Is YouTube a quality source of information on sarcopenia?

Key summary points

AbstractSection Aim

To determine the quality and source groups of YouTube videos about sarcopenia knowledge.

AbstractSection Findings

The most qualified and reliable videos were from physicians and academic organizations.

AbstractSection Message

The professionals should consider posting videos for increasing awareness about sarcopenia.

Abstract

Background

While sarcopenia is a prevalent disorder that affects muscle mass and quality, patients have limited knowledge of it. On the other hand, patients often use social media to obtain health-specific information. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the YouTube videos about sarcopenia in terms of the knowledge value of what they present and to identify which of them can be considered as the quality sources of such information.

Methods

The descriptive study included 53 videos retrieved by searching the keywords ‘sarcopenia’, ‘loss of muscle strength’, ‘sarcopenia treatment,’ ‘sarcopenia physiotherapy,’ and’sarcopenia rehabilitation’ on YouTube. The instructive characteristics of the videos were assessed with the Global Quality Scale, by which three quality groups were identified: poor-, moderate-, and high-quality videos. The DISCERN score was utilized to determine reliability. The sources of upload were identified as physicians, non-physician health personnel, health-related websites, universities and academic organizations, patients, and independent users. Finally, the lengths of videos, the number of views, likes, dislikes, and comments, and the DISCERN scores of the videos were compared using group comparisons.

Results

The results suggested that there were 18 poor-quality, 16 moderate-quality, and 19 high-quality videos. Considering the sources of upload, physicians had the highest ratio in the high-quality group (83.3%). The lengths of videos and the DISCERN scores showed significant differences (p < 0.01). The numbers of views, likes, dislikes, and comments were similar in both quality and source groups.

Conclusion

Most parts of the videos uploaded by physicians and academic organizations were included in the high-quality group. Overall, according to the results of the study, it can be asserted that high quality may be related to reliability. Furthermore, healthcare professionals and academics should consider using YouTube for increasing knowledge and raising awareness of patients about sarcopenia.

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Correspondence to İrfan Karahan.

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The authors declare there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this study.

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By researching the keywords on YouTube, public and open-access videos were evaluated. Not applicable.

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Akyol, A., Karahan, İ. Is YouTube a quality source of information on sarcopenia?. Eur Geriatr Med 11, 693–697 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41999-020-00327-w

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Keywords

  • Sarcopenia
  • Social media
  • YouTube