Background: This infodemiological analysis is aimed to define whether the worldwide burden of tinnitus may have increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods. We performed an electronic search in Google Trends with the term tinnitus as “medical topic”, setting the geographical area to “worldwide”, within a search period comprising the past 5 years (i.e., from August 2017 to August 2022). Results: A significant increase has been observed in the median worldwide burden of Google searches for tinnitus by comparing the volume after (median, 64; IQR, 60-69) versus before (58; IQR 52-61; p<0.001; +10.3%) the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although such trend was consistent over time irrespective of the virus variants, with values of Google searches always higher than the pre-COVID period (all p<0.001), higher weekly Google Trends searches were noted during prevalence of Delta and Omicron lineages. Conclusion: Specific interventions shall be planned to support the larger number of patients that may seek healthcare consultation and/or may need to live with tinnitus after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the worldwide burden of tinnitus

Nocini, Riccardo;Lippi, Giuseppe
;
Mattiuzzi, Camilla
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: This infodemiological analysis is aimed to define whether the worldwide burden of tinnitus may have increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods. We performed an electronic search in Google Trends with the term tinnitus as “medical topic”, setting the geographical area to “worldwide”, within a search period comprising the past 5 years (i.e., from August 2017 to August 2022). Results: A significant increase has been observed in the median worldwide burden of Google searches for tinnitus by comparing the volume after (median, 64; IQR, 60-69) versus before (58; IQR 52-61; p<0.001; +10.3%) the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although such trend was consistent over time irrespective of the virus variants, with values of Google searches always higher than the pre-COVID period (all p<0.001), higher weekly Google Trends searches were noted during prevalence of Delta and Omicron lineages. Conclusion: Specific interventions shall be planned to support the larger number of patients that may seek healthcare consultation and/or may need to live with tinnitus after the COVID-19 pandemic.
2023
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Tinnitus
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1080846
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