Quality and reliability of YouTube videos in Arabic as a source of patient information on prostate cancer

13 Jul 2023
Laith Baqain, Deborah Mukherji, Humaid O Al-Shamsi, Ibrahim Abu-Gheida, Akram Al Ibraheem, Kamal Al Rabii, Ala’a Farkouh, Mohammed Shahait

Background: Prostate cancer remains a major public health challenge in the Arab world with few population-based screening programmes, a high incidence of advanced disease at diagnosis, and limited patient access to sub-specialist care. A large number of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer use the (World Wide Web) internet to learn more about the disease and treatment options; however, material in the Arabic language is scarce. This study aims to objectively assess the quality and reliability of the information on YouTube™, which is the most globally used video platform, pertaining to prostate cancer videos published in Arabic.

Methods: A total of 100 videos were identified by searching specific keywords in Arabic (Prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatment and prostate). Retrieved videos were analysed and categorised into four groups according to content as useful, misleading, personal experience, or irrelevant. Useful videos were assessed using the global quality scale (GQS) as a validated measure of quality, which is graded on a 5-point Likert scale, with 1 representing poor quality and 5 representing excellent quality. The modified DISCERN tool was used as a measure of reliability. The tool has a potential total score of 5 points, with higher scores indicating higher reliability.

Results: Most of the speakers in these videos identified themselves as health workers (77%). Only 8% of the videos sources were hospital or medical organisations. Of the 100 retrieved videos, 86% were found to have useful content, while 14% were found to be misleading or irrelevant. The median GQS score of the useful videos was 4 (IQR: 4–5), while the median modified DISCERN tool was 4 (IQR: 3–4).

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first in-depth study to objectively assess the quality and reliability of information pertaining to prostate cancer in the Arabic language on YouTube™. More efforts are needed to improve the quality of prostate cancer educational materials and videos in the Arabic language on YouTube™. Patient focus groups are planned as the next step to address the information gap for patients with prostate cancer in the Arabic language.

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