Qualitative Assessment of Medical Information on YouTube: A Multilingual Comparison of Common Urological Conditions

Urol Int. 2021 Jul 21;1-7. doi: 10.1159/000517292. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Introduction: Patients nowadays often search video-sharing platforms for online patient education materials. Since previous assessments of urological videos were limited to English, we systematically assessed the quality of videos on treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer (PCa), and urinary stone disease (USD) in 4 different languages on YouTube using validated instruments.

Methods: The search for videos on YouTube addressing treatment options of BPH, PCa, and USD was performed in October 2020 in -English, French, German, and Italian. Assessed parameters included basic data (e.g., number of views), grade of misinformation, and reporting of conflicts of interest. Quality of content was analyzed using the validated DISCERN questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: A total of 240 videos (60 videos in each language) were analyzed. Videos on USD in English had the highest number of views (median views 271,878 [65,313-2,513,007]). The median overall quality of videos assessed showed a moderate quality (2.5-3.4 points out of 5 points for DISCERN item 16). Median total DISCERN score of all videos divided by language showed very similar results: English (39.75 points), French (38 points), German (39.5 points), and Italian (39 points). Comparing the different diseases, videos about BPH showed the highest median scores, especially in German language (median score 43.25 points).

Conclusions: Videos concerning the treatment of BPH, PCa, and USD have a low to moderate quality of content, with no differences seen between the languages assessed. These findings further support the notion of improved patient information materials on video platforms such as YouTube.

Keywords: Benign prostatic syndrome; Patient information; Prostate cancer; Stone disease; YouTube.