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TitleInfodemic preparedness and COVID-19: searching about public health and social measures is associated with digital health literacy in university students
Author(s)Rosário, Rafaela
Fronteira, Inês
Martins, Maria R. O.
Augusto, Cláudia
Silva, Maria José
Messer, Melanie
Martins, Silvana
Duarte, Ana
Ramos, Neida
Rathmann, Katharina
Okan, Orkan
Dadaczynski, Kevin
Keywordsdigital health literacy
public health and social measures
Issue date28-Sep-2022
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
CitationRosário, R.; Fronteira, I.; Martins, M.R.O.; Augusto, C.; Silva, M.J.; Messer, M.; Martins, S.; Duarte, A.; Ramos, N.; Rathmann, K.; Okan, O.; Dadaczynski, K. Infodemic Preparedness and COVID-19: Searching about Public Health and Social Measures Is Associated with Digital Health Literacy in University Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 12320.
Abstract(s)We aimed to evaluate the associations between information searching about public health and social measures (PHSM) and university students’ digital health literacy (DHL) related to the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 3,084 Portuguese university students (75.7% females), with an average age of 24.2 (SD = 7.5). Sociodemographic data, DHL questionnaire and online information concerning PHSM were gathered. Cox proportional hazards models were performed. Results: Students who searched for personal protective measures achieved in shorter time sufficient “evaluating reliability” (HR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.1; 1.7) and “determining relevance” (HR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.2; 1.8). Searching for surveillance and response measures was associated with sufficient “determining relevance” (HR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.1; 1.9). Finally, those students who searched for environmental, economic and psychosocial measures achieved in shorter time “determining relevance” (HR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.0; 1.4). Conclusions: Searching for PHSM was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of achieving sufficient DHL subscales in a shorter time. Further studies are needed, including developing strategies to increase the availability of high-quality information concerning public health and social measures and to improve (digital) health literacy.
DescriptionThe following supporting information can be downloaded at:, Figure S1: Internet search queries (frequencies in %).
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ESE-CIE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais / Papers in International Journals

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