The concepts of health misinformation and health disparities have been prominent in public health literature in recent years, in part because of the threat that each notion poses to public health. How exactly are misinformation proliferation and health disparities related, however? What roles might misinformation play in explaining the health disparities that we have documented in the United States and elsewhere? How might we mitigate the effects of misinformation exposure among people facing relatively poor health outcomes? In this review, we address such questions by first defining health disparities and misinformation as concepts and then considering how misinformation exposure might theoretically affect health decision-making and account for disparate health behavior and health outcomes. We also assess the potential for misinformation-focused interventions to address health disparities based on available literature and call for future research to address gaps in our current evidence base. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 44 is April 2023. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Health misinformation exposure and health disparities
Observations and opportunities
Southwell, B. G., Machuca, J. O., Cherry, S. T., Burnside, M., & Barrett, N. J. (2022). Health misinformation exposure and health disparities: Observations and opportunities. Annual Review of Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-071321-031118
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