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Google search during a pandemic, tips for increasing future suicide

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Researchers at the Irving Medical Center at Columbia University found that Google’s search in the United States surged information on financial hardship and disaster relief in March and April compared to pre-pandemic, but Google searches related to suicide Has decreased.

Earlier studies have shown that economic distress is strongly associated with suicide mortality, so researchers believe that this increase may predict future increases in suicide deaths. I’m concerned

The survey results were published online at PLOS One.

“This finding is worrisome because the magnitude of the increase in Google search related to economic distress and disaster relief in the early months of the pandemic was significant,” said Irving Philips Epidemiology Professor, Dr. Madlyn Gould, MPH. Lead author of psychiatry and research for physicians and surgeons at Bagellos College, Columbia University.

Pandemic and suicide

Researchers in the U.S. and other regions have begun to study the effects of a COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, but assess the impact on suicide behavior and death due to the lag time in availability of mortality data. Things are difficult.

In previous studies, suicide rates often fell shortly after a national disaster such as 9/11, but for several months, as seen after the 1918 influenza pandemic and the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong. It may increase later.

In the current study, researchers evaluated online searches for suicide and suicide risk factors in the early stages of a pandemic, as US and international research links Google’s search behavior with suicide behavior, We assessed the potential long-term effects on suicide.

Researchers used an algorithm to analyze Google trend data from March 3, 2019 to April 18, 2020, over time in a search for 18 terms related to suicide and known suicide risk factors. Identified a proportional change.

“There was no clear hypothesis as to whether more questions related to suicide would occur during this period, but during the pandemic, we are hoping for a nationwide community awareness that may ease suicide behavior in the short term. Emily Halford, MPH, data analyst, lead author of research.

Unemployment, panic attacks and loneliness may predict future suicide

Researchers have found a dramatic relative increase (thousands of percent, in some cases) in Google search terms related to financial distress. For example, “Job Lost”, “Unemployed”, “Completely”, and National Disaster Pain Helplines.

The proportion of queries related to depression was slightly higher than in the pre-pandemic period and slightly higher in panic attacks.

“It seems as though individuals are dealing with the immediate stress of unemployment and isolation and seeking help from crisis services, the effects on suicide behavior have yet to be seen,” Gould said. “In general, depression can take longer to develop, but panic attacks are a faster response to unemployment and can be associated with emotional events within the social isolation of a pandemic. I need to deal with it.”

The search for words related to loneliness was also significantly higher in the first half of the early pandemic than in the previous year.

Gould added that social separation is one of the major measures taken to slow the spread of coronaviruses.

Meet anticipated crisis service needs

Researchers say it is important to ensure the continuous availability and accessibility of crisis services and other mental health services during the latter half of a pandemic in light of the expected increase in suicide crises. ..

“The current findings provide insights on how people have dealt with the impending emotional and economic consequences of a pandemic,” Gould said. “Encouragingly, individuals who use Google’s suicide-related terms are directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. By accessing this crisis service, individuals using Google’s suicide-related terms We hope to improve the suicide risk in

For more information

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) or chat online for free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7. Ask for confidential support at.

The title of this paper is “Google Searches for Suicide and Risk Factors for Suicide in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published online at PLOS One on July 24, 2020.

Impact of COVID-19 on suicide Details: Emily A. Halford and others, Google is searching for suicide and risk factors for suicide in PLOS ONE (2020), the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0236777 Provided by Irving Medical Center, Columbia University

Quote: Google search during pandemic, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-google-pandemic-hint-future-suicide.html on July 31, 2020

This document is subject to copyright. Except for private research or fair trade for research purposes, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. Content is provided for information purposes only.

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