Characterize the content of communication products for COVID-19 prevention promoted by governments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for the general public.
A descriptive, cross-cutting, and exploratory study of the communication products for COVID-19 prevention published up to 28 February 2021 on the official websites of the ministries of health of the 47 countries and territories of LAC. Quantitative and qualitative methods based on the dimensions recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) were employed, together with the social determinants of health (SDH) approach. The content analysis technique and investigator triangulation were used to improve internal validity.
3 253 information products were analyzed. In 47 countries and territories in LAC at least one product included a WHO recommendation; and in 46 at least one category or subcategory related to intermediate SDHs was addressed. Regarding structural SDHs, a gender approach was used in at least one product in only four countries, and an indigenous language in only seven countries. In 35 countries, at least one product was found to have erroneous information and in 13 countries the infodemic was not addressed.
A substantial number of communication products for COVID-19 prevention were found, but they lacked an adequate diversity approach and comprehensive health approach, and they showed gaps and communication errors. The countries should review their health communication policies in the context of the pandemic.