Objective: The objective of the current study was to examine the source, content, understandability and actionability of hearing loss information on YouTube videos.
Method: The study used a cross-sectional design. One hundred of the most frequently viewed YouTube videos were identified and various data were manually coded (i.e., video source, video content, popularity measures such as number of views, likes, and dislikes). In addition, the understandability and actionability of each video were evaluated using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audiovisual Martials (PEMAT-AV) rating scale.
Results: Of the 100 most viewed videos, 16 were created by consumers, 62 were professional-created, and 22 were media-based. Symptoms, causes and treatment or management of hearing loss were the most frequently discussed content categories with over 60% of all videos commenting on these areas. The overall understandability and actionability scores for the 100 videos included were 77% and 31% respectively indicating adequate understandability and poor actionability.
Conclusions: The YouTube videos on hearing loss focus on a range of issues. The poor actionability of these videos was a concern as these videos may not lead to appropriate consumer actions in addressing their hearing loss. Efforts are needed to improve the quality and content of these videos to promote appropriate behavior change.