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Navigating the COVID-19 infodemic in those living with kidney disease: access and trust in health information sources and the association with anxiety and depression
journal contributionposted on 22.11.2021, 11:41 by Thomas J Wilkinson, Courtney J Lightfoot, Jared Palmer, Alice C Smith
During COVID-19, access to trustworthy news and information is vital to help people understand the crisis. The consumption of COVID-19-related information is likely an important factor associated with the increased anxiety and psychological distress that has been observed. We aimed to understand how people living with a kidney condition access information about COVID-19 and how this impacts their anxiety, stress and depression.
Participants living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were recruited from 12 sites across England, UK. Respondents were asked to review how often they accessed and trusted 11 sources of potential COVID-19 information. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale–21 Items was used to measure depression, anxiety and stress. The 14-item Short Health Anxiety Inventory measured health anxiety.
A total of 236 participants were included (age 62.8 [11.3] years, male [56%], transplant recipients [51%], non-dialysis [49%]). The most frequently accessed source of health information was television/radio news, followed by official government press releases and medical institution press releases. The most trusted source was via consultation with healthcare staff. Higher anxiety, stress and depression were associated with less access and trust in official government press releases. Education status had a large influence on information trust and access.
Traditional forms of media remain a popular source of health information in those living with kidney conditions. Interactions with healthcare professionals were the most trusted source of health information. Our results provide evidence for problematical associations of COVID-19 related information exposure with psychological strain and could serve as an orientation for recommendations.