Cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and risk perception mediate the association between problematic social media use and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine

Ahorsu, D.K., Lin, C.-Y., Alimoradi, Z., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Chen, H.-P., Broström, A., Timpka, T. and Pakpour, A.H., 2022. Cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and risk perception mediate the association between problematic social media use and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines, 10 (1): 122.

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Abstract

Vaccination is the most effective way to control the COVID-19 pandemic, but vaccination hesitancy threatens this effort worldwide. Consequently, there is a need to understand what influences individuals’ intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Restriction of information gathering on societal developments to social media may influence attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination through exposure to disinformation and imbalanced arguments. The present study examined the association between problematic social media use and intention to get the COVID-19 vaccine, taking into account the mediating roles of cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and COVID-19 risk perception. In a cross-sectional survey study, a total of 10,843 residents of Qazvin City, Iran completed measures on problematic social media use, fear of COVID-19, cyberchondria, COVID-19 risk perception, and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results showed that there was no direct association between problematic social media use and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Nonetheless, cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and COVID-19 risk perception (each or serially) mediated associations between problematic social media use and intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine. These results add to the understanding of the role of problematic social media use in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, i.e., it is not the quantity of social media use per se that matters. This knowledge of the mediating roles of cyberchondria, fear of COVID-19, and COVID-19 risk perception can be used by public health experts and policymakers when planning educational interventions and other initiatives in COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Vaccines
Creators: Ahorsu, D.K., Lin, C.-Y., Alimoradi, Z., Griffiths, M.D., Chen, H.-P., Broström, A., Timpka, T. and Pakpour, A.H.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 14 January 2022
Volume: 10
Number: 1
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.3390/vaccines10010122DOI
1508859Other
Rights: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 Jan 2022 14:09
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2022 14:09
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45362

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