Factors Associated with Public Awareness of Health Hoaxes in Indonesia
Background - With the advancement of technology, Internet has been a platform for its 1.8 billion users worldwide to search
for and spread information of any field, e.g. health information. However, much information available online can be
misleading or even maliciously inaccurate (hoaxes). Hence, it is important to raise public awareness and understanding against
health hoaxes to prevent fraud information. The objective of this study is to analyse the key factors that contribute public
awareness toward health hoaxes in Indonesia.Methods: A cross-sectional study using validated web-based questionnaires was
conducted. Overall awareness score was computed to evaluate the outcome variables. Multivariable logistic regression was
employed to identify independent factors associated with health hoaxes awareness level. Results: A total of 355 participants
with a mean age 23.86±7.40 years were included in this study;59% of which had low awareness towards medical hoaxes.
While multivariate analysis identified four factors associated with high health hoaxes awareness: older age (OR: 5.00; 95% CI
0.55 – 45.51), healthcare-related occupation (OR: 5.1; 95% CI 3.21 – 8.09), perception towards invalid information (OR: 2.25;
95% CI 1.42 – 3.56), and availability of reliable information sources (OR: 5.91; 95% CI 1.195 – 17.91). Conclusion: This study
reveals various factors associated with public awareness of health hoaxes on social media and suggests that limited knowledge
and low perception towards hoaxes are the key components that contribute to a low health hoaxes awareness level. Therefore,
more public health promotion efforts and educational events are needed to increase public awareness.
Keywords - Health information, hoaxes, public awareness