Lately, the outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the world.1 In Saudi Arabia, the primary case of COVID-19 was recognized in March 2020 and it started to unfold quickly after that. Consequently, the Saudi authorities launched a variety of steps to stop the fast unfold of the virus, which included restrictions on the transportation and academic sectors. To cut back the unfold of the virus, the whole inhabitants of Saudi Arabia was subsequently positioned underneath a basic curfew. Nonetheless, the unfold of the illness couldn’t be contained and the variety of circumstances rose drastically to over 145,000 by the 18th of June.2,3 Whereas no particular vaccine had been invented in opposition to COVID-19 through the early section of the outbreak, it was reported that a number of therapy regimens prescribed underneath totally different circumstances might management the severity and mortality charges of the virus to a level with some unwanted side effects, though extra proof was wanted.4
Merchandise derived from pure sources have historically been thought of the one therapy choice for numerous ailments. To strengthen the immune system, pure merchandise are extensively used with out a prescription.5 Nonetheless, the herbal-drug interplay is a significant drawback of utilizing natural merchandise.6 Lately, medical misinformation on the effectiveness of pure treatments corresponding to pepper, chili, black seeds, honey, onion, and garlic, and so forth. as preventive therapy has been spreading at an alarming price on social media.7,8 Moreover, there has additionally been different misinformation on questionable therapy strategies like killing the virus by gargling with salty water or myrrh to stop entry into the lung. The unfold of such misinformation can have disastrous penalties. In Nigeria, well being officers found many circumstances of chloroquine overdose following the unfold of misinformation within the media about its efficacy as a therapy for COVID-19.9 With out the correct understanding or consciousness, most populations might be simply misled by this misinformation, which is unlucky as a result of research have proven that pure treatments will help promote or keep good particular person well being if taken correctly however they can not treatment the illness or stop an infection.7,8,10,11 Moreover, misinformation may additionally cut back the validity of recent scientific discoveries relating to the therapy or vaccination of this illness.12
To one of the best of creator’s information, there isn’t a proof supporting the effectiveness of pure treatments as both a safeguard in opposition to the virus or a treatment for it. The World Well being Group (WHO) has additionally confirmed the shortage of proof on this side.13 Sadly, about 80% of the inhabitants in developed nations nonetheless consider in pure treatments with none regulation.14 It’s endorsed that policymakers embrace extra instructional initiatives that enhance public consciousness of preventive measures and route illness transmission. Moreover, to make sure affected person security, the usage of pure merchandise should be evidence-based.2
The rise of social media utilization through the pandemic has turned it right into a supply of data regarding COVID-19. Chan et al and Saud et al have particularly highlighted the significance of social media as a viable software for fast information dissemination through the early section of COVID-19.15,16 To fight the misinformation, the Saudi Ministry of Well being (MOH) has began broadcasting consciousness movies via social media platforms like Fb, Twitter, and Instagram. Moreover, the MOH has additionally initiated consciousness packages to teach the general public on not simply the virus, but in addition correct methods of washing fingers and carrying masks, the significance of curfew, and the way the aforementioned measures and social distancing will help management the speed of viral transmission.17 Moreover, the MOH has additionally issued consciousness tips in numerous languages to boost consciousness of each citizen and non-citizen residents in regards to the virus, the mandatory precautions in opposition to the virus, and the implications of not complying with directions. Along with Arabic, the rules have been written in English, Filipino, Portuguese, Russian, French, and Urdu. These tips have been printed via the MOH web site, the official social media accounts of the federal government, and despatched by way of textual content messages to everybody in Saudi Arabia.18
Analysis on the impression of social media on the extent of well being consciousness relating to COVID-19 medical misinformation within the Saudi Arabian area stays scarce. Therefore, this present examine goals to fill that hole by evaluating the affect of social media platforms on the extent of well being consciousness amongst the inhabitants by way of medical misinformation about the usage of pure treatments in opposition to the COVID-19 an infection. Moreover, to report the participant’s habits adjustments towards utilizing pure treatments as protecting measures by estimating the commonest pure treatments stopped used after watching the notice movies related to age, gender, and academic stage.
