News Release

Early perceptions of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

Knowledge, perceptions, and preferred information sources related to COVID-19 among central Pennsylvania adults early in the pandemic: A mixed methods cross-sectional survey

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

A survey conducted in March 2020 reports that early concern for COVID-19 outmatched concern for influenza, but respondents may have been less focused on their perceived likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and more concerned with its severe impact on their health. Additionally, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advising social distancing recommendations in the early months of the pandemic, a majority of adults surveyed believed in the effectiveness of social distancing and intended to follow CDC guidelines. Health agency websites like the CDC were the most frequently identified as "trusted sources" for COVID-19 information, as opposed to substantial distrust in COVID-19 information from mass media and politicians. The study, conducted by researchers at Penn State University, was completed by almost 6,000 adults enrolled in a central Pennsylvania health care system in late March 2020. It suggests that knowledge about COVID-19 and adherence to behavioral recommendations was generally high.

Knowledge, Perceptions, and Preferred Information Sources Related to COVID-19 Among Central Pennsylvania Adults Early in the Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Cross-Sectional Survey

Lauren Jodi Van Scoy, MD, Department of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University.

Robert P. Lennon, MD, JD, et al

Departments of Medicine, Humanities, Public Health Sciences and Qualitative and Mixed Methods Core, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania


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