Quality of Online Video Resources Concerning Patient Education for the Meniscus: A YouTube-Based Quality-Control Study

Arthroscopy. 2020 Jan;36(1):233-238. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2019.07.033.


Purpose: To evaluate the reliability and educational content of YouTube videos concerning the menisci.

Methods: YouTube was queried using the keyword "meniscus." The first 50 videos were evaluated. Eleven video characteristics were extracted, and videos were categorized by source and content. Video reliability was assessed using the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria (score range, 0-5). Video educational content was assessed using the Global Quality Score (GQS; score range, 0-4) and a meniscus-specific score (MSS; score range, 0-20).

Results: The mean video duration was 551.44 ± 1,046.04 seconds (range, 75-7,282 seconds). The mean number of views was 288,597.7 ± 735,275.9. Collectively, the 50 videos accrued 14,141,285 views. The mean JAMA score, GQS, and MSS were 1.55, 2.12, and 3.67, respectively. The video source was predominately non-physician based (24.49% of source uploaders), whereas video content was predominately concerned with disease information (37.50% of content). Significant between-group effects were observed for the JAMA score and video content (P = .0155), with videos concerning disease information, exercise training, and nonsurgical intervention having the highest mean JAMA scores. Significant between-group effects were also observed for the JAMA score based on video upload source (P < .001), with videos uploaded by physicians receiving the highest mean JAMA scores. The mean GQS and MSS were significantly greater for videos categorized as having disease-specific content (P = .0377 and P = .0404, respectively) and for physician video uploaders (P = .0133 and P = .0100, respectively). The number of video dislikes was a negative independent predictor of the JAMA score (β = -0.007, P = .003). Disease-specific content was a positive independent predictor of the GQS (β = 1.13, P = .042). There were no independent predictors of the MSS.

Conclusions: Information on the meniscus found in YouTube videos is of low quality and reliability.

Clinical relevance: Orthopaedic health practitioners should caution patients about the inaccuracy of YouTube videos regarding the meniscus given the low quality of content. These health care providers should make efforts to provide patients with higher-quality alternatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Meniscus*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Media*
  • Video Recording / standards*