YouTube™ as a source of information on food poisoning.BMC Public Health. 2019 Jul 16; 19(1):952.BP
YouTube™ (http://www.youtube.com), as a very popular video site around the world, is increasingly being used for health information. The objectives of this review were to assess the overall usefulness of information on food poisoning presented on YouTube™ for patients.
The YouTube™ website was systematically searched using the key words "food poisoning", "foodborne diseases" and "foodborne illness". One hundred and sixty videos meet the inclusion criteria. Two independent reviewers scored the videos utilizing a customized usefulness scoring scheme separately and assessed the video duration, views, days since upload, likes, and dislikes. The videos were categorized as education, entertainment, News & Politics and People & Blogs. A usefulness score was devised to assess video quality and to categorize the videos into "slightly useful", "useful", and "very useful".
Most videos were educational 66 (41.3%). Educational videos had significantly higher scores, but had no significant differences in likes, views or views/day. Over half of the videos (97/160) were categorized as "useful". The mean posted days (885.2 ± 756.1 vs 1338.0 ± 887.0, P = 0.043) and the mean duration of video (12.8 ± 13.9 vs 3.5 ± 3.4, P < 0.001) were both significantly different in the very useful group compared with the slightly useful group. There was no correlation between usefulness and the number of likes, the number of dislikes, the number of views, or views/day.
YouTube™ is a promising source of information regarding food poisoning. Educational videos are of highest usefulness. Considering that there is a lot of low-credibility information, consumers need to be guided to reliable videos in the field of healthcare information.