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Using Google Trends to assess the impact of Global Public Health Days on online health information-seeking behaviour in Arabian Peninsula

Authors
  • Ajbar, Aymane1
  • Shepherd, Thomas A.2
  • Robinson, Michelle2
  • Mallen, Christian D.2
  • Prior, James A.2, 3
  • 1 Medical University of Bahrain,
  • 2 Keele University,
  • 3 Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Feb 17, 2021
Volume
96
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s42506-020-00063-w
PMID: 33595811
PMCID: PMC7889764
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Research
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background Global Public Health Days (GPHD) are public health interventions which serve to improve public awareness of specific health conditions. Google Trends is a publicly available tool that allows the user to view the popularity of a searched keyword during a specified time period and across a predetermined region. Our objective was to use Google Trends to assess the impact of four GPHD (World Heart Day, World Mental Health Day, World Diabetes Day and World Hypertension Day) on online health information-seeking behaviour (OHISB), 4 weeks before and a week after the GPHD, across six countries of the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates). Methods Relative Search Volume (RSV) was extracted for the aforementioned countries from 28 days before the GPHD and 7 days afterwards. Statistical analysis, undertaken using joinpoint regression software, showed that GPHD have significant changes for Saudi Arabia (Diabetes, Mental Health and Heart day) and UAE (Mental Health day) but were short-lived with a fall in RSV of up to 80% after peak interest. Conclusion GPHD appears to be effective in some countries while further research is needed to investigate the reason of its limitations.

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