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Relationship between internet research data of oral neoplasms and public health programs in the European Union

Abstract : Background: Tobacco and alcohol are the main risk factors for oral squamous cell carcinoma, the low survival rate of which is a public health problem. European-wide health policies (a prevention campaign, tobacco packaging) have been put in place to inform the population of the risks associated with consumption. Due to the increase in smoking among women, the incidence of this disease remains high. The identification of internet research data on the population could help to measure the impact of and better position these preventive measures. The objective was to analyze a potential temporal association between public health programs and interest in oral cancers on the internet in the European Union (EU). Methods: A search of data from Google ©, Wikipedia © and Twitter © users in 28 European countries relating to oral cancer between 2004 and 2019 was completed. Bibliometric analysis of press and scientific articles over the same period was also performed. The association between these data and the introduction of public health programs in Europe was studied. Results: There was a temporal association between changes in tobacco packaging and a significant increase in internet searches for oral cancer in seven countries. Unlike national policies and ad campaigns, the European awareness program Make Sense has had no influence on internet research. There was an asymmetric correlation in internet searches between publications on oral cancer from scientific articles or "traditional" media (weak association) and those from internet media such as Twitter © or Wikipedia © (strong association). Conclusion: Our work highlights seven areas around which oral cancer awareness in Europe could be refocused, such as a change in the communication of health warnings on cigarette packs, the establishment of a more explicit campaign name regarding oral cancer, the involvement of public figures and associations in initiatives to be organized at the local level and the strengthening of awareness of the dangers of tobacco in the development of oral cancer.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 3:40:18 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:16:16 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 8:25:02 PM


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Romain Lan, Fabrice Campana, Delphine Tardivo, Jean-Hugues Catherine, Jean-Noel Vergnes, et al.. Relationship between internet research data of oral neoplasms and public health programs in the European Union. BMC Oral Health, BioMed Central, 2021, 21 (1), pp.648. ⟨10.1186/s12903-021-02022-z⟩. ⟨inserm-03555365⟩



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