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A Google Trends-based approach for monitoring NSSI

Authors Bragazzi NL

Received 16 February 2013

Accepted for publication 30 July 2013

Published 13 December 2013 Volume 2014:7 Pages 1—8


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

DINOGMI, Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health, Section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Abstract: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is an intentional, direct, and socially unacceptable behavior resulting in the destruction of one's own body tissues with no intention of dying or committing suicide, even though it is associated with a higher risk of attempted, planned, or just considered suicide. In this preliminary report, we introduce the concept of “NSSI 2.0”; that is to say, the study of the Internet usage by subjects with NSSI, and we introduce a Google Trends-based approach for monitoring NSSI, called NSSI infodemiology and infoveillance. Despite some limitations, Google Trends has already proven to be reliable for infectious diseases monitoring, and here we extend its application and potentiality in the field of suicidology. Ad hoc web portals and surveys could be designed in light of the reported results for helping people with NSSI.

Keywords: infodemiology, infoveillance, Internet, non-suicidal self-injury

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