Investigation of the relationships between perceived causes of COVID-19, attitudes towards vaccine and level of trust in information sources from the perspective of Infodemic: the case of Turkey

Karabela S. N., Coskun F., Hosgor H.

BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.21, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12889-021-11262-1
  • Journal Name: BMC PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background The main purpose in this study carried out from the perspective of infodemic was to investigate the relationships between individuals' perceived causes of COVID-19, their attitudes towards vaccine and their levels of trust in information sources in terms of various descriptive characteristics. Methods In this cross-sectional and correlational study conducted with 1216 individuals from different provinces of Turkey, the Perception of Causes of COVID-19 (PCa-COVID-19) Scale was used. In addition, a questionnaire including the participants' descriptive characteristics, their attitudes towards vaccine and their level of trust in information sources about Covid-19 was used. Results The mean age of the participants was 35.9 +/- 12.3 years. Of them, 62.5% were women, 59.0% were married, and 62.1% were university graduates. As for their view of having the Covid-19 vaccine, 54.1% thought to have it, 16.2% did not think, and 29.7% were undecided. Although the correlation was not significant, of the participants, those who considered having vaccination mostly trusted YouTube as their source of information. Of the participants, those whose level of trust in government institutions and health professionals was high displayed significantly more favorable attitudes towards vaccine. The participants obtained the highest mean score from the Conspiracy Theories subscale of the PCa-COVID-19 scale. There was a positive and low-level relationship between attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccine, and the Conspiracy Theories (r: 0.214) and Faith Factors (r: 0.066) sub-dimensions of the PCa-COVID-19 Scale. Conclusions The level of vaccine hesitancy in Turkey is at an alarming level, and the virus is defined by moderate conspiracy theories. In this context, in the fight against infodemic, it is critical to implement mechanisms that can reveal misinformation and to plan initiatives that can increase the health literacy levels of societies.