Indian Journal of Urology Users online:5253  
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 339-344

Assessing information on YouTube™ as a quality source for the treatment of varicoceles

Department of Urology, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
H Stephen Hong
Department of Urology, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, Ohio
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iju.iju_201_21

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Introduction: YouTube has grown into one of the largest disseminators of health care information. We assessed the quality of information on varicoceles and their treatment, available on YouTube. Methods: Using a YouTube search query with the keyword “varicocele,” the quality of the first 50, nonrepeat videos in English were assessed as a representative group for the topic. DISCERN and Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audiovisual Materials (PEMAT-AV) standardized tools were utilized by three independent reviewers to grade the quality of these videos based on content, understandability, and actionability. Results: The average and median DISCERN score was 31.34 (±9.37) and 31 (interquartile range 25–35), respectively, indicating poor quality. The interrater reliability (IRR) scores ranged from 0.51 to 0.93, indicating fair to excellent reliability. The average PEMAT-AV understandability and actionability scores were 69.8% ±15.4% and 11.0% ±24.6%, respectively, indicating mostly understandable but poor actionability. The t-test results showed that international videos scored higher without statistical significance in the DISCERN or PEMAT-AV scores (P = 0.18, 0.59, and 0.20). Conclusions: The current quality of videos on YouTube™ on the topic of varicoceles is of poor quality due to a lack of a holistic approach in explaining the wide range of treatment options available. With the ease of access to produce and disseminate health information, there is a need to create high-quality videos on varicoceles that empower a patient to make an informed decision.

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