Assessment of the quality, content, and reliability of YouTube® videos on diabetes mellitus and polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review with cross-sectional analysis comparing peer-reviewed videos

Endocr Connect. 2024 Jun 28;13(7):e240059. doi: 10.1530/EC-24-0059. Print 2024 Jul 1.


YouTube® is one of the leading platforms for health information. However, the lack of regulation of content and quality raises concerns about accuracy and reliability. CoMICs (Concise Medical Information Cines) are evidence-based short videos created by medical students and junior doctors and reviewed by experts to ensure clinical accuracy. We performed a systematic review to understand the impact of videos on knowledge and awareness about diabetes and PCOS. We then evaluated the quality of YouTube® videos about diabetes and PCOS using various validated quality assessment tools and compared these with CoMICs videos on the same topics. Quality assessment tools like DISCERN, JAMA benchmark criteria, and global quality scale (GQS) score were employed. Some of the authors of this study also co-authored the creation of some of the CoMICs evaluated. Our study revealed that while videos effectively improve understanding of diabetes and PCOS, there are notable differences in quality and reliability of the videos on YouTube®. For diabetes, CoMICs videos had higher DISCERN scores (CoMICs vs YouTube®: 2.4 vs 1.6), superior reliability (P < 0.01), and treatment quality (P < 0.01) and met JAMA criteria for authorship (100% vs 30.6%) and currency (100% vs 53.1%). For PCOS, CoMICs had higher DISCERN scores (2.9 vs 1.9), reliability (P < 0.01), and treatment quality (P < 0.01); met JAMA criteria for authorship (100% vs 34.0%) and currency (100% vs 54.0%); and had higher GQS scores (4.0 vs 3.0). In conclusion, CoMICs outperformed other similar sources on YouTube® in providing reliable evidence-based medical information which may be used for patient education.

Keywords: YouTube; diabetes; digital health; evidence; online media; polycystic ovary syndrome; quality.