May 31, 2019 Conference


Your patients are using YouTube to get medical information; results for most watched floater videos.

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Erol Verter, Yale University School of Medicine (Presenter)
Dr. Benjamin Young, Yale University Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Patrick Coady, Yale University School of Medicine

Purpose: YouTube is an internet-based video-sharing website which allows users to upload, view, share, like or dislike various kinds of videos including medical educational videos. Informational videos can be uploaded by anyone and are of varied quality and accuracy. Given, that floaters are a common vision complaint and are viewed heavily on Youtube, we sought to analyze the most watched “floater” videos.

Methods: To analyze videos available on YouTube in October 2018, we used the following search terms: “floater eye” and “floater vision.” Selection criteria included videos in English with over 50,000 views. We excluded duplicate and irrelevant videos. Two independent ophthalmology residents graded videos using established CRAAP criteria (Current, Relevant, Accurate, Authority, Purpose), and classified them as excellent, satisfactory, or poor. Videos were additionally graded based on audiovisual quality and on 5 floater specific questions which, contributed to accuracy and comprehensiveness scores. Total video scores were based on overall presentation, quality, and floater specific questions.

Results: There were a total of 19,065,336 views ranging from 52,224 to 10,898,050 per video. 37% of all videos were made by medical providers including ophthalmologists, optometrists and chiropractors. Patients, companies, institutions, and unknown uploaders created 24%, 20%,14%, and 4% of videos respectively. 63% of videos had primary or secondary educational aims, while 41% focused on advertising. 25% of the videos described alternative and unproven treatment options for floaters, while 18% of the videos showed YAG vitreolysis or vitrectomies by medical providers. Audiovisual quality was excellent in 47% and poor in 37% of videos. Comprehensiveness was excellent in 20% and poor in 53%, and accuracy was excellent in 43%, and poor in 41% of videos. With regards to addressing 5 floater specific questions, 14%, 27%, and 59% scored excellent, satisfactory, and poor, respectively. 18%, 37%, and 45% of videos were ultimately considered excellent, satisfactory, and poor, respectively. There was small positive correlation between presentation, video quality, FSQs and total video score to like-to-dislike ratio.

Conclusions: Floaters are a common chief complaint and are heavily searched and viewed on YouTube. This study suggests that the information on YouTube regarding floaters is largely unreliable and in many cases misleading to viewers.