CITATION: J Med Internet Res. 2020 Jul 27.
An Evaluation of COVID-19-related Medical Information on YouTube: A Cross-sectional Infodemiology Study of Korean Content.
Moon H, Lee GH
ABSTRACT: In South Korea, the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases has declined rapidly, and much sooner than in other countries. South Korea is one of the most digitalized countries in the world, and YouTube may have served as a rapid delivery mechanism for increasing public awareness of COVID-19. Thus, the platform may have helped the South Korean public fight the spread of the disease.The objective of this study is to compare the reliability, overall quality, title-content consistency, and content coverage of Korean-language YouTube videos on COVID-19, which have been uploaded by different sources.Two hundred of the most viewed YouTube videos from January 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020 were screened, searching in Korean for the terms “Coronavirus,” “COVID,” “Corona,” “Wuhan virus,” and “Wuhan pneumonia.” Non-Korean videos and videos that were duplicated, irrelevant, or live-streamed were excluded. Source and video metrics were collected. The videos were scored based on the following criteria: modified DISCERN index, Journal of the American Medical Association Score (JAMAS) benchmark criteria, global quality score (GQS), title-content consistency index (TCCI), and medical information and content index (MICI).Of the 105 total videos, 37.14% (39/105) contained misleading information; independent user-generated videos showed the highest proportion of misleading information at 68.09% (32/47), while all of the government-generated videos were useful. Government agency-generated videos achieved the highest median score of DISCERN (5.0 [IQR 5.0-5.0]), JAMAS (4.0 [IQR 4.0-4.0]), GQS (4.0 [IQR 3.0-4.5]), and TCCI (5.0 [IQR 5.0-5.0]), while independent user-generated videos achieved the lowest median score of DISCERN (2.0 [IQR 1.0-3.0]), JAMAS (2.0 [IQR 1.5-2.0]), GQS (2.0 [IQR 1.5-2.0]), and TCCI (3.0 [IQR 3.0-4.0]). However, the total MICI was not significantly different among sources. “Transmission and precautionary measures” were the most commonly covered content by government agencies, news agencies, and independent users. In contrast, the most mentioned content by news agencies was “prevalence,” followed by “transmission and precautionary measures.”Misleading videos had more likes, fewer comments, and longer running times than useful videos. Korean-language YouTube videos on COVID-19 uploaded by different sources varied significantly in terms of reliability, overall quality, and title-content consistency, but the content coverage was not significantly different. Government-generated videos had higher reliability, overall quality, and title-content consistency than independent user-generated videos.
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