An investigation of the reliability of YouTube videos on undescended testis

  • Tanju Keten
    Correspondence to: Tanju. Keten, University of Health Sciences, Ankara City Hospital, Department of Urology, 06800, Ankara, Turkey, Tel.: +90 506 316 38 74
    University of Health Sciences, Ankara City Hospital, Department of Urology, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Anıl Erkan
    University of Health Sciences, Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research, Hospital, Department of Urology, Bursa, Turkey
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      Introduction and objective

      There are thousands of patient information videos published on YouTube, the most watched video sharing platform; however, most of these videos contain incomplete or incorrect information. Interestingly, some videos with incomplete or incorrect information have a higher view rate. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of patient information videos on ‘undescended testis’ published on YouTube.

      Material and method

      A search was conducted on YouTube using the keywords ‘undescended testis’ and ‘cryptorchidism’, and a total of 373 videos were found. Among these, 122 patient information videos presented in the English language were examined. Four different scoring systems were used to evaluate the quality of the videos: Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audiovisual Materials, Global Quality Score, Journal of American Medical Association score, and modified DISCERN scoring system. Whether the videos contained accurate and sufficient information was evaluated using a scoring system developed based on the patient information booklet prepared by the European Association of Urology (EAU) on undescended testis.


      The median duration (sec), number of views and number of likes of the videos were 269 (11–2484), 589 (6–1.563561) and 7 (0–4.200), respectively. According to the EAU-patient information scoring (EAU-PIS), while 32 (26.2%) of the total 122 videos contained a good level of informativeness (score: 8–10), the view rate of these videos was only 4.1% among all videos. When the top 10 most watched videos were evaluated, their mean EAU-PIS was 5.9 ± 2.81, and these videos contained a moderate level of informativeness. On the positive side, 90% of all the videos recommended surgery as a treatment option.


      Although YouTube is a widely used video-sharing platform, it is also a website where people or institutions can easily upload non-standardized videos due to the absence of regulations. Therefore, although it is an easily accessible source of information, it has many gaps in terms of reliability. As shown in our study, the rate of videos with accurate information was very low. It would be beneficial for viewers to be aware of this and accept YouTube as a source where they can have a general idea about a subject in which they are interested rather than using it as a reference information site. In future, YouTube can become a reference source in the medical field, especially with the standardization of medical videos through the collaboration of various organizations.


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