Document Type : Original Article


1 Senior Nursing Officer

2 Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India


During the COVID‑19 pandemic, people are using social media more than usual routine because they
rely on online sources to seek health information for themselves and their loved ones. The spread of
inaccurate and misleading information via social media has a number of detrimental psychological
effects on members of society. The aim of this systematic review was to describe the impact of social
media on the mental health of the general population. An extensive systematic search was done till the
last month of 2021 for collecting the evidence using the PRISMA technique. The search was mainly
focused on the article leading with keywords and search engines used during the course of the study
were Pubmed, Semantic Scholar, Mendeley, and Science direct. Articles for this study were selected
based on the predetermined eligibility criteria and performed quality assessment by using the NHLBI
quality assessment tool. Most of the studies included in this review are found fair (score between
9 and 12) quality. Out of 866 publications, 533 articles were included in the initial screening, after
duplication removal 46 full‑text articles were assessed for eligibility and 14 studies were selected for
systematic review. In most of the studies, maximum participants used social media as a primary source
of information. Relatively high rates of symptoms of depression (14.14% to 48.3%), anxiety (7.4% to
47.82%), and prevalence of stress increased to 37.67% are reported after exposure to social media
for coverage of COVID‑19 news in the general population. Risk factors of psychological distress are
associated with female gender, younger age group, marital status, staying alone, and duration of
exposure to mass media. Increased exposure to COVID‑19 information through mass/social media
is associated with highly significant levels of psychological health issues; mitigating the hazardous
effect of social media exposure during the COVID‑19 pandemic on the psychological health of the
general population is an international public health priority.


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