College of Health Professions

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 10:01:40



Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


Health misinformation is more prevalent than ever in the modern age and poses serious risks for those who believe it. Medical fallacies can become especially harmful during periods of widespread disease when the misinformed respond in ways that increase threats to public health. The purpose of this systematic review is to describe and critically appraise the evidence about how health misinformation during endemics and pandemics can influence behaviors and responses, as well as the implications of interventions affecting these behaviors. A systematic search of the literature with inclusion/exclusion criteria using CINAHL Plus with Full Text, MEDLINE, and PsychINFO resulted in an analysis of twenty primary sources. In general, researchers have found that health misinformation has been prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic and endemic outbreaks of Ebola, Zika, and measles. A significant proportion of individuals believe misinformation, and evidence supports that the tendency to believe misinformation is related to predictive factors such as the propensity for conspiracy thinking, decreased literacy skills, increased social media usage, younger age, and fear. Implications of findings for interventions include using social media to promote accurate information, building public trust in the government and healthcare system, and ensuring the public has access to accurate information.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Laura Distelhorst

First Reader

Jodi Wentz

Second Reader

Dr. Lisa Hart

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Christine Graor

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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