June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
Evaluation of public interest using internet search queries for uveitis
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mauranda Men
    University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Edmund Tsui
    Jules Stein Eye Institute, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Mauranda Men None; Edmund Tsui Kowa Company Ltd, Code C (Consultant/Contractor), Cylite Pty Ltd, Code F (Financial Support)
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 3943 – A0486. doi:
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      Mauranda Men, Edmund Tsui; Evaluation of public interest using internet search queries for uveitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):3943 – A0486.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : The rarity of uveitis makes it difficult to gauge overall trends in patient behavior; however, the internet is a popular resource for medical self-education. This study used search engine data to characterize search patterns around uveitis, to better understand what people look for online.

Methods : Google Trends data were analyzed from 2004-21 to find the top related search queries with "uveitis" and "iritis" in the United States (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Australia, and India. This was further divided into top search terms for three 6-year periods: 2004-09, 2010-15, and 2016-21. Queries were categorized as relating to disease information, disease treatment, other eye conditions, related systemic conditions, or other. The relative search frequency of each term, and the sum of them for each term in a category, measure how many people search for information in those categories after first searching "uveitis" or "iritis."

Results : Within searches for "uveitis," the term "anterior uveitis" was the top or second top related search term in every country in every time period studied. Only the USA had "iritis" or "iritis uveitis" as common terms, with 42 people searching for them out of every 100 people searching for "uveitis." Also in the USA, in 2016-21, 13 of every 100 people searched for "uveitis vs iritis" or "iritis or uveitis" when searching for "iritis." In every country, the majority of related "uveitis" search terms concerned disease information. In the UK, Canada, Australia, and India, the next most common search categories were disease treatment, systemic conditions, followed by other eye conditions. In the USA, the next most common search categories were other eye conditions, disease treatment, then systemic conditions. In each country except India, where it was "psoriasis," the top searched systemic condition was "ankylosing spondylitis," with 10/100 searches in the USA and UK and 22/100 searches in Canada and Australia.

Conclusions : Query categories have been stable over time in several countries, indicating persistent knowledge gaps for the average searcher regarding uveitis causes and presentations. "Anterior uveitis" as a top related search term is logical given the high prevalence of anterior uveitis compared to other subtypes, suggesting demand for more knowledge about it. These data may help caregivers anticipate topics of interest for patients and improve counseling accordingly.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.

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