Assessment of Information on Concussion Available to Adolescents on Social Media

Betty Kollia, Corey H. Basch, Christina Mouser, Aurea J. Deleon


Background: Considering how many people obtain information about their health online, the aim of this study was to describe the content of the currently most widely viewed YouTube videos related to concussions and to test the hypothesis that consumer videos would be anecdotal, while
other sources would be more informational.

Methods: The term “concussion” was used to search for videos with 100,000 or more views on YouTube that were posted in English or Spanish. Descriptive information about each video was recorded, as was information on whether certain content was conveyed during the video. The main outcome measures are sources of upload and content of videos.

Results: Consumer videos accounted for 48% of the videos, television based accounted for 50% of the videos, and internet based accounted for only 2% of the videos. None of the videos viewed fell into the professional category. Television based videos were viewed signifcantly more than consumer or internet based videos. Consumer and television based videos were equally anecdotal. Many of the videos focused on adolescents and were related to sports injuries. The majority of the videos (70.4%) addressed concussion causes, with 48% stating sports. Few videos discussed symptoms of concussion and prevention.

Conclusions: The potential for widespread misinformation necessitates caution when obtaining information on concussion on a freely accessible and editable medium, such as YouTube.

Keywords: Adolescents, concussion, social media, YouTube

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