Objective: To explore experiences, beliefs, and information-seeking behavior around COVID-19 among college students in Oklahoma. Participants: Fifteen college students participated during the pandemic period from April to July 2020.
Methods: An exploratory, qualitative research approach method was used to discover students’ experiences, beliefs, and information-seeking behaviors around COVID-19. Exploration of beliefs was guided by the Health Belief Model.
Results: Students engaged in COVID-19 information-seeking behaviors predominantly through Internet sites, broadcast news, health professionals, and governmental sources. Students experienced emotional burden as a result of COVID-19 misinformation in these sources. While most students perceived a low chance of acquiring the virus due to their lack of underlying medical conditions, they were still concerned about the consequences of becoming infected. Students noted the difficulty of physical distancing while on campus.
Conclusions: Colleges/universities should maximize the dissemination of timely, valid health information for the safety of their students and the broader community.
- College students
- preventive behaviors