Awareness of Sexually Transmitted Disease and Economic Malady: A First Look Using Search Engine Query Data
Using search engine query data as a measure for public awareness of sexual health outcomes, this study extracts a measure of general interest in sexually transmitted disease for the United States (2004 – 2012). This trend is compared to a measure of overall economic prosperity. Heightened interest in STDs is shown to have occurred during the recent recession (December 2007 – June 2009). It is hypothesized that potential changes in insurance coverage as workers become unemployed may increase instances of online self -diagnosis of STDs. Select data imply that an increase in the tendency to search for STD information online occurs after alternative insurance options are explored. Data also imply that interest in behavioral alternatives to treating STDs risesafter interest in STDs rise (and not at the onset of the economic slump). This paper identifies broad trends and points to using search engine query data to connect health awareness to the state of the economy as a lucrative area of future research.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 1306
Research Type: Discussion Paper
The following licence files are associated with this item: