Background: Millions of people surf the Internet every day as a source of health-care information looking for materials about symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and their possible adverse effects, or diagnostic procedures. Google is the most popular search engine and is used by patients and physicians to search for online health-related information. This study aimed to evaluate changes in Google search behavior occurring in English-speaking countries over time for the term “status epilepticus” (SE). Methods: Using Google Trends, data on global search queries for the term SE between the 1st of January 2004 and 31st of December 2014 were analyzed. Search volume numbers over time (downloaded as CSV datasets) were analyzed by applying the “health” category filter. Results: The research trends for the term SE remained fairly constant over time. The greatest search volume for the term SE was reported in the United States, followed by India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Germany. Most terms associated with the search queries were related to SE definition, symptoms, subtypes, and treatment. The volume of searches for some queries (nonconvulsive, focal, and refractory SE; SE definition; SE guidelines; SE symptoms; SE management; SE treatment) was enormously increased over time (search popularity has exceeded a 5000% growth since 2004). Conclusions: Most people use search engines to look for the term SE to obtain information on its definition, subtypes, and management. The greatest search volume occurred not only in developed countries but also in developing countries where raising awareness about SE still remains a challenging task and where there is reduced public knowledge of epilepsy. Health information seeking (the extent to which people search for health information online) reflects the health-related information needs of Internet users for a specific disease. Google Trends shows that Internet users have a great demand for information concerning some aspects of SE (definition, subtypes, symptoms, treatment, and guidelines). Policy makers and neurological scientific societies have the responsibility to try to meet these information needs and to better target public information campaigns on SE to the general population.

Google search behavior for status epilepticus.

BRIGO, Francesco;
2015

Abstract

Background: Millions of people surf the Internet every day as a source of health-care information looking for materials about symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and their possible adverse effects, or diagnostic procedures. Google is the most popular search engine and is used by patients and physicians to search for online health-related information. This study aimed to evaluate changes in Google search behavior occurring in English-speaking countries over time for the term “status epilepticus” (SE). Methods: Using Google Trends, data on global search queries for the term SE between the 1st of January 2004 and 31st of December 2014 were analyzed. Search volume numbers over time (downloaded as CSV datasets) were analyzed by applying the “health” category filter. Results: The research trends for the term SE remained fairly constant over time. The greatest search volume for the term SE was reported in the United States, followed by India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Germany. Most terms associated with the search queries were related to SE definition, symptoms, subtypes, and treatment. The volume of searches for some queries (nonconvulsive, focal, and refractory SE; SE definition; SE guidelines; SE symptoms; SE management; SE treatment) was enormously increased over time (search popularity has exceeded a 5000% growth since 2004). Conclusions: Most people use search engines to look for the term SE to obtain information on its definition, subtypes, and management. The greatest search volume occurred not only in developed countries but also in developing countries where raising awareness about SE still remains a challenging task and where there is reduced public knowledge of epilepsy. Health information seeking (the extent to which people search for health information online) reflects the health-related information needs of Internet users for a specific disease. Google Trends shows that Internet users have a great demand for information concerning some aspects of SE (definition, subtypes, symptoms, treatment, and guidelines). Policy makers and neurological scientific societies have the responsibility to try to meet these information needs and to better target public information campaigns on SE to the general population.
Google; infodemiology; internet; status epilepticus; web
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/912784
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 13
  • Scopus 26
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 27
social impact