New Jersey ANI - January 22, ANI During a time in which depression rates are increasing day by day due to COVID - 19, a new study shows that people who feel depressed are more likely to believe in vaccine-related misinformation.
The study, co-authored by a Rutgers researcher, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.
The study found that people with moderate or greater symptoms of depression, such as little interest in doing things, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, poor appetite or overeating, and feeling bad about themselves, were more likely to believe at least 1 of 4 false statements about COVID-19 vaccines. Half as likely to be vaccinated were those who believed the statements to be true.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one-quarter of adults in the U.S. reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the COVID - 19 epidemic. People suffering from depression may be at a higher risk of COVID - 19, highlighting the need to address mental health disorders.
According to the data, 29.3 per cent of people with moderate or more depressive symptoms supported this misinformation, compared to 15.1 per cent of those without.
The researchers didn't examine why the link might have been caused by a negative bias, which caused people suffering from depression to focus more on content that evoked negative emotions.
The epidemic has taken a serious toll on the mental health of Americans, especially young people, said Katherine Ognyanova, associate professor of communication at Rutgers' School of Communication and Information. More than ever, we must watch for depressive symptoms in our communities, but platforms and media have a role to play in order to avoid undesirable health outcomes. The researchers used data from the research group The COVID States Project, which conducted surveys about once every six weeks since April 2020. The data from 15,464 adults in the U.S. was analyzed by the researchers. Participants were asked to rate vaccine-related misinformation as accurate statement is true inaccurate statement is not true or not sure. The four statements of misinformation included The COVID 19 vaccines will alter people's DNA, The COVID 19 vaccines contain microchips that could track people, The COVID 19 vaccines contain the lung tissue of aborted fetuses, and The COVID 19 vaccines can make it harder to get pregnant. Over the course of two weeks, participants completed a health questionnaire to measure major depressive symptoms.