The presence of social support messages on YouTube videos about inflammatory bowel disease and ostomies

Health Commun. 2012;27(5):421-8. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2011.606524. Epub 2011 Sep 30.


The purpose of this study was to explore the types of social support messages YouTube users posted on medical videos. Specifically, the study compared messages posted on inflammatory bowel disease-related videos and ostomy-related videos. Additionally, the study analyzed the differences in social support messages posted on lay-created videos and professionally-created videos. Conducting a content analysis, the researchers unitized the comments on each video; the total number of thought units amounted to 5,960. Researchers coded each thought unit through the use of a coding scheme modified from a previous study. YouTube users posted informational support messages most frequently (65.1%), followed by emotional support messages (18.3%), and finally, instrumental support messages (8.2%).

MeSH terms

  • Health Communication / methods
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases*
  • Internet*
  • Ostomy*
  • Social Support*
  • Videotape Recording*