Infodemiology of status epilepticus: A systematic validation of the Google Trends-based search queries

Epilepsy Behav. 2016 Feb:55:120-3. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.12.017. Epub 2016 Jan 13.


People increasingly use Google looking for health-related information. We previously demonstrated that in English-speaking countries most people use this search engine to obtain information on status epilepticus (SE) definition, types/subtypes, and treatment. Now, we aimed at providing a quantitative analysis of SE-related web queries. This analysis represents an advancement, with respect to what was already previously discussed, in that the Google Trends (GT) algorithm has been further refined and correlational analyses have been carried out to validate the GT-based query volumes. Google Trends-based SE-related query volumes were well correlated with information concerning causes and pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments. Google Trends can provide both researchers and clinicians with data on realities and contexts that are generally overlooked and underexplored by classic epidemiology. In this way, GT can foster new epidemiological studies in the field and can complement traditional epidemiological tools.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Google Trends; Infodemiology; Internet; Status epilepticus; Web.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internet / trends*
  • Language
  • Search Engine / trends*
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis*
  • Status Epilepticus / epidemiology
  • Status Epilepticus / therapy*