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Healthcare Students' Knowledge and Distrust of COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

1Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang, Indonesia

2Politeknik Kesehatan Kementerian Kesehatan Malang, Indonesia

3Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan

Received: 28 Feb 2022; Published: 31 Aug 2022.
Open Access Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Public Health for Tropical and Coastal Region

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Introduction: The spread of various conspiracy theories (CT) is one of the causes of the difficulty in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to analyze the level of knowledge and distrust of healthcare students towards CT about COVID-19 and analyze what factors influence it.

Methods : This survey research involved 230 health students from higher education institution in Malang. The respondents were selected through purposive sampling techniques. Data collection used a questionnaire which was distributed online. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques, one-way ANOVA test, LSD test, Pearson correlation test, and calculation of the coefficient of determination.

Results: A total of 47.83% of students had knowledge scores that were in the good category, while only 7.39% of students had their CT scores in the good category. Length of study, degree program, and institution type have a significant effect on student knowledge, but CT scores were only influenced by institution type. Student knowledge was not significantly correlated to their distrust of CT about COVID-19.

Conclusion: The majority of health students still believe CT about COVID-19. Considering the findings, it is necessary to reformulate the curriculum for healthcare education to prepare the next pandemic.

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Keywords: conspiracy theory; COVID-19 pandemic; knowledge; misinformation; healthcare students

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