Start Date: 1st April 2022
End Date: 30th November 2022
The COVID-19 (C-19) pandemic continues to generate unprecedented quantities of misinformation and pseudoscientific ‘facts’ that influence people’s behaviour in ways that severely undermine public health mitigation strategies. National and local policymakers have expressed to us their ongoing concerns about misinformation and challenges experienced in attempting to counter it. A recent House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport inquiry on C-19 misinformation also recommended that the new regulator (OfCom) should ensure research is undertaken to find effective ways to mitigate its harms. More widely, the WHO, UN and US Surgeon General have expressed the same concerns.
To identify, characterise and synthesise accumulating research knowledge about C-19 misinformation in order to provide decision-makers with evidence they need to help tackle the spread and impacts of misinformation in the C-19 and future public health emergencies.
The project will have two components: (1) a living evidence map; and (2) a systematic review of interventions.
Living Evidence Map
To provide a conceptual overview of research evidence on misinformation in C-19, by identifying, classifying, publishing and maintaining an open access, online ‘living map’ (database) of empirical research studies, organised by sub-topic and other selected study characteristics.
To describe and assess the effectiveness of intervention strategies (selected policies and practices) that have been developed to correct, reduce or counter the spread of C-19 misinformation, and/or to mitigate its adverse impacts (harms).
We will engage with members of our Advisory Group and other stakeholders to inform development of the living map and systematic review, including: refinement of the coding scheme for the living map; and refinement of specific research questions and methods for the systematic review, and interpretation of its findings.
Further information will be posted on this page as we continue to develop this project.
For enquiries about this work, please contact Ian Shemilt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or James Thomas (email@example.com).