Presentation (Project) Title

Cyberchondria on Campus: COVID-19

Mentor Information

Donna Ettel-Gambino (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Where students receive their information about COVID-19 may impact their compliance with the CDC’s guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Studies have shown that receiving information about COVID-19 from non-credible sources, such as social media, may negatively impact people’s perception on the COVID-19 virus, leading to variations in compliance to recommended guidelines. Limited research has suggested that viewership of politically motivated media may affect the compliance of COVID-19 guidelines by individuals. This project analyzes the association between students’ political affiliation and their opinions regarding face-touching, cough/sneeze etiquette, vaccination, Internet reliability, and restaurant attendance. The population consisted of survey responses from students within the University of South Florida’s Judy Genshaft Honors College. A quantitative causal comparative approach was utilized. Initially, a MANOVA was conducted to identify significant trends across groups. Data is still being collected; however, differences in political affiliation appear to result in differences of opinion regarding COVID-19 topics. Results from MANOVA showed statistically significant differences between political affiliation and COVID-19 opinions. Regardless of political affiliation, 48% of students eat at restaurants and 42% trust COVID-19 Internet information. Conservative students may trust Internet-based COVID-19 information less than liberal students. This study’s results provide insight on the students’ likelihood to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when available. Additionally, these results may assist policymakers in determining the potential use of future online media within healthcare. Lastly, this information may help universities determine more effective ways to convince non- compliant students to follow COVID-19 guidelines, and in return, slow the spread of the virus.

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Cyberchondria on Campus: COVID-19

Where students receive their information about COVID-19 may impact their compliance with the CDC’s guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Studies have shown that receiving information about COVID-19 from non-credible sources, such as social media, may negatively impact people’s perception on the COVID-19 virus, leading to variations in compliance to recommended guidelines. Limited research has suggested that viewership of politically motivated media may affect the compliance of COVID-19 guidelines by individuals. This project analyzes the association between students’ political affiliation and their opinions regarding face-touching, cough/sneeze etiquette, vaccination, Internet reliability, and restaurant attendance. The population consisted of survey responses from students within the University of South Florida’s Judy Genshaft Honors College. A quantitative causal comparative approach was utilized. Initially, a MANOVA was conducted to identify significant trends across groups. Data is still being collected; however, differences in political affiliation appear to result in differences of opinion regarding COVID-19 topics. Results from MANOVA showed statistically significant differences between political affiliation and COVID-19 opinions. Regardless of political affiliation, 48% of students eat at restaurants and 42% trust COVID-19 Internet information. Conservative students may trust Internet-based COVID-19 information less than liberal students. This study’s results provide insight on the students’ likelihood to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when available. Additionally, these results may assist policymakers in determining the potential use of future online media within healthcare. Lastly, this information may help universities determine more effective ways to convince non- compliant students to follow COVID-19 guidelines, and in return, slow the spread of the virus.