Seasonal variation in the internet searches for psoriasis

Kardes S.

ARCHIVES OF DERMATOLOGICAL RESEARCH, vol.311, no.6, pp.461-467, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Some researches with different designs investigated the seasonal pattern of psoriasis; however, the seasonal variation in public interest in psoriasis has not yet been examined. The monitoring of internet search activity has increasingly been used to gain insights into public interest in health-related topics. The aim of the investigation is to employ the Google Trends datasets to evaluate whether a seasonal trend exists in the internet searches of psoriasis by the general public. In the observational investigation, the Google Trends was queried for the [psoriasis] in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand between January 2004 and December 2018. The cosinor analysis demonstrated a statistically significant seasonal pattern of searches for [psoriasis] in the United Kingdom (p<0.001), Canada (p=0.002), Ireland (p<0.001), Australia (p<0.001), and New Zealand (p<0.001), and a trend towards a seasonal variation in searches in the United States (p=0.079), with the zenith in late winter/early spring and through in late summer/early fall. A zenith in late winter/early spring and valley in late summer/early fall presented an approximately 6-month difference between hemispheres. Public interest in seeking psoriasis information through internet searches displayed a seasonal pattern, with the highest interest in the late winter/early spring. If a more comprehensive study validated the association of psoriasis flares with patterns in online searches, beyond investigating only seasonality in public interest, the internet data could be used to guide public health interventions and to manage the care of patients with psoriasis.