Bryn L. Sutherland, BA1, Kaylee Pribnow2, Jason Browne, MD1, Jennifer M. Weiss, MD, MS1
1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison, WI; 2University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Introduction: One third of eligible adults in the United States are not up to date with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Improved access to information through search engines such as Google could impact health behavior. Google Trends is a publicly available tool that quantifies Google search volumes for a given timeframe, location and set of terms yielding a value up to 100 called relative search volume (RSV). The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between state-level RSVs for CRC screening modalities and screening rates.
Methods: Google Trends searches by CRC screening modality were conducted for 1/1/2013-12/31/2016 with the following terms: (1) “colonoscopy”, (2) “flexible sigmoidoscopy+sigmoidoscopy+flex sig”, (3) “virtual colonoscopy+CT colonography”, (4) “fecal occult blood test+FOBT+blood stool test for cancer+fecal immunochemical test+FIT”, and (5) “cologuard+stool DNA test”. State-level CRC screening rates were obtained from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. Correlation between state-level CRC screening rates and RSV for each modality were evaluated with Pearson correlation coefficients. States were divided into quintiles based on screening rates and multinomial logistic regression was performed on RSVs for each modality across quintiles.
Results: There was a moderately strong positive correlation between state-level CRC screening rates and RSVs for colonoscopy (r=0.49, P< 0.001) and a weak positive correlation for Cologuard® (r=0.37, P=0.009). Multinomial regression showed no difference in RSVs for all modalities across the top three quintiles. However, when compared to the top quintile, states in the bottom quintile searched for colonoscopy 20% less (RRR=0.81, P=0.016) and the second lowest quintile were significantly less likely to search for CT colonography (RRR=0.66, P< 0.001) and Cologuard® (RRR=0.94, P=0.03).
Discussion: State-level CRC screening rates correlate with Google Trends state-level RSVs for colonoscopy and Cologuard®. This may mean that states with higher screening rates are engaging adults by utilizing both invasive and non-invasive screening modalities. States in the top three quintiles for CRC screening showed relatively similar search patterns while the bottom two quintiles had significantly lower RSVs for alternatives to colonoscopy. CRC screening awareness campaigns in states with lower screening rates should include promotion and education of all available options for CRC screening.
Citation: Bryn L. Sutherland, BA; Kaylee Pribnow; Jason Browne, MD; Jennifer M. Weiss, MD, MS. P0238 - "GOOGLE IT:" RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOOGLE SEARCHES ON COLON CANCER SCREENING TESTS AND STATE-LEVEL SCREENING RATES. Program No. P0238. ACG 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. San Antonio, Texas: American College of Gastroenterology.