Effective Use of Online COVID-19 Information and Online Health Information Literacy Among US College Students

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J Am Coll Health. 2022 June 3:1-8. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2080505. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Objective: This study aimed to understand students’ ability to search the Internet for information about COVID-19 and apply it to assess the veracity of specific statements. Speakers: Undergraduate students (N=239) from a US university completed an online questionnaire in September-October 2020. Methods : The questionnaire included self-reported measures of online health information literacy, COVID-19 knowledge, and anxiety, as well as exercises on finding and evaluating COVID information online. Results: Students reported moderate levels of information literacy (76%, 3.8 out of 5), but did not fare as well when searching for information about COVID-19 on the Internet ( average accuracy: 65%, 10.5 out of 16 points). Students with higher internet exercise scores reported higher GPA, higher household income and liberal political views, and were more likely to follow public health measures [ie, social distancing, mask wearing, and not self-medicating with (hydroxy)chloroquine]. Conclusion : College students may overestimate their information literacy when they struggle to search the internet for accurate information about COVID-19.

PMID:35658100 | DO I:10.1080/07448481.2022.2080505

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