Research Design and Inhabitants
A web based descriptive cross-sectional examine was performed anonymously within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between the first of Could and the thirtieth of June 2020. This examine was permitted by the Biomedical Ethics Committee of the School of Medication, Umm Alqura College, and was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Each one among Saudi Arabia’s basic inhabitants (GP) aged 18 years and above who watched the notice movies broadcasted by Saudi’s MOH have been included within the examine. The contributors have been excluded in the event that they have been youthful than 18 or they’d not watched the notice movies. We had supposed to carry out a community-based nationwide sampling survey, but it surely was not possible as a result of ongoing pandemic and the necessity for social distancing. Subsequently, the information was collected by way of a web-based Google survey, which included a web-based knowledgeable consent kind on the primary web page. It was additionally made clear that participation on this examine was completely voluntary. Individuals have been then requested to finish the questionnaire.
Pattern Dimension Calculation
The pattern dimension was calculated utilizing model 3.0 of OpenEpi, taking into consideration the inhabitants dimension of Saudi Arabian adults (18 years and above), which is roughly 34 million.19 The minimal required pattern dimension to attain a 95% confidence interval and a 5% margin of error was 369 contributors. About 1300 contributors have been enrolled within the present examine; nevertheless, solely 692 samples met the inclusion standards of the examine and have been included within the evaluation.
To evaluate the impact of media on elevating the extent of well being consciousness within the inhabitants relating to the medical misinformation about the usage of pure treatments in opposition to COVID-19 an infection, an 11-item questionnaire was developed. The format and content material of the questionnaire have been reviewed by 4 consultants within the area of medical immunology, household medication, preventive medication, and scientific vitamin respectively to judge the appropriateness, relevance, readability, and adequacy of the questions. The questionnaire was designed in English and translated into Arabic (the native language of the contributors). The ultimate Arabic questionnaire was pre-tested by the 4 consultants (native Arabic audio system) and 10 volunteers from the final inhabitants. The ultimate questionnaire was modified based mostly on the suggestions.
The questionnaire was divided into two sections. The primary part included 5 questions that have been used to judge the impact of the media on elevating the extent of well being consciousness in Saudi society through the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary query requested the contributors if they’ve watched the notice movies correcting the misinformation about utilizing pure treatments (herbs and meals dietary supplements) as preventive medication. In the event that they answered sure, they’d proceed with the subsequent query. If their solutions have been no, they have been excluded from the examine. The following two questions requested them in regards to the sources of those movies and the way they accessed them. The fourth query requested them how these movies affected the extent of their consciousness by altering their beliefs and belief in the usage of pure treatments to battle COVID-19. The ultimate query on this part was to judge the behavioral adjustments of the contributors who watched the notice movies by asking them which of the 14 listed objects (commonest herbs and protecting measures) that have been circulated through the outbreak on social media had they stopped utilizing.20 The second part consisted of six questions in regards to the contributors’ basic info, corresponding to the realm of residence, nationality, gender, age, instructional stage, and well being standing.
The obtained information was filtered and put via the IBM SPSS model 20 (SPSS, Inc. Chicago, IL, USA). Share evaluation and chi-square take a look at have been carried out. Statistical significance was thought of at a p worth lower than 0.05.
Traits of the Research Individuals
A complete of 692 folks answered “Sure” to the primary query. The demographic traits of the sufferers are summarized in Table 1. Almost half (47.4%) of the contributors have been from the Western area, adopted by almost one-third (30.1%) from the central area, and eight.8% from the japanese area. The bulk (95.7%) of the contributors have been Saudi, with most of them being girls (76.6%). Greater than half (58.4%) of the contributors have been younger adults (18–40 years), whereas greater than one-third (37.6%) have been middle-aged adults (41–60 years). Roughly 83.1% of the contributors have been college graduates holding a bachelor’s or postgraduate diploma. Roughly 31.2% of the contributors had present power well being issues.
