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Dermatology Online Journal

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Misinformation is prevalent in psoriasis-related YouTube videos


Background Psoriasis patients seek information online, but little is known about their interaction with YouTube. We examined the quality of content in psoriasis-related YouTube videos and investigated their interactions with viewers.

Methods YouTube was searched using the term “psoriasis.” Relevant videos in English were independently categorized by two reviewers as useful, misleading, or patient view (regarding experience with psoriasis). Disagreements were settled by a third reviewer. Videos were rated on a Global Quality Scale (GQS) (1=poor, 5=excellent).

Results According to our reviewers, 17% of the 47 videos were useful, 21% were misleading, and 62% represented patient views. Mean GQS scores were 4.2 ± 1.3 for useful videos, 1.7 ± 0.7 for misleading videos, and 2.2 ± 1.1 for patient view videos (p<0.001). Video views per day did not differ among the categories (p=0.65), whereas useful videos had fewest “Likes” (useful: 31 ± 55, 33 misleading: 151 ± 218, patient views: 165 ± 325, p=0.06) and comments (useful: 9.8 ± 18.3, misleading: 64.1 ± 89.7, 124.9 ± 34 199.4, p=0.009).

Conclusions Useful videos were highest in quality but had similar viewership as misleading and patient view videos, with lower popularity and  engagement of users compared to other categories. Physicians and psoriasis patients should be aware of this pattern when pproaching YouTube as a resource.

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