• I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For….. Bono, Google and Glaucoma Awareness

      Lyons, C; Ellard, R; McElnea, E; Townley, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-05)
      The effect of celebrity diagnosis on public awareness of health conditions has already been well documented. In October 2014, Bono, the lead singer with U2, revealed publicly for the first time that he has glaucoma. This study aimed to analyze the impact of Bono’s announcement on public awareness of glaucoma using Google Search trends as an indicator of public interest in the disease. Google Trends was used to examine Google Search activity for the term ‘Glaucoma’ between 2009 and 2015 in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. Trend analyses were performed using Microsoft Excel Version 14.3.5. Increased Google Search activity for ‘Glaucoma’ in October 2014 was found in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. A five-fold increase from the mean Google Search activity for this term was found in Ireland and a two-fold increase from the mean Google Search activity for this term was found in the United Kingdom. No such increase in Google Search activity occurred during each country’s 2014 Glaucoma Awareness week. Google Trends is useful in medical research as a means of assessing public awareness of, and/or interest in, health related topics. Current approaches to glaucoma related health promotion in both Ireland and the United Kingdom have failed to yield an increase in on-line Google Search activity. While there was an increase in interest in glaucoma it is unclear whether this led to an increase in health seeking behaviour.