An assessment of the impact of formal and informal messages about COVID-19 on the knowledge and practices for prevention and control among rural and urban communities in Ecuador
This study was conducted to evaluate the impact of formal and informal messages transmitted to urban and rural communities in Ecuador, on the knowledge of prevention and control of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Six focus groups were carried out with six to eight people per group through Zoom platform, from August 2020 to April 2021; NVivo 12 software was used for the thematic analysis of the data. Thirty-nine people, including male and female, participated in the study with mean age 39 years. Main outcomes included: use of alternative medicine for prevention and control of COVID-19; religious acceptance; impact of COVID-19 on mental health; lack of understanding and knowledge of the disease; and the mixed messages shared through official and unofficial channels about virus prevention and control. The study demonstrates the importance of using formal channels of communication to transmit accurate information, to reach people regardless of their geographical location.
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