HEALTH INFORMATION AND LIBRARIES JOURNAL, vol.39, no.3, pp.284-292, 2022 (SSCI)
Background In early the COVID-19 pandemic, routine dental treatments have been delayed due to the risk of disease transmission. This delay may lead public to search for information on the Internet for a solution. Objectives This study aims to evaluate the public interest in dentistry in the early months of the COVID-19 global pandemic in the selected countries. Methods The daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases were recorded for China, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. For these countries, Internet search interest of the keyword 'dentistry', 'coronavirus', 'COVID-19', 'SARS-CoV-2' and 'pandemic' in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic was evaluated by using Google Trends data. Results In most countries included the public Internet search interest in 'dentistry+coronavirus+COVID-19+SARS-CoV-2+pandemic' peaked prior to the peak of new COVID-19 cases. While a statistically significant positive correlation was observed between the number of new cases and Google Trends data in China, South Korea, Italy and Germany, a statistically significant negative correlation was observed in Turkey. Conclusion The peak public interest in dentistry has been prior to the peak of COVID-19 new cases in most countries. The use of Internet data can provide useful information about pandemics and many other diseases.