Assessment of YouTube as a Source of Information for Trigger Finger Release Procedures
Benjamin Yarbrough, MD1, Grant Torres, MS1, Trey Sledge, BS1, Kimberley Brondeel, BS1, Bradley Nus, BS1, Sai Kamma, BS1, Kylie Wu, BS2 and Sanjana Janumpally, BS3, (1)University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, (2)Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Worth, TX, (3)Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, MO
Recent studies indicate an increased gravitation amongst the general population towards using social media platforms as sources of healthcare information. This especially holds true for YouTube—the most accessed online video platform, where videos on trigger finger procedures have accrued tens of millions of views. Yet, there lacks an investigation into the educational content of these videos. With current literature revealing the misleading nature of healthcare information on YouTube, this study aims to assess the educational quality of videos pertaining to trigger finger release procedures.
YouTube was searched for various terms such as "Trigger Finger Procedure," "Trigger Finger Release," and "Trigger Finger Surgery." A total of 109 videos were assessed, with 33 being excluded based on preset criteria to assure content relevancy. Videos were assessed for educational content using the Global Quality Scale (GQS; 4-5=high quality, 1-3=low quality) by three independent reviewers. Agreement between reviewers was assessed by Interclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). Video Power Index (VPI) and a ratio of view count per days since upload were used to assess video popularity. Source, modality, likes, dislikes, and date of upload were recorded for each video as well.
An average GQS of 2.72 was scored (ICC=0.85), indicating poor educational quality for the average video on trigger finger release procedures. Using both the VPI and aforementioned ratios, no significant difference was found when comparing GQS scores of more popular trigger finger videos to those that were less popular. There was no significant correlation between days since upload and average GQS score. Videos uploaded by physicians had a significantly higher GQS than those not uploaded by physicians (P<0.001). When comparing educational modalities, physician-led presentations had significantly higher GQS scores compared to those of live surgeries and other patient-friendly modalities including physical therapy (P<0.001).
The majority of YouTube videos for trigger finger release procedures provided low quality information. Although video popularity measurements were indiscriminate of educational quality, videos conducted by physicians recorded significantly higher ratings—with physician-led presentations offering the best educational content. As such, further analysis of trigger finger release procedures found on YouTube could poise physician involvement in producing videos of high educational quality while potentially bridging the gap spanning quality content and video popularity. With online platforms such as YouTube evolving into conventional sources of healthcare information, physicians must act to improve the quality of online content to better guide patients in navigating treatment options and making healthcare decisions.
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