Desk 1 Demographic Knowledge of Research Individuals Who Have Seen the Consciousness Movies, Saudi Arabia (n=692)
Table 2 presents the odds of contributors who’ve watched the notice movies, sources of data, and the perceived results of watching the notice. Almost half of the contributors (55.4%) reported having watched an consciousness video. Social media was the principle channel via which they watched the movies (78.9%), adopted by tv (14.9%), and the Web (6.2%). When it comes to the notice movies’ sources, Saudi MOH was probably the most reported (71.5%), adopted by the WHO (13.6%). When it comes to the diploma of impact the movies had on the contributors, 69.5% of respondents reported it having a profound impact, 24.4% having some impact, and the remaining 6.1% having no impact.
Desk 2 Frequency of Watching Consciousness Movies to Appropriate for the Medical Info of Herbs Function Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic, Its Supply, and Impact (n=692)
Figure 1 shows the herbs and pure merchandise that have been stopped as a result of impact of watching the notice movies as reported by the contributors. Essentially the most continuously used pure merchandise have been salt water (32.1%), Myrrh (17.6%), garlic (12.9%), black seeds (11%), chili pepper (10.7%), honey (9.7%), and lemon (9.1%). The least reported have been ginger (5.7%), banana (3.5%), and olive oil (2.8%).
Determine 1 Herbs and pure merchandise that have been stopped used after watching the notice movies.
Table 3 presents the affiliation between the impact of consciousness movies on elevating the extent of consciousness about pure treatments used through the COVID-19 pandemic and the demographic variables. The survey reveals that the movies had the next impact on contributors from the Central area than from the Japanese area, with statistical significance (p=0.044). The optimistic results have been larger amongst contributors who had a low training stage (beneath highschool) than amongst these with a post-graduate diploma (p=0.015). Nonetheless, no important variations have been noticed between gender (male vs feminine), age teams, and amongst contributors with power well being issues.
Desk 3 Affiliation Between Demographic and Impact of Watching Consciousness Movies on Altering the Use of Herbs or the Pure Merchandise Through the COVID-19 Pandemic
The outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a public well being emergency in January 2020 by WHO and was named a pandemic in March 2020. Sadly, as a result of lack of therapy choices for COVID-19, many individuals have turned to different options, together with the usage of natural extracts and pure merchandise to enhance their immunity and cut back the chance of an infection, which has not confirmed to be efficient. Constructing public consciousness is thus essential to the efforts of controlling the unfold of COVID-19.21 Therefore, the principle focus of this examine was to judge the impact of the Saudi MOH’s consciousness movies broadcasted by way of social and mass media on elevating the extent of well being consciousness relating to the medical misinformation of pure treatments in opposition to COVID-19.
On this examine, many of the contributors have been from the western and central areas. Our findings present that social media was the principle supply of data, which confirms what Alyami et al reported – that the largest motivators for contributors to pursue natural merchandise have been social media and the Web.2 Alanezi et al additionally noticed of their examine that the majority of their contributors favored getting information updates from press releases and on-line authorities web sites over social media websites.22 Equally, many of the movies watched by our contributors have been sourced from the Saudi Ministry of Well being (71.5%), adopted by the WHO (13.6%). These findings corroborated the findings of Kwok et al, who reported that the majority contributors relied extra on the Saudi Ministry of Well being than on acknowledged our bodies such because the WHO and healthcare consultants with regards to Covid-19.23 This may be defined by the Saudi folks’s earlier optimistic expertise with the MOH through the Center East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2012.24 When it comes to the impression the movies had on the usage of herbs or pure merchandise through the COVID-19 pandemic, greater than 75% of the respondents reported a major impact. This might be as a result of the usage of natural merchandise has change into widespread amongst sufferers, together with of their battle with infectious ailments corresponding to MERS and SARS, as Hwang et al reported, thus encouraging extra researchers to doc natural merchandise’ use.25
After watching the notice movies, there was a change within the habits of contributors regarding the usage of pure treatments as protecting measures. Frequent use of pure treatments was discontinued, significantly the usage of saltwater, Myrrh, and garlic. This means that the Saudi MOH’s use of social media to broadcast consciousness movies has had a optimistic impact on the inhabitants’s beliefs and practices relating to the usage of pure treatments as protecting measures. This consequence corroborates the findings of a earlier examine analyzing the impression of social media platforms on public well being safety through the COVID-19 pandemic. The earlier examine reported an total optimistic impression on public well being safety in opposition to COVID-19 amongst those that acquired correct pandemic-related info over social media.26
