Italian Wikipedia and epilepsy: An infodemiological study of online information-seeking behavior

Francesco Brigo, Simona Lattanzi, Giorgia Giussani, Laura Tassi, Nicola Pietrafusa, Carlo Andrea Galimberti, Raffaele Nardone, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Oriano Mecarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Wikipedia is the most commonly accessed source of health information by both healthcare professionals and the lay public worldwide. We aimed to evaluate information-seeking behavior of Internet users searching the Italian Wikipedia for articles related to epilepsy and its treatment.Using Pageviews Analysis, we assessed the total and mean monthly views of articles from the Italian Wikipedia devoted to epilepsy, epileptic syndromes, seizure type, and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) from January 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017. We compared the views of the article on epilepsy with those of articles focusing on Alzheimer's disease, migraine, multiple sclerosis, syncope, and stroke and adjusted all results for crude disease prevalence.With the only exception of the article on multiple sclerosis, the adjusted views for the Italian Wikipedia article on epilepsy were higher than those for the other neurological disorders. The most viewed articles on seizure type were devoted to tonic-clonic seizure, typical absence seizure, tonic convulsive seizures, and clonic convulsive seizures. The most frequently accessed articles on epilepsy syndromes were about temporal lobe epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The most frequently viewed articles on AEDs were devoted to valproic acid, carbamazepine, and levetiracetam.Wikipedia searches seem to mirror patients' fears and worries about epilepsy more than its actual epidemiology. The ultimate reasons for searching online remain unknown. Epileptologists and epilepsy scientific societies should make greater efforts to work jointly with Wikipedia to convey more accurate and up-to-date information about epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-122
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 14 2018

Keywords

  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Epilepsy
  • Infodemiology
  • Internet
  • Wikipedia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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