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Do we really have to talk about that? Avoiding COVID-19 topics with close contacts.

Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen, Tengku Siti Aisha and A Manaf, Aini Maznina and Syed Zainuddin, Sharifah Sofiah (2021) Do we really have to talk about that? Avoiding COVID-19 topics with close contacts. In: 28th AMIC Annual Virtual Conference (Science Communication: Managing the Now and the Future), 20th November, 24th November and 4th December, Virtual. (Unpublished)

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As COVID-19 spread globally in 2020, it caused panic, anxiety, and uncertainty in terms of dealing with this novel health pandemic situation. Government officials, front-liners and health agencies worked relentlessly to manage the pandemic, by spreading awareness, enforcing SOP, and encouraging vaccination to curb infections. Paramount during this period was dissemination of accurate and updated information about COVID-19, whether through mediated or interpersonal platforms. Close contacts have a responsibility in making sure they disclose their health status to others to ensure that the infection does not spread in their local communities. Avoiding honest disclosures of COVID-19 status could be detrimental to others. Accordingly, this study will examine how individuals interact with close contacts and avoid topics related to COVID-19, from the perspective of Theory of Motivated Information Management (TMIM). TMIM has been applied in various health contexts to understand information avoidance, including avoiding conversations on end-of-life preferences with spouses (Rafferty et al., 2014), or sexual health topics with romantic partners (Tannebaum, 2015). In this study, we explore factors influencing COVID-19 information avoidance, such as anxiety, uncertainty discrepancy, outcome expectancy, and close contact’s target efficacy. Using a cross-sectional survey, the research instrument was distributed online among undergraduate students in Malaysia in November 2020 (N = 483). Overall, two hypotheses were not supported; anxiety is not significantly related to outcome expectancy or target efficacy. Target efficacy also mediates the relationship between outcome expectancy and information avoidance. The repercussion of these findings on TMIM, as well as factors that may influence health information management will be deliberated.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Slide Presentation)
Additional Information: 4622/94175
Uncontrolled Keywords: Close contacts; COVID-19; health communication; information avoidance; theory of motivate information management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General) > H61.8 Communication of information
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P87 Communication. Mass media
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T10.5 Communication of technical information
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Communication
Depositing User: Dr Tengku Siti Aisha Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2021 21:12
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 21:12
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/94175

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