YouTube as a tool to assess patient perception

How to cite this article:
Tin SS, Wiwanitkit V. YouTube as a tool to assess patient perception. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2014;7:246-7


How to cite this URL:
Tin SS, Wiwanitkit V. YouTube as a tool to assess patient perception. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Apr 13];7:246-7. Available from:

Dear Sir,

We would like to discuss the use of “YouTube as a tool to assess patient perception.” Indeed, YouTube is a platform of current, widely used information technology (IT) that can help us in many aspects. The application of YouTube for medical purposes is interesting, and it can be useful for the doctor-and-patient relationship.

Hayes et al. reported that “while YouTube provides a logical platform for delivery of health information, the information on this platform is not regulated.” [1] In fact, many new IT tools are reported to be useful in medical practice, and there is no doubt that YouTube has become the new widely used tool for education. [2] As reported by Springer, “there are more than 2 billion video views on YouTube everyday.” [3] YouTube seems to be an effective way to broadcast information to the public. However, the main issue is the “privacy” of the patient and the “accuracy” of the “information,” [4],[5] and as a worldwide, public-access tool, privacy must be discussed.

Privacy is an important issue in social media risk management. [3] Focusing on YouTube videos for health education to patients, the implications of one case is a point to be considered. Recently, Gómez-Zúñiga et al. performed an interesting qualitative study to assess the feelings and perceptions of individuals who were e-patients on YouTube, [6] and noted that those patients expressed that “the first consequence of sharing their life on YouTube was a loss of privacy.” [6] Since privacy is a big consideration in patient rights protection, the control of privacy in social media, including YouTube, is needed. [7] As noted by Hader and Brown, any “postings must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), applicable facility policy, state law, and AANA’s Code of Ethics.” [8] Finally, the success of education is also in relating to perceptions of “privacy”. Privacy is mentioned as an important barrier preventing patients from use social media/ web-based health IT. [8]

The accuracy of the information posted on YouTube seems to be another big problem. Murugiah et al. studied the content of YouTube videos that showed information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and found that only two-thirds of those YouTube videos presented correct information. [9] This study noted that information on this platform is unregulated, and that only content by trusted sources should be posted to provide accurate and easily accessible information. [9] In addition, authoritative videos should come from reputable sources such as professional societies and/or academic institutions, and should provide unbiased and accurate information on all aspects of diseases. [10]

Regarding the report by Hayes et al., [1] it is interesting that no video is accredited or approved by any cardiology society. Nevertheless, it is noted that the cardiologist may use “educational videos that satisfy patients’ desires for experiential as well as content-oriented learning.” [1] In fact, not only the YouTube video itself, but also the presented details and the presenter in the video have effects on patient perception, as noted by Pandey et al.: “a public figure’s illness can significantly influence the public’s interest in that condition and its associated therapies.” [11]



Hayes K, Mainali P, Deshmukh A, Pant S, Badheka AO, Paydak H. Utilization of YouTube as a tool to assess patient perception regarding implanted cardiac devices. N Am J Med Sci 2014;6:291-4.
Topps D, Helmer J, Ellaway R. YouTube as a platform for publishing clinical skills training videos. Acad Med 2013;88:192-7.
Springer R. SOCIAL MEDIA – risk management. Plast Surg Nurs 2012;32:22-4.
Sampson M, Cumber J, Li C, Pound CM, Fuller A, Harrison D. A systematic review of methods for studying consumer health YouTube videos, with implications for systematic reviews. Peer J 2013;1:e147.
Cañon DE, Lopez DM, Blobel B. Towards assisted moderation in online healthcare social networks: Improving trust in YouTube searches. Stud Health Technol Inform 2014;200:146-52.
Gómez-Zúñiga B, Fernandez-Luque L, Pousada M, Hernández-Encuentra E, Armayones M. ePatients on YouTube: Analysis of four experiences from the patients’ perspective. Med 2012;1:e1.
Hader AL, Brown ED. Patient privacy and social media. AANA J 2010;78:270-4.
Fischer SH, David D, Crotty BH, Dierks M, Safran C. Acceptance and use of health information technology by community-dwelling elders. Int J Med Inform 2014;83:624-35.
Murugiah K, Vallakati A, Rajput K, Sood A, Challa NR. YouTube as a source of information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Resuscitation 2011;82:332-4.
Pant S, Deshmukh A, Murugiah K, Kumar G, Sachdeva R, Mehta JL. Assessing the credibility of the “YouTube approach” to health information on acute myocardial infarction. Clin Cardiol 2012;35:281-5.
Pandey A, Abdullah K, Drazner MH. Impact of Vice President Cheney on public interest in left ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation. Am J Cardiol 2014;113:1529-31.

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.154831

Paul Mies has now been involved with test reports and comparing products for a decade. He is a highly sought-after specialist in these areas as well as in general health and nutrition advice. With this expertise and the team behind, they test, compare and report on all sought-after products on the Internet around the topics of health, slimming, beauty and more. The results are ultimately summarized and disclosed to readers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here