Internet Search Study Reveals the Great Recession Initiated a Health Recession
Research performed at the San Diego State University School of Public Health and published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (Jan. 7th, 2014) indicates that a health recession may have occurred along side of the great recession. An examination of the types of keyword searches performed by Americans during the recession from December 2008 through the end of 2011 showed that there was a significant increase in the number of searches performed for stress related health problems.
What types of health issues were being searched?
Stomach ulcer searches were 228% higher than anticipated
Headache searches were 193% higher than expected
Hernia searches were 37% higher than expected
Chest pain searches were 35% higher than expected
Heart rhythm problem searches were 32% higher than expected
In addition to the searches listed above, there was also an increase in the number of searches performed for back pain, joint, stomach, and tooth pain.
Interestingly, the stress of the recession and unemployment affected many in the country during this time, but it didn’t just affect the unemployed. Many searches for stress related issues and unemployment also affected those who were still employed and becoming afraid of losing their jobs.
Gaining insight into what type of information and health issues the public is searching for helps the medical field gain a better understanding of what type of concerns the public has and helps them tailor their marketing and consumer education materials to better correlate with the type of information that the members of the public are looking to see.