Clinical Edge

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YouTube Videos as Source of Patient Psoriasis Information

Dermatologists should consider posting information to YouTube to increase the volume of evidence-based, patient-directed material available through this platform, a new study suggests. Researchers assessed the quality of content on YouTube regarding topical treatment for psoriasis. A cross-sectional analysis of YouTube videos was conducted; 400 were screened and 199 met criteria for inclusion. Among the findings:

  • 110 (55.3%) videos discussed natural treatments, 56 (28.1%) discussed therapies with grade A recommendations by the American Academy of Dermatology, 22 (8.5%) discussed therapies with grade B recommendations, and 14 (7.0%) discussed combinations.
  • 15.5% of videos were patient-generated testimonials and 20 (10.1%) featured health care professionals.
  • Patient testimonials had the most views.

Citation:

Pithadia DJ, Reynolds KA, Lee EB, Wu JJ. A cross-sectional study of YouTube videos as a source of patient information about topical psoriasis therapies. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019;18:1-4. doi:10.1080/09546634.2019.1597247.

Commentary:

Social media has become a huge source of medical information for the public. Material that is medically accurate and evidence-based provides the most reliable information. However, there is a much misinformation such as safety that lead to false perceptions about medical treatment. The observation that the majority of videos were about natural treatments for psoriasis confirms what dermatologists encounter in their clinic. Many patients are more enthusiastic about natural remedies for psoriasis and sometimes are reluctant to undergo conventional medical treatment. Patient testimonies, whether good or bad experiences, can relay powerful messages about their treatment since viewers can relate more to patients rather than their health care provider. —Paul S. Yamauchi, MD, PhD; Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Division of Dermatology; Adjunct Associate Professor John Wayne Cancer Institute.