​​People are increasingly relying on YouTube to make health-related decisions

​​People are increasingly relying on YouTube to make health-related decisions

According to a new study, many of us consult health content on YouTube and almost as many make our health-related decisions, influenced by what we watch. A new trend which, however, requires checking its sources, as mentioned by Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens.

Youtube increasingly consulted on health themes

For several years, Youtube has established itself as a “normal” information channel for everyone. We look in particular for information, entertainment, or even education. But YouTube is also a popular source of health-related content.

According to recent studies, the percentage of American adults watching this type of content on YouTube increased from 40% in 2020 to 59% in 2022. People are not only watching health-related content on this platform, but using it also to ask for help from others.

That’s why a small group of researchers were interested in how many users watch this type of content and how many of them make decisions based on health-related YouTube content.

Nearly 9 out of 10 users are influenced by health content

The study in question surveyed 3,000 international YouTube users via Prolific Academic. The online survey covered demographic information, behaviors related to viewing health-related YouTube content, decision-making influenced by these videos, perceptions of their usefulness or bias, ratings of their quality and suggestions for improving the quality of health-related video content.

The results revealed that:

  • 2,630 out of 3,000 participants (88%) watched health-related content on YouTube;
  • 2,542 (85%) made decisions influenced by health-related YouTube videos;
  • 44% indicated that their choice to see a doctor was influenced by YouTube content.

“Fitness” and “mental health” content as a priority

It is also interesting to see what interests Internet users first. Thus, it is the form or the exercise which holds the top of the basket. In health-related content, exercise and strength training videos were the most popular, watched by 53% of participants. This is followed by mental health (47%), wellness (42%), diet programs (37%), dermatology (28%) and cosmetics (23%), with other content categories attracting fewer viewers. .

Conversely, videos about alternative medicine and deciding whether or not to see a doctor received the lowest ratings, although they were still viewed positively.

The researchers judged that: “Users are turning to YouTube not only for health information, but also as a decision-making tool. Combined with their generally positive attitude towards the quality of content on this platform, this can have significant consequences for their health “.

Getting information online means knowing how to sort

For Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens, this attraction for the platform should not be rejected but better understood.

“YouTube is a revolution underway in health, and we cannot do without the internet or social networks today. The problem is that it can also be dangerous. We therefore have to deal with it, we on the health professional side, and on the publisher side, by adding credibility to the information and allowing everyone to sort the wheat from the chaff”.

The media doctor therefore reminds us of a few rules:

  • Look who’s speaking: it is not because it is a health professional who makes a video that what he says is necessarily true;
  • Check for conflicts of interest: is there a hidden ad does the person have something to sell?
  • Trust labels like Youtube Healthwhich guarantees verified information.

Youtube TipsForWomens, a reliable site for health information

You can also find out about the channel Youtube Most learned like 1.56 million subscribers. In addition to our site whose content is validated by health experts, our Youtube channel has now been labeled Youtube Health since November 17, a certification label for verified editorial content, certified by a team of journalists and expert doctors. How to know? A banner under each video now informs you of the seriousness of the content and the collaboration of a member registered with the RPPS, a shared directory of professionals working in the health system. Like the compass in our logo, TipsForWomens strives to serve as a benchmark for your health.