YouTube as a Source of Information on Lipedema: Property, Quality, and Reliability Assessment

Ozdemir E. E., Borman P., Civelek G. M., UMAROĞLU M. M.

LYMPHATIC RESEARCH AND BIOLOGY, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/lrb.2022.0028
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: lipedema, YouTube, reliability, quality, information source, HEALTH INFORMATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Background/Aim: YouTube provides information on several health-conditions including lipedema. The aim of this study was to investigate the properties, quality, and quantity of YouTube videos on lipedema.Methods: We explored YouTube using the key word lipedema and the initial top 50 videos were included to review. The properties comprising informers, target, and domains of videos covering number of views, likes, dislikes, duration, viewing rate (VR), and video power index (VPI) were recorded. A modified DISCERN tool and global quality scale (GQS) were used to assess the reliability and quality of videos, respectively.Results: The top 50 videos had a mean of 35,805 views, 282 likes, 12 dislikes, and 30 comments. The mean VPI (96.4) and VR (63.8%) were high. The videos were generally uploaded by health professionals for patient/public and health professional targets with the same ratio (50%). The majority of video contents was related to general information (68%) followed by surgical treatment (62%). Only a small ratio of their content (22%) was about nonsurgical management. The reliability and quality of the videos were intermediate to low. The median DISCERN and GQS scores were higher in the videos uploaded by health professional group compared with nonhealth professionals, but the number of views, VPI, and VR were similar between the groups with regard to the source.Conclusion: YouTube videos on lipedema are mostly provided by health professionals targeting both public/patients and health care providers but the content is limited and the quality and reliability of them were low to intermediate. Therefore, the lipedema specialists are suggested to work together to create up-to-date, high-quality, accessible online educational content to meet the needs of both patients/public and the health professionals. In addition, control mechanisms and careful peer reviewing of the videos informed by nonhealth professionals are warranted to avoid misleading information.