Maintenance Notice

Due to necessary scheduled maintenance, the JMIR Publications website will be unavailable from Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM EST. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Who will be affected?

Advertisement

Currently submitted to: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Date Submitted: May 20, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: May 20, 2020 - Jul 15, 2020
(currently open for review)

Warning: This is an author submission that is not peer-reviewed or edited. Preprints - unless they show as "accepted" - should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

Information Regarding COVID-19 on the Internet: A Cross-sectional Study of Concerns

  • Zhao Yusui; 
  • Lv Qiaohong; 

ABSTRACT

Background:

The Internet is one of the main sources of information about COVID-19. However, scant research has addressed the public’s disease-related concerns nor the relationships between concerns, knowledge, and behavior related to COVID-19 prevention.

Objective:

Our objectives were to determine Chinese netizens’ concerns related to COVID-19 and its relationship with Internet information; and to elucidate the association between individuals’ concerns, knowledge, and behavior related to COVID-19.

Methods:

In this study, the questionnaire was designed to investigate Chinese netizens’ concerns, knowledge, and behavior related to COVID-19 during the rapid rise period of the outbreak. An online sample of Chinese residents was successfully recruited via Dingxiangyisheng WeChat. The questionnaire consisted of 15 closed-ended questions.

Results:

In total, 10,304 respondents were surveyed on the Internet (response rate = 1.75%, 10,304/590,000). Nearly all (95.30%) participants were concerned about “confirmed cases” and 87.70% received information about the outbreak through social media websites. There were significant differences in participants’ concerns by sex (P = .018), age (P < .001), educational attainment (P < .007), and occupation (P < .001). For all knowledge questions, including “incubation period (P < .001),” “transmission route (P = .001),” “symptoms (P < .001),” and “personal preventive knowledge (P < .001)”, participants who had higher concerns about COVID-19 were significantly more likely to answer questions correctly than were those who had less concerns. Surprisingly, people who were less concerned were more likely to avoid public places and public transportation than those who were more concerned.

Conclusions:

This study elucidated the concerns, information sources, and preventive behaviors of Chinese netizens related to the COVID-19 pandemic. People who were more concerned were more likely to obtain knowledge and take preventive measures than were their less concerned counterparts.


 Citation

Please cite as:

Yusui Z, Qiaohong L

Information Regarding COVID-19 on the Internet: A Cross-sectional Study of Concerns

JMIR Preprints. 20/05/2020:20487

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.20487

URL: https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/20487

Download PDF


Request queued. Please wait while the file is being generated. It may take some time.

© The authors. All rights reserved. This is a privileged document currently under peer-review/community review (or an accepted/rejected manuscript). Authors have provided JMIR Publications with an exclusive license to publish this preprint on it's website for review and ahead-of-print citation purposes only. While the final peer-reviewed paper may be licensed under a cc-by license on publication, at this stage authors and publisher expressively prohibit redistribution of this draft paper other than for review purposes.