Analysis of the Filipinos’ Interest in Searching Online for Oral Cancer

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 School of Dentistry, Southwestern University PHINMA, Cebu, Philippines.

2 Department of Stomatognathic Function and Occlusal Reconstruction, Tokushima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima, Japan.

Abstract

Objective: This study analyzed the health-seeking behavior of Filipinos through relative search volume in Google Trends using oral cancer, mouth cancer, tongue cancer, gum cancer, and lip cancer as predetermined search terms. Methods: Comma-separated values files containing relative search volumes of search trends pertaining to oral cancer from 2009 to 2019 were assessed. Brown-Forsythe one-way ANOVA was used to measure differences of oral cancer between years and among months. Repeated measures two-way ANOVA measured differences among the searches for mouth cancer, tongue cancer, gum cancer, and lip cancer through the years. Time series models were fitted and used to forecast search interests. Results: The results revealed that interests in oral cancer were significantly higher in 2019 (43.75±5.5, p<0.05) compared to 2009 (29.0 ± 6.7). In terms of months, searches were higher in February (45.0 ± 6.6) compared to May (24.8 ± 3.4, p=0.015), June (25.3 ± 4.4, p=0.020), and December (26.5 ± 4.0, p=0.038). Search interests for gum cancer and lip cancer remained significantly lower from 2011 to 2019, and tongue cancer from 2016 to 2018 but approximated mouth cancer in 2019. The forecast shows mouth cancer (31.67%), tongue cancer (23.75%), and lip cancer (3.83%) fluctuating through the year, while gum cancer (8%) will remain steady in 2020. Conclusion: Health-seeking behavior through search trends show an increased interest in oral cancer in 2019 and during February. Search interests will fluctuate in 2020, but at the end of the year will decrease for mouth cancer and tongue cancer, will increase for lip cancer, and will remain steady for gum cancer.

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