The impact of the movies on the usage of ginger, banana, and olive oil was minimal, as they have been the least discontinued pure treatments used as protecting measures. This means that the inhabitants nonetheless has comparatively excessive religion in the usage of ginger and its potential to enhance the immunity of people. This helps the findings of earlier research by Alyami et al and Alotiby et al which additionally reported the excessive reputation of ginger, onion, and garlic within the basic inhabitants as a manner of enhancing immunity and lowering the chance of creating COVID-19.2,20 Relating to banana and olive oil, the prevalence of their use by the final inhabitants was very low compared to different pure treatments on the outset.20 This explains why they have been the least discontinued pure treatments. Per the survey, optimistic results of the broadcasted consciousness movies on altering the contributors’ beliefs and belief towards the usage of pure treatments to battle COVID-19 an infection have been reported extra in contributors from the Central than from the Japanese area (p=0.044). This is likely to be as a result of inhabitants range within the Central area of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh, the capital metropolis of Saudi Arabia, is positioned right here. Most individuals residing in Riyadh moved there from totally different Saudi areas for both work or research.27 These optimistic results have been additionally larger amongst contributors with a low training stage (p=0.015) than those that had a post-graduate diploma. These findings have been in accordance with a earlier examine by Alyami et al, which confirmed that contributors with larger ranges of training had higher information about utilizing pure treatments as preventive measures in opposition to COVID-19.2 As well as, different researchers have additionally proven that individuals with the next stage of training have a greater understanding in regards to the preventive steps of varied ailments.28,29
Bettering the notice of the focused teams, significantly the low-educated ones, is important to dealing with the COVID-19 menace. A ignorance may end up in the worsening of the state of affairs. Consciousness campaigns utilizing correct info from credible sources can treatment the difficulty of misinformation. These campaigns must also be energetic in enhancing public attitudes in the direction of efficient preventive measures. The findings of the current examine have additionally proven that the usage of social media channels could positively affect public well being consciousness and encourage optimistic behavioral adjustments. Thus, we consider that public well being authorities ought to use social media platforms as an efficient software to extend public well being consciousness via the dissemination of informative movies to focused populations. Nonetheless, extra analysis is required to validate how social media networks can be utilized in a cross-cultural context to boost well being consciousness and adaptation to wholesome behaviors. There are additionally some limitations to our present examine. Our potential to outline causality amongst examine variables was restricted by the cross-sectional survey design of the examine. A web based questionnaire is a crucial limitation of this examine, which restricted our accessibility to a bigger pattern dimension as a result of lockdown state of affairs. The generalization of the present examine consequence can also be doubtlessly restricted because the examine was restricted to individuals who had entry to the net questionnaire.
Knowledge Sharing Assertion
The unique contributions offered within the examine are included within the article; additional inquiries might be directed to the corresponding creator.
Ethics Approval and Knowledgeable Consent
The present examine was permitted by the biomedical ethics committee of the School of Medication, Umm Alqura College, and that it was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The information have been collected by way of a web-based Google survey, which included a web-based knowledgeable consent kind on the primary web page, and participation on this examine was voluntary. As soon as the contributors select to take part within the examine after studying the knowledgeable consent on the survey’s entrance web page, they’re processed to finish the questionnaires.
The creator is grateful to the deanship of scientific analysis at Umm Al-Qura College, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, for the continual help.
Amna Abdullah Alotiby is the only creator of this text. The creator made a considerable contribution to conception and design, acquisition of knowledge, or evaluation and interpretation of knowledge; took half in drafting the article or revising it critically for necessary mental content material; agreed to undergo the present journal; gave remaining approval of the model to be printed; and comply with be accountable for all points of the work.
The creator declares that no funds have been obtained to conduct this analysis.
The creator declares no conflicts of curiosity for this work and that the analysis was performed within the absence of any business or monetary relationships that might be construed as a possible battle of curiosity.
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