contrast to a stressing role of social media (64.7%). The mean values of vulnerability, perceived infectability, and germ aversions to COVID-19 infection were 4.74, 3.99, and 5.49 of 7.0, respectively. Participants who considered social media to have a stressing role were more likely to be bothered when someone sneezes without covering their mouths (4.45 vs. 4.04; P = 0.044). In addition, they were more likely to think that they catch an infectious disease (3.89 vs. 3.51; P = 0.016), and have a less strong immune system to protect them from most illnesses (2.85 vs. 2.40; P < 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: This study showed that social media has a stressing role to the public regarding COVID-19 infection.

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