Effects of Cultural Orientation and Privacy Perspectives on Trust in Public Health Officials During COVID-19
- Tran, Cindy
- Advisor(s): Bloss, Cinnamon
Objective: The inaccurate portrayal of health information has contributed to distrust in public health throughout COVID-19 causing reduced compliance with recommended health behaviors putting the health and safety of individuals at risk. The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between cultural orientation and privacy perspectives on trust in public health officials to better disseminate health information and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Methods: A secondary qualitative analysis was conducted on survey data collected from 634 participants in a cross-sequential study titled “Thoughts and Feelings about COVID-19.” Horizontal Collectivism describes individuals who value equality over power. In Vertical Collectivism, people are willing to sacrifice personal gains for the common group goals. Vertical Individualism emphasizes personal status. Low Comfort privacy disposition describes one’s willingness to share medical information. Results: Horizontal Collectivism, Vertical Collectivism, Vertical Individual, and Low Comfort privacy disposition were significant predictors of trust in public health officials, regarding COVID-19. There was higher trust in public health officials among high Horizontal Collectivism and high Vertical Collectivism cultural orientation constructs. There was lower trust in public health officials among high Vertical Individualism and Low Comfort privacy disposition. Conclusion: Findings from this study shed light on how cultural patterns and attitudes towards health-related privacy could obscure trust in public health officials within the United States. Moreover, understanding the association between these factors could inform effective communication of information regarding COVID-19 and support efforts to efficiently slow the spread of the Coronavirus and prevent future pandemics.