Analysis of awareness months using Google Trends 

David Oraee, Brooke Reeves, Trevor Torgerson, Ryan Ottwell, Matt Vassar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Objective: Health awareness months are growing in popularity with over 200 awareness days, weeks and months recognized in the United States. Awareness months cover a wide array of topics including Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Save Your Vision Month and National Recovery Month, etc. Despite their growing popularity, the efficacy of awareness months have been called into question. Given the inconsistencies regarding the efficacy of awareness months, we used Google Trends to investigate public awareness for each awareness month during the respective awareness month.

Methods: We used Google trends to determine the relative search interest for an awareness month by using related keywords. The data was then analyzed to determine if there was a spike in relative search volume for each specific keyword. A spike was defined as a keyword with a 25% or greater increase in relative search volume compared to the previous 10 months. If at least half the months over the 10 year period were associated with spikes for that specific keyword, the awareness month was considered effective at increasing public awareness for that keyword. Each awareness month was associated with increased public awareness if at least 2 of the 5 related keywords were considered effective. We then reached out to the organizations that sponsor to determine their willingness to provide information about their campaign strategies.

Results: We evaluated 105 national awareness months and found that when classified by month September had the highest number of awareness months with 16 and December had the lowest with only 1. When classified by disease, Health Promotions/Wellness had the highest number of awareness months with 30 and Sexually Related Disorders had the lowest with 3. We found that 33% (35 of 105) of awareness months were associated with a spike. Gastrointestinal Related Disorders classification had the highest percentage of months associated with a spike at 60% (3 of 5) while Cardiac and Blood Related Disorders had the lowest percentage of months associated with a spike at 14.3% (1 of 7). A majority of sponsors did not reply, (61.5%) and that information was not able to be used as a tool for drawing relationships. Overall, there were a majority of awareness months that did not cause an increase in awareness via web trafficking (67.7%).

Conclusion: We conclude that while some awareness months were successful in increasing awareness for their cause, the majority of campaigns were not contributing to the overall goal of increasing awareness and educating about their campaign. We recommend further research into the efficacy of awareness months on disease prevention and the potential conflicts of interest they present.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2020
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Day 2020 - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 27 Feb 202028 Feb 2020

Conference

ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Day 2020
CountryUnited States
CityTulsa
Period27/02/2028/02/20

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    Oraee, D., Reeves, B., Torgerson, T., Ottwell, R., & Vassar, M. (2020). Analysis of awareness months using Google Trends . Poster session presented at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Day 2020, Tulsa, United States. https://shareok.org/handle/11244/324230