Analysis of anxiety and depression during the Covid-19 pandemic using Google Trends

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Abstract
Anxiety and depression disorders have a high prevalence in the population, sometimes generated by exceptional situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The prevalence of these mental disorders could be inferred with Google Trends, a tool that analyzes Internet search holdings by time ranges and geographic location. In order to study the relationship between search trends for the terms “Anxiety” and “Depression” and their prevalence in Spain during the Covid-19 pandemic, a selective search analysis was carried out based on geographic variables (Madrid, Andalusia, Catalonia) and temporary (weeks in 2020). The words "Anxiety", "Depression" and "Covid-19" were taken into account to make the estimates of search trends in Google Trends. The results showed significant differences between the autonomous communities in their interest in searching for information on depression, as well as a different temporal progression, both in anxiety and depression, which would reflect the fluctuations in the evolution of epidemiological data in each geographic region. Tools such as Google Trends would allow the health community to implement prevention strategies in the event of the detection of peaks of concern for certain mental disorders in specific regions and time periods. This is especially relevant if the prevalence of these disorders in the population can negatively interfere with the effectiveness of prevention and health containment policies in emergency situations.
Keywords
Year of Publication
2021
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
27
Issue
2-3
Number of Pages
172-177
Date Published
10/2021
Type of Article
Journal article
ISSN Number
1134-7937
ISBN Number
2174-0437
DOI
10.5093/anyes2021a22