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The migraine landscape on YouTube: A review of YouTube as a source of information on migraine

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INTRODUCTION: YouTube is the most widely used video hosting website in the world; however, the quality and reliability of information is unknown. The aim of this study is to evaluate the content and distribution of the most popular videos on YouTube about migraine.

METHODS: We searched for migraine-related videos on the online video hosting resource YouTube (http://youtube.com/). Two authors screened the titles and video descriptions independently for all videos with a view count of ≥ 10,000 views. For each video we recorded descriptive data, the source/author and the primary purpose/content.

RESULTS: We identified 351 eligible videos. In total, there was more than 3 days of content viewed more than 163 million times. Only 9% of these videos were authored by healthcare professionals. The majority (44%) of videos focused on complementary and alternative medicine.

DISCUSSION: YouTube provides a wide array of easily accessible information on migraine, ranging from authoritative sources to potentially questionable content. If used uncritically, this may result in inadequate clinical management. Peer-reviewed information on migraine mechanisms and treatment is needed to provide the best available evidence for the public and patients. Ideally, a professional society or foundation such as the International Headache Society would develop, curate, and distribute content.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Volume40
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1363-1369
Number of pages7
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Digital, Twitter, advocacy, consumer health information, education, online, social media

ID: 60566688