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Misinformation and health

A cross-journal collection

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The spread of false or misleading health information, now a major public health concern, has become more pronounced in the last two decades with the help of the social media ecosystem and has been highlighted most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although many consequences of misinformation are immediately apparent, it also carries with it the danger of more insidious effects. With this in mind, and with more and more people turning to the internet in search of health information, misinformation requires greater action from those working in public health research, policy and practice.

We published research on: 

  • Assess health misinformation trends and prevalence
  • Understand the interactive mechanisms and factors that make it possible to spread health misinformation through social media
  • Determine the impact of social media tools in the dissemination of health misinformation and on the development and reproduction of unhealthy or dangerous behaviors
  • Assess which strategies are best in combating and reducing the negative impact of health misinformation
  • Determine how individuals interact with health misinformation online
  • Understand psychological drivers on susceptibility to misinformation
  • Explore the characteristics of vulnerable populations to misinformation
  • Understand how misinformation exacerbates cyberchondria and other mental health problems
  • Understand misinformation in global health crises
  • Investigate the impact of misleading research on policy decisions
  • Understand how health research and policy can be used to minimize harms from misinformation
  • Propose approaches, tools and innovations in knowledge translation to provide reliable and quality information to meet policy and public needs

Participating Journals:

  1. Overweight and obesity are common problems among teenagers regardless of ethnicity, race, and socio-economic status. Therefore, this study aims to explore the social and environmental factors impacting adolesc...

    Authors: Lida Shams, Fatemeh Shafiei and Zahra Sadremomtaz
    Citation: BMC Nutrition 2024 10:19
  2. The proliferation of false and misleading health claims poses a major threat to public health. This ongoing “infodemic” has prompted numerous organizations to develop tools and approaches to manage the spread ...

    Authors: Anne E. Sundelson, Amelia M. Jamison, Noelle Huhn, Sarah-Louise Pasquino and Tara Kirk Sell
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:1662
  3. The proliferation of health misinformation on social media is a growing public health concern. Online communities for mental health (OCMHs) are also considered an outlet for exposure to misinformation. This st...

    Authors: Nicole Bizzotto, Gert-Jan de Bruijn and Peter Johannes Schulz
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:1577
  4. The spread of misinformation of all types threatens people’s safety and interrupts resolutions. COVID-19 vaccination has been a widely discussed topic on social media platforms with numerous misleading and fal...

    Authors: Heba Ismail, Nada Hussein, Rawan Elabyad, Salma Abdelhalim and Mourad Elhadef
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:1193
  5. TikTok, a social media platform for creating and sharing short videos, has seen a surge in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. To analyse the Italian vaccine conversation on TikTok, we downloaded a sample...

    Authors: Lorenza Parisi, Simone Mulargia, Francesca Comunello, Vittoria Bernardini, Arianna Bussoletti, Carla Rita Nisi, Luisa Russo, Ilaria Campagna, Barbara Lanfranchi, Ileana Croci, Eleonora Grassucci and Francesco Gesualdo
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:880
  6. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased online interactions and the spread of misinformation. Some researchers anticipate benefits stemming from improved public awareness of the value of vaccines while others worr...

    Authors: Jean-Christophe Boucher, So Youn Kim, Geneviève Jessiman-Perreault, Jack Edwards, Henry Smith, Nicole Frenette, Abbas Badami and Lisa Allen Scott
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:694
  7. Probiotics have been deemed multipotent and unprecedentedly applied in the health field recently. However, there are challenges in promoting credible and reliable resources while avoiding misinformation regard...

    Authors: Chun-Hui Jiang, Jia-Jia Xu, Chao Xu, Shi-Yue Chen, Jia-Yun Chen, Jing-Song Xia, Zhuan Liao, Wen-Bin Zou and Xue Fang
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:574
  8. Tackling infodemics with flooding misinformation is key to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet only a few studies have attempted to understand the characteristics of the people who believe in misinformation.

    Authors: Sooyoung Kim, Ariadna Capasso, Shahmir H. Ali, Tyler Headley, Ralph J. DiClemente and Yesim Tozan
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2022 22:2114
  9. People increasingly use the Internet to seek health information. However, the overall quality of online health information remains low. This situation is exacerbated by the unprecedented “infodemic”, which has...

    Authors: Wenjing Pian, Laibao Lin, Baiyang Li, Chunxiu Qin and Huizhong Lin
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2022 22:2001
  10. For decades, corporate undermining of scientific consensus has eroded the scientific process worldwide. Guardrails for protecting science-informed processes, from peer review to regulatory decision making, hav...

    Authors: Genna Reed, Yogi Hendlin, Anita Desikan, Taryn MacKinney, Emily Berman and Gretchen T. Goldman
    Citation: Journal of Public Health Policy 2021 42:318