Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a worldwide search for information. Information about COVID-19 is crucial and it could be the first step toward designing practical disease-control strategies. Misinformation amid the widespread information about COVID-19 has undoubtedly caused psychological distress, especially among older adults. We present an empirical and descriptive study of the sources of information among older adults and how they perceived the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 58 participants were recruited and interviewed using an in-depth semi-structured interview and structured questionnaire for our study. The study participants were recruited using purposive and convenience sampling in their respective homes from Mallam, a community in Ghana. The semi-structured interviews were transcribed, and themes were created for analysis. Our study revealed multiple sources of information regarding COVID-19, including radio, television, social media, family members, and friends. The COVID-19 information consisted of precautionary measures, effects, causes, symptoms, daily reported cases, and regarding vaccination. Our study revealed that the perception of COVID-19 information via social media, traditional media, families, and friends increased psychological distress among older persons by causing fear and panic. We contend that having a reliable source of information about COVID-19 is essential for older adults in mitigating the burden of the disease. Ultimately, our study substantiates the need for researchers, advocates, and policymakers to partner with social workers and healthcare workers to develop effective and practical policy interventions to address language and access difficulties for older adults seeking to obtain health information.