Author(s): Liu R, Garca PS, Fleisher LA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Since current general interest in anesthesia is unknown, we analyzed internet keyword searches to gauge general interest in anesthesia in comparison with surgery and pain. METHODS: The trend of keyword searches from 2004 to 2010 related to anesthesia and anaesthesia was investigated using Google Insights for Search. The trend of number of peer reviewed articles on anesthesia cited on PubMed and Medline from 2004 to 2010 was investigated. The average cost on advertising on anesthesia, surgery and pain was estimated using Google AdWords. Searching results in other common search engines were also analyzed. Correlation between year and relative number of searches was determined with p< 0.05 considered statistically significant. RESULTS: Searches for the keyword "anesthesia" or "anaesthesia" diminished since 2004 reflected by Google Insights for Search (p< 0.05). The search for "anesthesia side effects" is trending up over the same time period while the search for "anesthesia and safety" is trending down. The search phrase "before anesthesia" is searched more frequently than "preanesthesia" and the search for "before anesthesia" is trending up. Using "pain" as a keyword is steadily increasing over the years indicated. While different search engines may provide different total number of searching results (available posts), the ratios of searching results between some common keywords related to perioperative care are comparable, indicating similar trend. The peer reviewed manuscripts on "anesthesia" and the proportion of papers on "anesthesia and outcome" are trending up. Estimates for spending of advertising dollars are less for anesthesia-related terms when compared to that for pain or surgery due to relative smaller number of searching traffic. CONCLUSIONS: General interest in anesthesia (anaesthesia) as measured by internet searches appears to be decreasing. Pain, preanesthesia evaluation, anesthesia and outcome and side effects of anesthesia are the critical areas that anesthesiologists should focus on to address the increasing concerns.
This article was published in J Anesth Clin Res
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research