Is there decreasing public interest in renal transplantation? A Google trends TM analysis

Kronbichler, A. et al. (2020) Is there decreasing public interest in renal transplantation? A Google trends TM analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(4), e1048. (doi: 10.3390/jcm9041048)

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Background and objectives: Renal transplantation is the preferred form of renal replacement therapy for the majority of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). The Internet is a key tool for people seeking healthcare-related information. This current work explored the interest in kidney transplantation based on Internet search queries using Google TrendsTM. Design, setting, participants, and measurements: We performed a Google TrendsTM search with the search term “kidney transplantation” between 2004 (year of inception) and 2018. We retrieved and analyzed data on the worldwide trend as well as data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the Organización Nacional de Trasplantes (ONT), the Eurotransplant area, and the National Health Service (NHS) Transplant Register. Google TrendsTM indices were investigated and compared to the numbers of performed kidney transplants, which were extracted from the respective official websites of UNOS, ONT, Eurotransplant, and the NHS. Results: During an investigational period of 15 years, there was a significant decrease of the worldwide Google TrendsTM index from 76.3 to 25.4, corresponding to an absolute reduction of −50.9% and a relative reduction by −66.7%. The trend was even more pronounced for the UNOS area (−75.2%), while in the same time period the number of transplanted kidneys in the UNOS area increased by 21.9%. Events of public interest had an impact on the search queries in the year of occurrence, as shown by an increase in the Google TrendsTM index by 39.2% in the year 2005 in Austria when a person of public interest received his second live donor kidney transplant. Conclusions: This study indicates a decreased public interest in kidney transplantation. There is a clear need to raise public awareness, since transplantation represents the best form of renal replacement therapy for patients with ESRD. Information should be provided on social media, with a special focus on readability and equitable access, as well as on web pages.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:kidney transplantation, transplant numbers, live donors, public awareness, Google TrendsTM.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stevens, Dr Kathryn
Creator Roles:
Stevens, K.Validation, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Kronbichler, A., Effenberger, M., Shin, J. I., Koppelstätter, C., Denicolò, S., Rudnicki, M., Neuwirt, H., Soler, M. J., Stevens, K., Bruchfeld, A., Tilg, H., Mayer, G., and Perco, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:Journal of Clinical Medicine
ISSN (Online):2077-0383
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 by the authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Clinical Medicine 9:e1048
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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