Introduction The Internet is playing a major role in nowadays life and more often psychiatric patients are using it as a valuable source of information. Furthermore, the new media can be exploited for providing them with personalized psycho-educational interventions and counseling. On the other hand, a misuse of the new technologies can lead to cyber-addiction behaviors and to others psychopathologies. Objectives and aims In this contribution, we want to explore the Internet pattern of searching online for antidepressants in the Italian population. The prescriptions and usage of these drugs have been increasing in the last years, and therefore constitute an important economic burden for the National Health System (NHS). Methods. We analyzed the hit-search volumes with Google Trends, an online tracking system of Internet hit-search volumes, and the wavelet power spectrum analysis (WPSA), a mathematical technique that decomposes a time series into time versus frequency space. The hist-search volume data were compared with the data provided by the Italian National Drug Agency. Pearson correlation was used and P -values less than 0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. Results. We found a seasonality and cyclical pattern in searching online for antidepressants, as confirmed by the WPSA. Moreover, the pattern was increasing throughout the years, reflecting the usage pattern as recorded and monitored by the Italian Drug Agency. Pearson correlation yielded a value of 0.98 with a P -value of 1.4210 −5 . Conclusion. Digital pharmacovigilance can be employed as a complementary approach together with the classical traditional methodology.

Google trends-enabled digital pharmacovigilance: Monitoring interest towards antidepressants and their usage patterns in Italy

Siri Anna
2016

Abstract

Introduction The Internet is playing a major role in nowadays life and more often psychiatric patients are using it as a valuable source of information. Furthermore, the new media can be exploited for providing them with personalized psycho-educational interventions and counseling. On the other hand, a misuse of the new technologies can lead to cyber-addiction behaviors and to others psychopathologies. Objectives and aims In this contribution, we want to explore the Internet pattern of searching online for antidepressants in the Italian population. The prescriptions and usage of these drugs have been increasing in the last years, and therefore constitute an important economic burden for the National Health System (NHS). Methods. We analyzed the hit-search volumes with Google Trends, an online tracking system of Internet hit-search volumes, and the wavelet power spectrum analysis (WPSA), a mathematical technique that decomposes a time series into time versus frequency space. The hist-search volume data were compared with the data provided by the Italian National Drug Agency. Pearson correlation was used and P -values less than 0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. Results. We found a seasonality and cyclical pattern in searching online for antidepressants, as confirmed by the WPSA. Moreover, the pattern was increasing throughout the years, reflecting the usage pattern as recorded and monitored by the Italian Drug Agency. Pearson correlation yielded a value of 0.98 with a P -value of 1.4210 −5 . Conclusion. Digital pharmacovigilance can be employed as a complementary approach together with the classical traditional methodology.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1085232
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact