Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Information on surgical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia on YouTube is highly biased and misleading

Patrick Betschart, Manolis Pratsinis, Gautier Muellhaupt, Roman Rechner, Thomas Rw Herrmann, Christian Gratzke, Hans-Peter Schmid, Valentin Zumstein & Dominik Abt


To assess the quality of videos on surgical treatment on YouTube, since video sharing platforms are used very frequently as sources of patient information and the therapeutic landscape of lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (LUTS/BPH) substantially evolved during the last years.

A systematic search for videos on YouTube addressing treatment options of LUTS/BPH was performed in May 2019. Assessed parameters included basic data (e.g., number of views), grade of misinformation and reporting of conflicts of interest. Quality of content was analyzed using the validated DISCERN questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

A total of 159 videos with median 8'570 views (648 - 2'384'391) were included to the analysis. Only 21 videos (13.2%) were rated to contain no misinformation, 26 (16.4%) were free of commercial bias, and two (1.3%) disclosed potential conflicts of interest. According to DISCERN, the median overall quality of the videos was low (2 out of 5 points for question 16). Only four out of the 15 assessed categories (i.e., bipolar and Holmium laser enucleation, transurethral resection and patient based search terms) reached a moderate median overall quality (3 points).

Most videos about surgical treatment of LUTS/BPH on YouTube have a low quality of content, provide misinformation, are subject to commercial bias and do not report on conflicts of interest. These findings emphasize the importance of thorough doctor-patient communication and active recommendation of unbiased patient education materials.
citation Betschart P, Pratsinis M, Muellhaupt G, Rechner R, Herrmann T R, Gratzke C, Schmid H P, Zumstein V, Abt D. Information on surgical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia on YouTube is highly biased and misleading. BJU Int 2019;.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 13-12-2019
journal title BJU Int
ISSN electronic 1464-410X
PubMed 31834973
DOI 10.1111/bju.14971