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Organ and Tissue Donation: A Review of Google Trends
Christopher Hodge, PhD BAppSc, Kendall Miles, BMedSc(Path), Amy Chan, BSc, Pierre Georges, BMedSc, MScMed,
Jane Treloggen, RN, BHSc(Nurs), MHSc(Nurs), Con Petsoglou, MBBS MMed(ClinEpi) FRANZCO, Gerard Sutton, MBBS MD FRANZCO FRACS
Organ donation; eye; Google, Internet search, transplant
Purpose: Organ donation is a significant gift able to improve survival and quality of life for patients with severe, chronic conditions. Unfortunately, there remains a shortage of donors in many countries. Understanding information seeking behaviour (ISB) related to organ donation may provide additional insight for health professionals and administrators in developing a more appropriate, guided approach for this complex area. The primary aim of our study is the novel use of Google Trends to evaluate interest in organ donation and transplant related queries with an emphasis on eye donation.
Methods: Retrospective review of Google Trends application. Data was accessed for analysis between October 2010 and Oc- tober 2020. Data was mined at worldwide and national levels as appropriate.
Results: Seventy-three countries registered a relative search value (RSV) for corneal transplantation. The mean percentage change in RSV across countries was 26.4% indicating an overall increase in Internet interest over the study period. The mean value for eye donation was 5.8 ± 1.8 and 50.3 ± 10.8 for organ donation within Australia. The search volume for organ tissue donation within Australia increased significantly during a nation- al organ donation initiative (Donate Life Week p = 0.027). The increase extended through the following 2 months however did not maintain statistical significance.
Conclusion: Understanding public interest and awareness is critical to developing communication campaigns and general information provided to patients. Using Google Trends we have identified several novel patterns that may assist donation and or specialist organisations to refine existing programs.