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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  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 Submission05-Oct-2021
Date of Decision30-Jan-2022
Date of Acceptance19-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
MD Nilofur Banu
Department of Preventive Medicine, Vijaya Medical and Educational Trust, Vijaya Group of Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600026
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/azmj.azmj_120_21

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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

How to cite this URL:
Banu N. Need for a digital framework to manage infodemic for better mental health among elderly. Al-Azhar Assiut Med J [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 27];20:310. Available from: http://www.azmj.eg.net/text.asp?2022/20/3/310/358034



Dear Sir,

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[1]. 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 [2].

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 [3]. 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 [3],[4]. 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’ [5] 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

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Naeem SB, Bhatti R. The Covid‐19 ‘infodemic’: a new front for information professionals. Health Inform Lib J 2020; 37:233–239.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Santini ZI, Jose PE, Cornwell EY, Koyanagi A, Nielsen L, Hinrichsen C et al. Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among older Americans (NSHAP): a longitudinal mediation analysis. Lancet Public Health 2020; 5:e62–e70.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Grolli RE, Mingoti ME, Bertollo AG, Luzardo AR, Quevedo J, Réus GZ, Ignácio ZM. Impact of COVID-19 in the mental health in elderly: psychological and biological updates. Mol Neurobiol 2021; 58:1905–1916.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ostir GV, Goodwin JS. High anxiety is associated with an increased risk of death in an older tri-ethnic population. J Clin Epidemiol 2006; 59:534–540.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Ageing. International Day of Older Persons. 2021. Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/ageing/international-day-of-older-persons-homepage.html.last. [Accessed October 5, 2021].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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