Interventions to Mitigate COVID-19 Misinformation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Kamila Janmohamed, Nathan Walter, Kate Nyhan, Kaveh Khoshnood, Joseph D. Tucker, Natalie Sangngam, Frederick L. Altice, Qinglan Ding, Allie Wong, Zachary M. Schwitzky, Chris T. Bauch, Munmun De Choudhury, Orestis Papakyriakopoulos, Navin Kumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends largely on individual and societal actions which are influenced by the quality and salience of the information to which they are exposed. Unfortunately, COVID-19 misinformation has proliferated. Despite growing attempts to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation, there is still uncertainty regarding the best way to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 misinformation. To address this gap, the current study uses a meta-analysis to evaluate the relative impact of interventions designed to mitigate COVID-19-related misinformation. We searched multiple databases and gray literature from January 2020 to September 2021. The primary outcome was COVID-19 misinformation belief. We examined study quality and meta-analysis was used to pool data with similar interventions and outcomes. 16 studies were analyzed in the meta-analysis, including data from 33378 individuals. The mean effect size of interventions to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation was positive, but not statistically significant [d = 2.018, 95% CI (−0.14, 4.18), p = .065, k = 16]. We found evidence of publication bias. Interventions were more effective in cases where participants were involved with the topic, and where text-only mitigation was used. The limited focus on non-U.S. studies and marginalized populations is concerning given the greater COVID-19 mortality burden on vulnerable communities globally. The findings of this meta-analysis describe the current state of the literature and prescribe specific recommendations to better address the proliferation of COVID-19 misinformation, providing insights helpful to mitigating pandemic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-857
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume26
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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