Assessing the quality and reliability of YouTube videos as a source of information on inflammatory back pain

Kara M., Ozduran E., Kara M. M., HANCI V., ERKİN Y.

PeerJ, vol.12, no.4, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.7717/peerj.17215
  • Journal Name: PeerJ
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: E-learning, Inflammatory back pain, Internet, YouTube
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background. Inflammatory back pain is a chronic condition with localized pain, particularly in the axial spine and sacroiliac joints, that is associated with morning stiffness and improves with exercise. YouTube is the second most frequently used social media platform for accessing health information. This study sought to investigate the quality and reliability of YouTube videos on inflammatory back pain (IBP). Methods. The study design was planned as cross-sectional. A search was conducted using the term ‘‘inflammatory back pain,’’ and the first 100 videos that met the inclusion criteria were selected on October 19, 2023. The data of the videos selected according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria in the study settings were examined. Videos with English language, with audiovisual content, had a duration >30 s, non-duplicated and primary content related to IBP were included in the study. A number of video parameters such as the number of likes, number of views, duration, and content categories were assessed. The videos were assessed for reliability using the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Benchmark criteria and the DISCERN tool. Quality was assessed using the Global Quality Score (GQS). Continuous variables were checked for normality of distribution using Shapiro–Wilk test and Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. Kruskal–Wallis test and Mann–Whitney U test were used to analyze the continuous data depending on the number of groups. Categorical data were analyzed using Pearson’s chi-square test. Results. Reliability assessment based on JAMA scores showed 21% of the videos to have high reliability. Quality assessment based on GQS results showed 19% of the videos to have high quality. JAMA, DISCERN, and GQS scores differed significantly by source of video (p < 0.001, < 0.001, and = 0.002, respectively). Video duration had a moderate positive correlation with scores from the GQS (r = 0.418, p < 0.001), JAMA (r = 0.484, p < 0.001), and modified DISCERN (r = 0.418, p < 0.001). Conclusion. The results of the present study showed that YouTube offers videos of low reliability and low quality on inflammatory back pain. Health authorities have a responsibility to protect public health and should take proactive steps regarding health information shared on social media platforms.