Analysis of information related to chloroquine and ivermectin in the digital media Youtube and Instagram: Relation between Covid-19 and infodemic
Objective: To analyze drug information on Brazilian social media regarding Covid-19 treatment. Methods: This was a cross-sectional qualitative-quantitative descriptive study. We analyzed publications related to chloroquine and ivermectin, indicated as possible adjuvants in the treatment of Covid-19, on Instagram and Youtube social media. We selected the first 100 publications from the terms “chloroquine and “ivermectin” and hashtags “#chloroquine” and “#ivermectin”. The analyses were divided into characteristics and engagement of the publications, content analysis, and information type classification. Descriptive analysis was used to represent absolute and relative values and the dispersion of the sample from the parameter of maximum and minimum values of each publication. Results: It was shown that Instagram presented the highest number of total publications referring to chloroquine and that media contained (n=6) publications made by health professionals. On the other hand, Youtube showed the highest number of followers in profiles published about the drugs and Covid-19 and obtained n=21 publications made by verified profiles. 53.8% of the publications about chloroquine were related to Covid-19 treatment in Instagram and 74.4% referring to ivermectin related to early treatment. On Youtube, 70.3% of the information about ivermectin addressed efficacy in pharmacological treatment. About the type of information, for ivermectin in both media, there was a prevalence of malinformation. For chloroquine on Instagram, 53.9% were classified as disinformation, and on Youtube, 73.4% contained the correct information. Conclusion: The regulation and control of health information in social media and the amplification and reorganization of pharmaceutical assistance activities and management of health services are necessary to ensure health promotion and rational drug use.
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