Evaluating YouTube TM as a patient information source for the Risks of Root Canal Treatment.

McLean, Stewart, Cook, Neil orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9738-9582, Rovira-Wilde, Alex, Patel, Shanon and Kanagasingam, Shalini (2023) Evaluating YouTube TM as a patient information source for the Risks of Root Canal Treatment. Journal of Endodontics . ISSN 0099-2399

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joen.2022.09.003


YouTube TM is one of the most used social media platforms for healthcare information. Misinformation and poor educational content on this platform can exacerbate public anxiety and fear of root canal treatment. This study aims to investigate the quality of videos examining risks of root canal treatment on YouTube TM

Methods: YouTube TM was searched using a combination of keywords relating to endodontic complications to replicate goal-orientated browsing. Video quality was assessed using a modified DISCERN score and global quality score by two authors independently. Manifest quantitative content analysis was used to capture information about the video and extent of interactions. The ten most viewed videos were further analysed in terms of the messaging and format of the videos.

Results: The mean overall quality of the videos was relatively low (2.20). Videos produced by regulatory bodies had the highest mean score (3.00) and the shortest mean length (2 minutes 23 seconds) but had the fewest views and interactions. The poorest quality videos (mean 1.5) were produced by non-clinicians and news/media, which tended to be longer (mean 8 minutes 49 seconds) and received more engagement. Across all videos, information related to patient decision making tended to be poorly presented.

Conclusions: The dental community, particularly institutions and organisations need to strategically create engaging videos to redress patients concerns about root canal treatment. This can counterbalance the existing misleading information and improve access to evidence-based content which will ultimately impact patient decision-making.

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