A Quality Assessment of Information Available on Renal Cancer on YouTube

  • Jeremy Saad
  • Ramesh Shanmugasundaram
  • Darius Ashrafi
  • Daniel Gilbourd
Keywords: YouTube, kidney neoplasm, social media, misinformation, dissemination


Objectives Many people are turning to alternatives to the conventional doctor-patient
relationship, such as web- based search engines and video forums for their health care information.
We undertook this study to investigate the quality of videos and information on renal cancer
available on the streaming platform YouTube.

Methods We completed a search of YouTube (www.YouTube.com) in September 2021 with the term
“kidney cancer.” The first 120 videos found which met the inclusion criteria (English speaking,
duration greater than one minute, greater than 500 views, renal cancer addressed) were selected. We
recorded information including duration, view count, likes, dislikes, comments, publisher, and
author. The modified DISCERN tool and Global Quality Score (GQS) questionnaire were used to assess
the quality of the included videos. The level of misinformation was assessed using a Likert 5-point
scale. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the collected data. A 2-sample t test was used
to further analyse the quality assessment tool results before, during, and after 2016.

Results Most videos were published during or after 2016 (63.3%), were predominantly created in
North America
(77.5%), and were presented by health care professionals (60%). The median length of the videos was
4.23 (1.01 to
65.55) minutes, and the median number of views was 3087 (514 to 228 152). The median number of
likes and dislikes was 24 and 5, respectively. The median modified DISCERN score was 3, the median
GQS score was 3, and the grading for overall level of misinformation was moderate.

Conclusion The quality of information accessed from YouTube on kidney cancer is of a low to
moderate overall standard with significant levels of misinformation. YouTube should not be used
alone for educational purposes on renal cancer by patients or the public. It is best used in
conjunction with information and advice from a medical practitioner and the health care system.

How to Cite
Saad, J., Shanmugasundaram, R., Ashrafi, D., & Gilbourd, D. (2022). A Quality Assessment of Information Available on Renal Cancer on YouTube. Société Internationale d’Urologie Journal, 3(5), 315-321. https://doi.org/10.48083/10.48083/HMUG9514