Identifying Health Equity Factors That Influence the Public’s Perception of COVID-19 Health Information and Recommendations: A Scoping Review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global public health and public trust in health recommendations. Trust in health information may waver in the context of health inequities. The objective of this scoping review is to map evidence on public perceptions of COVID-19 prevention information using the PROGRESS-Plus health equity framework. We systematically searched the MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PsycInfo, and Embase databases from January 2020 to July 2021. We identified 792 citations and 31 studies published in 15 countries that met all inclusion criteria. The majority (30/31; 96.7%) of the studies used an observational design (74.2% cross-sectional, 16.1% cohort, 6.5% case study, 3.2% experimental trials). Most studies (61.3%) reported on perception, understanding, and uptake, and 35.5% reported on engagement, compliance, and adherence to COVID-19 measures. The most frequently reported sources of COVID-related information were social media, TV, news (newspapers/news websites), and government sources. We identified five important equity factors related to public trust and uptake of recommendations: education and health literacy (19 studies; 61.3%), gender (15 studies; 48.4%), age (15 studies; 48.4%), socioeconomic status (11 studies; 35.5%), and place of residence (10 studies; 32.3%). Our review suggests that equity factors play a role in public perception of COVID-19 information and recommendations. A future systematic review could be conducted to estimate the impact of equity factors on perception and behavior outcomes.


  • Sayfi, Shahab
  • Alayche, Ibrahim
  • Magwood, Olivia
  • Gassanov, Margaret
  • Motilall, Ashley
  • Dewidar, Omar
  • Detambel, Nicole
  • Matthews, Micayla
  • Ahmed, Rukhsana
  • Schunemann, Holger
  • Pottie, Kevin

publication date

  • September 23, 2022