Quality of Bladder Cancer Information on YouTube

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European urology


Dissemination of misinformation through social media is a major societal issue. Bladder cancer is the second most common urological cancer in the world, but there are limited data on the quality of bladder cancer information on social networks. Our objective was to characterize the quality of information and presence of misinformation about bladder cancer on YouTube, the most commonly used social media platform. We reviewed the first 150 YouTube videos about "bladder cancer" using two validated instruments for consumer health information and assessed the videos for the presence of misinformation. The videos had a median of 2288 views (range, 14-511 342), but the overall quality of information was moderate to poor in 67%, based on scores of 1-3 out of 5 on the validated DISCERN instrument. A moderate to high amount of misinformation was present in 21% of videos and reached 1 289 314 viewers. Commercial bias was apparent in 17% of videos, which reached 324 287 viewers. From a networking perspective, comments sections in the videos were sometimes used to request medical advice (20%), provide medical advice to others (9%), or give support (19%). In conclusion, YouTube is a widely used source of information and advice about bladder cancer, but much of the content is of poor quality. PATIENT SUMMARY: A large quantity of content about bladder cancer is available on YouTube. Unfortunately, much of the content is of moderate to poor quality and presents a risk of exposure to misinformation.

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