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Soshian Sarrafpour, Jun Hui Lee, Benjamin K Young, Ji Liu, Christopher Teng; A Review of Commonly Accessed YouTube Videos about Glaucoma Treatments. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):1594.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Patients are increasingly seeking information about treatment options for diseases including glaucoma from the internet. Sites like YouTube are easily accessible, though remain largely unregulated. This study evaluated the quality and accuracy of YouTube videos on glaucoma treatment.
A comprehensive search of “glaucoma” and “eye pressure” combined with “treatment” or “cure” was done on YouTube. To best approximate videos patients are viewing, we included only videos with at least 20,000 views and 15 views per day. Videos were excluded if they were not in English or about humans. Videos were categorized as educational, testimonial, or advert and reviewed by a two reviewers using a modified Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and criteria. IRB exemption was obtained from Yale University.
Overall, 61 videos met the inclusion criteria and 36 were excluded (30 because of language). Of those included, 80% were educational, 13% were testimonials, and 7% were adverts. The inter-rater reliability was acceptable after kappa values were calculated. 28% of videos were graded as misinformation or misleading. Average scores for each category are shown in Table 1. Audio and video quality scores were similar between categories. Higher accuracy and comprehensiveness scores were seen for educational videos. Although 64% of videos addressed the question of what is glaucoma, less than 50% discussed the course of untreated disease or the goals of treatment and only 8.2% discussed the risks of the proposed treatment options.
Patients are increasingly using YouTube for medical information. This study found that many videos lack useful information and some actually provide information that may be detrimental. Physicians should be aware of this risk and educate patients appropriately.
This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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