|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 310
Need for a digital framework to manage infodemic for better mental health among elderly
Department of Preventive Medicine, Vijaya Medical and Educational Trust, Vijaya Group of Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Submission||05-Oct-2021|
|Date of Decision||30-Jan-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||19-Jul-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||11-Oct-2022|
MD Nilofur Banu
Department of Preventive Medicine, Vijaya Medical and Educational Trust, Vijaya Group of Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600026
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Banu N. Need for a digital framework to manage infodemic for better mental health among elderly. Al-Azhar Assiut Med J 2022;20:310
An infodemic is defined as an excessive quantity of information sharing among the public that makes it difficult to distinguish between evidence-based true information and a broad range of unreliable and false information, which eventually stirs anxiety and leads to concerns that solutions to a problem may become more difficult. With the increase in many social media platforms, there is a huge outbreak of false and unreliable information, which increases anxiety and panic attacks among the general population. Effect of infodemic may have even more serious effect on the more vulnerable population like the elderly, as older people make up the most exposed group, especially those who live alone, which may aggravate their mental disorders like anxiety and depression symptoms, further damaging their mental state .
Globally, it has been estimated that nearly 192 million people who are above the age of 60 years have been suffering from some form of mental or neurological disorders, and anxiety is one of the most prevalent disorders in this age group . Many studies have reported that increase in anxiety is a potential risk and can even lead to death among people over 75 years old with comorbidities ,. Indirectly, infodemic poses risks and threat to mental health, especially to the vulnerable population, like elderly, which may aggravate the underlying mental health issue like anxiety and cause serious effect on health and well-being; therefore, necessary efforts should be taken to combat infodemic, which will help in providing much safer digital platform and eventually lead to fruitful utility of this year’s theme of the International Day of Older Persons, that is, ‘Digital Equity for All Ages’  which emphasizes the importance of elderly peoples’ participation in the digital world in a more active and meaningful way so as to make the digital world more accessible to them, and if infodemic is not combated, digital equality may become a curse than a boon.
Hence, a framework needs to be created with the goal to create something like a ‘digital immune system’ for information, which should be equipped with ‘quality of necessary, relevant health information’ that would eventually fill the knowledge translation gap.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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