Background: The internet and social media rapidly become a huge source of health information for people including deaf people, and it has the capacity to influence people’s health behavior and making-decision. After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 situation as a global pandemic, the health information found on the internet often lacks scientific evidences and it rapidly spreaded around the world to increase misinformation. The World Health Organization stated that the global pandemic on the internet is described as Infodemic, which is required to reduce misinformation and rumors that may impact people’s health behavior and making decision. Objective: The aims of this research is to identify the health information regarding the COVID-19 in the deaf communities based on the Infodemic perspective.

Methods: On March 31, 2020, Google Search was performed with the keywords “Novel coronavirus,” “Prevention,” and “Sign language”. A descriptive analysis was conducted to describe the association between the Would Health Organization’s eight preventive recommendations and the health information sources targeted on the deaf communities. Results: In total, 45 websites and social media accounts were analyzed. Twenty-three samples of 45 samples were developed by the local deaf information and culture support centers. The most information sources did not follow the World Health Organization’s eight preventive recommendations; thus, the creditability and reliability of the health information sources were lower and unstable. However health information sources produced by the deaf organizations offered explaning symptoms of the COVID-19, and the accessibility than the hearing centered organizations.

Conclusions: Based on the results, these infodemic issues could be led by low quality of the health information for deaf communities. With the consultation by health professionals, the health information sources are expected to promote deaf people’s health behavior and knowledge when they seek an appropriate health information in the crisis and pandemic situation. In this way, deaf people would be able to receive the quality health information to prevent the COVID-19 exposures.

  • Author(s):
    Takayama, K., Minakawa, A. & Kushalnagar. P.
  • Published:
  • Journal:
    Sign Language Studies Japan
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • View Article


Takayama, K., Minakawa, A., & Kushalnagar, K. (2020). Assessment of internet health information on the COVID-19 among deaf communities in Japan: From Infodemiological Perspective. Japanese Journal of Sign Language Studies, 29(1), 1–9.