Trusted sources of information, perceived quality in communication, and health knowledge retention: A national study of COVID-19 pandemic in China

Invited presentation as part of the research panel, Risk/Crisis Communication Research Related to COVID-19 in Asia, chaired by Sriramesh, K., will be presented at the 28th International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom), July 2-3, 2021.

Abstract: This research presents the findings from a large-scale national online survey of citizens in Mainland China about the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the time of lockdown and post-pandemic. The study sheds light on the relationship between the trusted sources of COVID-19 information and the perceived quality in communication by jointly considering their impact on individuals’ knowledge retention of COVID-19 related facts. Results revealed that although individuals in China have relied on several major sources to seek COVID-19 information, the perceived quality of communication in user-generated content on social media remain lowest. Individuals’ knowledge retention on COVID-19 related health communication messages also varied by gender and by age. Implications of these findings for theory and public health practice are also discussed.

Juan Meng 

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