Impact of World Tuberculosis Day on digital awareness of tuberculosis: analyses using Google Trends™

A. Sgrò, R. Ots, E. Brunetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide. World Tuberculosis Day is held every year to increase global awareness of TB.OBJECTIVE: To quantify the impact of World Tuberculosis Day using Internet-based data.METHODS: Google Trends™ data were used to quantify digital searches for the term 'tuberculosis' worldwide and in the seven countries with the highest TB incidence. We estimated the mean difference in relative search volume (RSV) between World Tuberculosis Day and control periods. This was done separately for each year (2004-2017) and for the period from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2017. The mean differences in RSVs with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. P values were calculated using the Mann-Whitney U-test. P < 0.05 was considered significant.RESULTS: Analyses of single years revealed the mean difference in RSV for worldwide searches on average was 12.5 (95%CI 4.6-20.2). Between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2017, it was 10.4 (95%CI 6.0-15.0). In high-incidence countries, results ranged from -0.9 (95%CI -5.0 to 6.0) for Nigeria to 13.3 (95%CI 5.0-25.0) for South Africa.CONCLUSION: International campaigns such as the World Tuberculosis Day raise global awareness of TB. More actions are needed to increase TB awareness in high-incidence countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-829
Number of pages6
JournalThe international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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