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Quality of YouTube Medical Videos Often Poor for Patient Education

Quality of YouTube videos for patients considering an implantable cardioverter defibrillator found to be highly variable, poor overall

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — YouTube videos describing implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for patients are highly variable with overall low quality, according to a study presented at the annual American College of Cardiology Quality Summit, held from Sept. 14 to 16 in Los Angeles.

Thomas J. Lee, from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia, and colleagues investigated the quality of YouTube videos as an educational resource for patients considering ICDs. Excluding lecture-styled videos and surgical and/or operating room videos, the researchers identified 50 eligible videos for assessment.

The researchers report that 29 videos were from academic medical centers, 13 were from medical device companies, and eight were from independent uploaders. Using both modified DISCERN criteria and the Novel Content Score (NCS), overall video quality was poor and highly variable. Videos uploaded by medical device companies had significantly lower modified DISCERN scores than those from academic medical centers and independent uploaders. Most videos (44 of 50) failed to mention inappropriate shock as a possible outcome of ICDs. There was a significant positive association between the earlier search result position and NCS but not for the modified DISCERN score. There was a significant positive association observed between video duration and both NCS and modified DISCERN criteria. Video popularity metrics did not correlate with video quality.

“Given the growing popularity of online resources for patient education, our study identified opportunity for medical institutions to help patients by implementing new strategies to improve video content, quality, and visibility,” the authors write.

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