Covid-19 Pandemisinde İletişimsel İhtiyaçlar, Beklentiler ve Deneyimler Üzerine Nitel Bir Araştırma: 65 Yaş ve Üzeri Ankara ÖrneklemiNilüfer Pınar Kılıç, Besime Pınar Özdemir, Gilman Senem Gençtürk Hızal, Melike Aktaş
Bu çalışmada, Covid-19 pandemisinde hastalığın olumsuz sonuçlarını ağır derecede yaşama ihtimallerinin yüksekliği nedeniyle öncelikli risk gruplarından biri olarak tanımlanan 65 yaş ve üzeri kişilerin iletişimsel ihtiyaçları, beklentileri, bilgi ve enformasyon kaynakları ve risk enformasyonunu ve bilgilerini değerlendirme biçimleri ele alınmaktadır. Çalışma kapsamında Ankara’da ikamet eden 65 yaş ve üzeri toplam 47 kişiyle yarı yapılandırılmış görüşmeler gerçekleştirilmiştir. Elde edilen bulgular, Riskin Sosyal Artırımı Kuramsal Çerçevesi bağlamında, risk enformasyonunun iletimindeki temel iletişim uğrakları dikkate alınarak değerlendirilmiştir. 65 yaş ve üzeri bireylerin Covid-19 pandemisi sürecinde risklere ilişkin enformasyona geleneksel medyanın yanı sıra yeni medya aracılığı ile de ulaştıkları; kişilerarası iletişimin bu süreçte temel bilgi kaynaklarından biri olarak işlev gördüğü; yakın aile ve özellikle çocukların Covid-19 pandemisiyle ilgili bilgilenme süreçlerinde ayrıcalıklı bir yeri olduğunu belirlenmiştir. Enformasyonun değerlendirilmesinde güven unsurunun temel kriter olarak dikkate alındığı ve tıp alanındaki uzmanlıklara daha yüksek güven atfedildiği ortaya konmuştur. Ayrıca iletişimsel ihtiyaçların ve beklentilerin pandemi süreci içerisinde değişime uğradığı anlaşılmıştır. Pandemi döneminde, dijital iletişim yetkinliklerin geliştirilmesi ihtiyacı belirginlik kazanmıştır. Görüşmelerden elde edilen bulgulardan hareketle, kamuların perspektifini ve risk algısını gözeten; risklerin iletişimsel süreçlerle bağlantısını dikkate alan etkili risk iletişimi çalışmalarının yapılandırılabilmesine katkıda bulunabilecek öneriler sunulmuştur.
A Qualitative Study On The Communicative Needs, Expectations And Experiences During Covid-19 Pandemic: 65 Years And Over Ankara SampleNilüfer Pınar Kılıç, Besime Pınar Özdemir, Gilman Senem Gençtürk Hızal, Melike Aktaş
This study examines the high-risk group of individuals age 65 and over who most frequently experience the negative consequences of Covid-19. We review their communicative needs and expectations, knowledge and information sources, and risk information and knowledge patterns. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 47 people aged 65 and over residing in Ankara. We evaluated our results in the context of The Social Amplification of Risk Framework, considering the major communication stations disseminating risk information. We found that during the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals aged 65 and over accessed risk information through new media and traditional media, and interpersonal communication, especially with close family and children, served as a primary information source during the pandemic. The trust factor, particularly regarding medical expertise, was an essential criterion in evaluating information. The communicative needs and expectations changed for this high-risk group. The need for improved digital communication capabilities become apparent during the pandemic crisis. Suggestions that consider public perspectives and risk perceptions while incorporating the relationship between risks and communication processes may contribute to structuring impactful risk communication activities.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals age 65 and over defined the high-risk group due to the high probability of experiencing the negative consequences in this cohort. As a result, this group had increased risk perceptions and the need for communication and information during the crisis. Individuals aged 65 and over were subject to specific restrictions and risk precautions. Their limited access to information compared to other age cohorts differentiated their communication expectations. Since risk communication studies are based on attributes, needs, and expectations of the recipients of the risk messages, these groups must partner in the risk communication process by understanding the communication channels they access and how to use the risk information. According to population projections, the proportion of people age 65 and over in Turkey in 2025 will be 11% (TÜİK, 2021). Therefore, this age cohort will continue to be an important target group for future risk communication studies.
This study examines the communicative needs, expectations, and experiences of high-risk individuals aged 65 and over with a high probability of experiencing negative consequences of Covid-19. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 47 people aged 65 and over residing in Ankara. The study’s research design is structured on the qualitative method. Research questions guiding the study were:
1. What are the communicative needs and expectations of individuals age 65 and over in the Covid-19 pandemic?
2. Which communication channels and resources do individuals age 65 and over obtain information about risks during the Covid-19 pandemic?
3. What are the main categories used by individuals aged 65 and over to assess risk information during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Study participants mentioned television as their primary source of information during the pandemic. Newspapers, radio, social media platforms, and other interpersonal communication channels were additional sources of information for the participants.
The need for information stands out as the most critical communicative need during the pandemic experience. Individuals age 65 and over met their information needs primarily through traditional media, such as television, and began to use digital media more than in the days preceding the pandemic. An essential result is that the participants acted selectively while watching television and watched the channels they trusted. Participants stated that they primarily relied on medical doctors and non-governmental organizations in the medical field while obtaining information from various mass media, especially television, during the pandemic. Participants deprived of the ability to communicate face-to-face due to imposed restrictions during the pandemic used the phone and internet to maintain social relations. Facebook and WhatsApp were the most popular digital platforms for individuals age 65 and over during the pandemic.
How information gets shared among people in risk communication can affect both risk perception and the relationship with risk. Study participants communicated about the epidemic with their families and friends mainly via telephone. The use of smartphones for video calls or group calls is growing among individuals age 65 and over. In this context, the pandemic pressured individuals in this age cohort to develop specific digital competencies. Notably, the children of the participants who do not have access to current information about the pandemic through digital channels contribute significantly to the information flow regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Individuals with low digital capital and a lack of family support become dependent on conventional media for information.
During the pandemic, the information required by individuals aged 65 and over about Covid-19 changed over time. Initially, information was needed on the virus, how it spread, and how to protect against it. As the pandemic lingered on, interest shifted toward vaccine-related developments. The fact that some information about the epidemic, which was initially accepted as correct and later revealed to be incorrect, caused participants the need to confirm the information they obtained from time to time. On the other hand, the absence of a reliable mechanism to verify information led to increased anxiety in the high-risk cohort.