Qualitative assessment of YouTube videos as a source of patient information for cochlear implant surgery

C Thomas, J Westwood, G F Butt

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BACKGROUND: YouTube is increasingly used as a source of healthcare information. This study evaluated the quality of videos on YouTube about cochlear implants.

METHODS: YouTube was searched using the phrase 'cochlear implant'. The first 60 results were screened by two independent reviewers. A modified Discern tool was used to evaluate the quality of each video.

RESULTS: Forty-seven videos were analysed. The mean overall Discern score was 2.0 out of 5.0. Videos scored higher for describing positive elements such as the benefits of a cochlear implant (mean score of 3.4) and scored lower for negative elements such as the risks of cochlear implant surgery (mean score of 1.3).

CONCLUSION: The quality of information regarding cochlear implant surgery on YouTube is highly variable. These results demonstrated a bias towards the positive attributes of cochlear implants, with little mention of the risks or uncertainty involved. Although videos may be useful as supplementary information, critical elements required to make an informed decision are lacking. This is of particular importance when patients are considering surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-674
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of laryngology and otology
Issue number8
Early online date28 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Cochlear Implantation/education
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic/methods
  • Social Media/standards
  • Video Recording/standards


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