Sunday, July 17, 2022

Is Youtube not a reliable health information source?

Spoiler alert - the answer seems to be "no". This is a review of existing research into Youtube's reliability.
Osman, W., Mohamed, F., Elhassan, M. et al. (2022). Is YouTube a reliable source of health-related information? A systematic review. BMC Medical  Education, 22 (382).
Abstract: "YouTube is a valuable source of health-related educational material which can have a profound impact on people’s behaviors and decisions. However, YouTube contains a wide variety of unverified content that may promote unhealthy behaviors and activities. We aim in this systematic review to provide insight into the published literature concerning the quality of health information and educational videos found on YouTube. ...
"Based on eligibility criteria, 202 papers were included in our study. We reviewed every article and extracted relevant data such as the number of videos and assessors, the number and type of quality categories, and the recommendations made by the authors. ... The total number of videos assessed in the selected articles is 22,300 ... The video quality was assessed by scoring, categorization, or based on creators’ bias. Researchers commonly employed scoring systems that are either standardized (e.g., GQS, DISCERN, and JAMA) or based upon the guidelines and recommendations of professional associations.
"Results from the aggregation of scoring or categorization data indicate that health-related content on YouTube is of average to below-average quality. The compiled results from bias-based classification show that only 32% of the videos appear neutral toward the health content. Furthermore, the majority of the studies confirmed either negative or no correlation between the quality and popularity of the assessed videos. ...
"YouTube is not a reliable source of medical and health-related information. YouTube’s popularity-driven metrics such as the number of views and likes should not be considered quality indicators. YouTube should improve its ranking and recommender system to promote higher-quality content. One way is to consider expert reviews of medical and health-related videos and to include their assessment data in the ranking algorithm."Photo by Sheila Webber: farmers market May 2022 - those were early raspberries and it was still asparagus season.

No comments: