Research Article| Volume 65, 104024, September 2022

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Content and quality analysis of videos about multiple sclerosis on social media: The case of YouTube


      • YouTube is an important educational and information tool.
      • YouTube videos have the potential to influence a patient's decision-making related to her/his disease.
      • YouTube videos do not provide reliable and high-quality information related to MS for patients.
      • Patients should always verify information obtained from the Internet with information sources that are more reliable.



      YouTube (YT) has grown into the largest online video platform across the world. Known to have more than two billion users of all ages, YT also serves as an important educational tool and information source for patients and their families. YT videos have the potential to influence patients’ understanding of their diagnoses and treatment decision-making.


      Videos were identified using the keywords “multiple sclerosis,” “multiple sclerosis treatment,” “relapsing remitting MS,” and “central demyelinating disorder” in the YT search bar. For each search term, the top 30 videos were reviewed. The videos were analyzed by two independent raters using the DISCERN and Global Quality Scale (GQS) scoring systems. Qualitative and quantitative data were recorded for each video.


      A total of 99 videos were analyzed. The mean DISCERN score was 43.44 out of 75 possible points, and the mean Global Quality Scale (GQS) score was 2.77 out of 5 possible points. Of all the videos, 14.1, 29.3, 15.2, and 29.3% were categorized as very poor, poor, moderate, good, and excellent, respectively. Videos that included qualitative features such as clear information; information related to symptomatology, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, treatment response, and epidemiology; and diagrams and radiological images had significantly higher scale scores. Audience engagement parameters were significantly higher for videos containing animation, treatment response, and radiological images.


      We maintain that sufficient, reliable, and useful content is not provided for those seeking information on YT about MS. Everyone seeking information about MS should always verify information provided in YT videos using more reliable sources of information. Video producers should optimize their videos to contain high-quality and reliable data and to attract larger audiences.


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