YouTube™ as a Source of Instructional Videos on Bowel Preparation: a Content Analysis


Instructional videos on bowel preparation have been shown to improve bowel preparation scores during colonoscopy. YouTube™ is one of the most frequently visited website on the internet and contains videos on bowel preparation. In an era where patients are increasingly turning to social media for guidance on their health, the content of these videos merits further investigation. We assessed the content of bowel preparation videos available on YouTube™ to determine the proportion of YouTube™ videos on bowel preparation that are high-content videos and the characteristics of these videos. YouTube™ videos were assessed for the following content: (1) definition of bowel preparation, (2) importance of bowel preparation, (3) instructions on home medications, (4) name of bowel cleansing agent (BCA), (5) instructions on when to start taking BCA, (6) instructions on volume and frequency of BCA intake, (7) diet instructions, (8) instructions on fluid intake, (9) adverse events associated with BCA, and (10) rectal effluent. Each content parameter was given 1 point for a total of 10 points. Videos with ≥5 points were considered by our group to be high-content videos. Videos with ≤4 points were considered low-content videos. Forty-nine (59 %) videos were low-content videos while 34 (41 %) were high-content videos. There was no association between number of views, number of comments, thumbs up, thumbs down or engagement score, and videos deemed high-content. Multiple regression analysis revealed bowel preparation videos on YouTube™ with length >4 minutes and non-patient authorship to be associated with high-content videos.

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Correspondence to Adewale B. Ajumobi.

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Ajumobi, A.B., Malakouti, M., Bullen, A. et al. YouTube™ as a Source of Instructional Videos on Bowel Preparation: a Content Analysis. J Canc Educ 31, 755–759 (2016).

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  • Bowel preparation
  • Colonoscopy
  • YouTube
  • Videos