In a major study, researchers have found that excessive use of social media for Kovid-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma.
“We found that the use of social media was rewarding up to a point, as it provided informative, emotional, and peer support related to Kovid-19 health topics,” said study author Boo Zhong from Penn State University in the US.
“However, excessive use of social media led to mental health issues,” Zhong said.
The study, published in Computers in Human Behavior, involved 320 participants living in urban districts of Wuhan, China.
In February 2020, the team gave participants an online survey that examined how they access health information on social media, especially WeChat, China’s most popular social media mobile app with family members, friends and colleagues And share.
The team used an instrument created to measure Facebook addiction to assess participants’ use of WeChat.
Using a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, the survey assessed participants’ views of WeChat as providing informational, emotional, and peer support.
The survey assessed participants’ health behavior changes as a result of using social media.
The survey conducted investigations related to the use of WeChat that alter participants’ health behaviors, asking them to rate such a rate, “Health information on WeChat has changed many of my health behaviors, such as face masks Not limited to wear, use of sanitizer, or hand washing. ”
To assess depression, researchers used a 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale in which participants made statements such as, “I can’t experience any positive feelings,” and “I felt that life was meaningless . ”
“We found that Wuhan residents received tremendous informational and peer support, but slightly less emotional support when they reached out and shared health information about Kovid-On WeChat,” said Zhong.
More than half of the respondents reported some level of depression, of which about 20 percent suffered from moderate or severe depression.
Among respondents who reported secondary trauma, the majority reported low (80 percent) levels of trauma, while some reported moderate (13 percent) and high (7 percent) levels of trauma.
None of the participants reported having a depressive or traumatic disorder before the survey was conducted.
“Our results suggest that social media use was related to both depression and secondary trauma during the early part of the Kovid-19 outbreak in Wuhan,” said Zhong.
“Findings suggest that periodically applying brakes on social media to improve people’s mental well-being during the Kovid-19 epidemic may help.
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