Attitudes towards schizophrenia on YouTube: A content analysis of Finnish and Greek videos

Inform Health Soc Care. 2016;41(3):307-24. doi: 10.3109/17538157.2015.1008485. Epub 2015 Feb 24.


Objective: To investigate attitudes towards schizophrenia and people with schizophrenia presented in YouTube videos.

Methods: We searched YouTube using the search terms "schizophrenia" and "psychosis" in Finnish and Greek language on April 3rd, 2013. The first 20 videos from each search (N = 80) were retrieved. Deductive content analysis was first applied for coding and data interpretation and it was followed by descriptive statistical analysis.

Results: A total of 52 videos were analyzed (65%). The majority of the videos were in the "Music" category (50%, n = 26). Most of the videos (83%, n = 43) tended to present schizophrenia in a negative way, while less than a fifth (17%, n = 9) presented schizophrenia in a positive or neutral way. Specifically, the most common negative attitude towards schizophrenia was dangerousness (29%, n = 15), while the most often identified positive attitude was objective, medically appropriate beliefs (21%, n = 11). All attitudes identified were similarly present in the Finnish and Greek videos, without any statistically significant difference.

Conclusions: Negative presentations of schizophrenia are most likely to be accessed when searching YouTube for schizophrenia in Finnish and Greek language. More research is needed to investigate to what extent, if any, YouTube viewers' attitudes are affected by the videos they watch.

Keywords: Online videos; YouTube; content analysis; mental disorders; social media.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Stigma
  • Young Adult