Skip to main content

A Population Study on COVID-19 Information Sharing: Sociodemographic Differences and Associations with Family Communication Quality and Well-Being in Hong Kong

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Mar; 19(6): 3577. 2022
Sit S.M., Gong W.J., Ho S.Y., Lai A.Y., Wong B.Y., Wang M.P.*, Lam T.H.


Family support through the sharing of information helps to shape and regulate the health and behaviours of family members, but little is known about how families are sharing COVID-19-related information, or about its associations with family communication quality and well-being. We examined the associations of COVID-19 information sharing methods with sociodemographic characteristics, the perceived benefits of information communication and technology (ICT) methods, and family communication quality and well-being in Hong Kong. Of 4852 respondents (53.2% female, 41.1% aged over 55 years), the most common sharing method was instant messaging (82.3%), followed by face-to-face communication (65.7%), phone (25.5%) and social media (15.8%). Female sex (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 1.09), older age (aPRs 1.14-1.22) and higher household income (aPR 1.06) (all p ≤ 0.04) were associated with instant messaging use, while post-secondary education was associated with face-to-face (aPR 1.10), video call (aPR 1.79), and email (aPR 2.76) communications (all p ≤ 0.03). Each ICT sharing method used was associated with a higher likelihood of both reported benefits (aPRs 1.26 and 1.52), better family communication quality and family well-being (adjusted βs 0.43 and 0.30) (all p ≤ 0.001). We have first shown that COVID-19 information sharing in families using both traditional methods and ICTs, and using more types of methods, was associated with perceived benefits and better family communication quality and well-being amidst the pandemic. Sociodemographic differences in COVID-19 information sharing using ICTs were observed. Digital training may help enhance social connections and promote family well-being..

Key Words: COVID-19; communication inequalities; digital technologies; family communication; family well-being; information and communication technologies; information sharing.

PubMed Search

(*Corresponding Author)