Pediatric surgery on YouTube™: Is the truth out there?

Stephanie K. Bezner, Erica I. Hodgman, Diana L. Diesen, Joshua T. Clayton, Robert K. Minkes, Jacob C. Langer, Li Ern Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose In 2000, we described the variability of pediatric surgical information on the Internet. Since then, online videos have become an increasingly popular medium for education and personal expression. The purpose of this study was to examine the content and quality of videos related to pediatric surgical diagnoses on the Internet. Methods YouTube™ was searched for videos on gastroschisis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, pediatric inguinal hernia, and pectus excavatum. The first 40 English language videos for each diagnosis were reviewed for owner and audience characteristics, content and quality. Results A small majority of videos were made by medical professionals (50.63%, vs. 41.25% by lay persons and 8.13% by fundraising organizations). Eighty percent of videos were intended for a lay audience. Videos by medical professionals were more accurate and complete than those posted by lay persons. Conclusions The YouTube™ videos varied significantly in content and quality. Videos by lay persons often focused on the emotional aspect of the diagnosis and clinical course. Videos by members of the medical profession tended to be more complete and accurate. These findings underscore the continued need for high quality pediatric surgical information on the Internet for patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-589
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Internet
  • Pediatric surgery
  • YouTube™

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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