A Systematic Review on Social Media Health Communications and Behavioural Development among Indians in the COVID-19 Context

Maria Brony, Mumtaz Aini Alivi, Md Azalanshah Md Syed, Nasrullah Dharejo


Social media holds enormous power in directing the flow of health information during a health crisis and can tap into the individual and collective consciousness to make behavioural improvements. Being the third country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported worldwide, the magnitude of the pandemic was immense in the Indian context; timely health communications that prompt individuals to adopt preventive measures were crucial in the process of risk control. This systematic review consolidated evidence on the effect of COVID-related social media communications on the development of protective behaviours among the Indian population. A comprehensive search of PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar and CINAHL yielded 11 studies highlighting six themes related to social media and protective behaviours. The themes associated with the positive impact of social media include catalysing awareness, shaping psychological responses and perceptions at an individual level, behavioural changes at a community level and social media as the most influential media source for behavioural improvements. The negative effects comprise misinformation and disparities that emerge from social media health communications.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/smc.v12i2.6585


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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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