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YouTube videos of testicular self-examination a good source of info

28 Aug 2020

Video demonstrations of testicular self-examination (TSE) available on YouTube are of high quality and educational, and a number of them are an ideal health information source on TSE, according to a study.

Researchers evaluated the content, reliability, and quality of the most viewed YouTube videos related to TSE. They used the search terms “testicular self-examination,” “testis examination,” and “testis exam” and identified a total of 123 videos for analysis.

The information presented was deemed useful in 78 of the videos (63.4 percent) and misleading in 45 (36.6 percent). Reliability was assessed using a 5-point modified DISCERN tool, quality using a 5-point Global Quality Score (GQS), and comprehensiveness of the content using a 7-point scale.

Compared with videos with misleading information, those with useful information had significantly higher DISCERN score (median, 3 vs 1; p<0.001), GQS (median, 4 vs 1; p<0.001), and comprehensiveness score (median, 6 vs 1; p<0.001).

Accordingly, videos with useful information had higher numbers of total views, views per day, and likes.

Most of the videos in the useful group were uploaded by universities/professional organizations/nonprofit physician/physician groups (23.1 percent), stand-alone health information websites (21.8 percent), and testicular cancer survivors (28.2 percent). In contrast, individual users uploaded the majority of videos in the misleading group (68.9 percent).

While the findings support YouTube videos as an educational and useful health information source on TSE, the researchers pointed out that the search algorithm is actually unsatisfactory, such that it is not easy and practical for a lay man to find a suitable video for the purpose by searching for a "keyword" in the YouTube search bar.

Additional comprehensive studies are needed to establish how videos related to TSE change patients’ knowledge, awareness, and attitudes.

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