AccScience Publishing / IJPS / Volume 9 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/ijps.406
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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

Karina Pisco1* Fernando Ortega2 Pilar Martin3 Chinedu Obioha3 Denice Curtis4
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1 Spay Project, Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
2 Department of Health Sciences, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
3 College of Nursing and Public Health, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, United States
4 Department of Public Health, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, United States
IJPS 2023, 9(1), 82–88;
Submitted: 12 November 2022 | Accepted: 6 April 2023 | Published: 18 April 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

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.

Disinformation infodemic
Informative messages

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Conflict of interest
We declare that there are no conflicts of interest in this study.
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International Journal of Population Studies, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8606 Print ISSN: 2424-8150, Published by AccScience Publishing