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Abstract

Background: One of the problems that human beings usually face are Crises and the spread of communicable diseases, and they occasionally appear in societies and make many problems with human beings. Human beings need ways to prevent or reduce its possible harms, one of which seems to inform and raise or improve awareness of self-care behaviors against such incidents through mass media and social media. Therefore, this study aimed to survey the role of mass media and social media in developing awareness of self-care behavior against the outbreak of COVID-19.

Methods: In this descriptive-analytical and cross-sectional study, 500 samples taken based on Morgan and Krejcie's table as the participants, using the sampling convenience method. The data were collected by a researcher-made questionnaire, with two parts of demographic information and research questions, after considering and evaluating its validity and reliability. The data then were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical tests by SPSS-20 from Mar. 29/2020 to Apr. 09/2020 in Gonabad City.

Results: In terms of frequency, 53% were men and 47% were women. The participants were familiar with both mass and social media, but the use of the participants from mass media (5.3) was higher than that of social media (4.8), and vice versa in comparing in getting information and awareness, mass media (3.01) was lower in comparison with social media (3.2), as the participants said. Both of media were important in changing people's self-care behaviors, although with a small difference, mass media ranked higher than social media and other resources, and this behavior change was shown higher in women (257.6) than in men (232.8). (P-value 0.040)

Conclusion: According to the results, those in charge of the issue and the relevant managers in crises and the spread of diseases should make full use of the capabilities of these information sources and raise self-awareness with proper knowledge of the media, purposeful and optimal planning. In this way, they would keep the society away and maintain it from possible harms and dangers mostly in crises and global challenges.

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