YouTube as a source of information on the radiologic approach to COVID-19




COVID-19, Pandemic, Radiology, Imaging, YouTube


Background/Aim: Since YouTube videos do not have accuracy filters, there are concerns about the information content. There are no studies specifically addressing the link between “Covid-19" and "radiology" in terms of content, reliability, and efficacy. The study aims to analyze videos posted on YouTube concerning Covid-19 and imaging in English. Methods: The parameters of 120 most viewed videos on YouTube were recorded with the search of keywords "Covid-19 radiology" and "Covid-19 imaging". Quality Criteria for Consumer Health Information (DISCERN) and medical information and content index (MICI) scores were used to assess the reliability and medical content quality, respectively. The content was evaluated by types of radiological modalities and the patient groups included. Efficacy classification was conducted to assess "informative," "misleading," "individual experience" and "news update" groups. Video sources and target audience were analyzed. Results: After the exclusion criteria, 55 videos were examined. The informative group (n=49) had a higher MICI score (MICI=8) when compared to the other groups (individual experience: 1 (n=3), news update: 1 (n=3), P<0.001). Among the informative ones, 25 videos (51%) were from radiology-related YouTube channels (YC). The MICI and DISCERN scores of the videos, where “radiologists” and “clinicians” make explanations, were significantly higher compared to the “others” group (P=0.001, and P=0.005, respectively). Computed tomography (CT) was the most frequently mentioned radiologic modality (n=49.84%). Pediatric and pregnant population videos were comparatively rarely offered (n=4.7% and n=3.4%). Conclusion: The most viewed videos on YouTube about Covid-19 and radiology are reliable and informative videos narrated by radiologists and published by radiology-related channels and radiology societies. Accurate and scientific evidence-based information sharing is important on online social and scientific platforms.


Download data is not yet available.


Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2. Nat Microbiol. 2020;5:536-44. doi: 10.1038/s41564-020-0695-z.

World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report (2020),; [accessed 29 December 2020].

Tofighi S, Najafi S, Johnston SK, Gholamrezanezhad A. Low-dose CT in COVID-19 outbreak: radiation safety, image wisely, and image gently pledge. Emerg Radiol. 2020;27:601-5. doi: 10.1007/s10140-020-01784-3.

Long C, Xu H, Shen Q, Zhang X, Fan B, Wang C, et al. Diagnosis of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): rRT-PCR or CT? Eur J Radiol. 2020;126:108961. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.108961.

Lemenager T, Neissner M, Koopmann A, Reinhard I, Georgiadou E, Müller A, et al. COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions and Online Media Consumption in Germany. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:14.

Freeman B, Chapman S. Is "YouTube" telling or selling you something? Tobacco content on the YouTube video-sharing website. Tob Control. 2007;16:207-10. doi:10.1136/tc.2007.020024.

Top 15 Most Popular Websites (ebizma website). 2020, http://www.‐popular‐websites; [accessed 15 May 2020].

Basnet B, Bhattarai S, Khanal A, Upadhyay M, Baruwal A. Quality of YouTube patient information on prostate cancer screening. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2019;32:361-3. doi: 10.1080/08998280.2019.1594493.

Khatri P, Singh SR, Belani NK, Yeong YL, Lohan R, Lim YW, et al. YouTube as source of information on 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak: a cross sectional study of English and Mandarin content. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020;35:101636. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101636.

Nagpal SJ, Karimianpour A, Mukhija D, Mohan D, Brateanu A. YouTube videos as a source of medical information during the Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic. Springer plus. 2015;4:457. doi: 10.1186/s40064-015-1251-9.

Youtube Policies and Security. (Youtube Website), https://www.‐guidelines; [accessed 15 May 2020].

Kocyigit BF, Akaltun MS, Sahin AR. YouTube as a source of information on COVID-19 and rheumatic disease link. Clin Rheumatol. 2020;39:2049-54. doi: 10.1007/s10067-020-05176-3.

Sampson M, Cumber J, Li C, Pound CM, Fuller A, Harrison D. A systematic review of methods for studying consumer health YouTube videos, with implications for systematic reviews. Peer J. 2013;1:e147. doi: 10.7717/peerj.147.

Ataç Ö, Özalp YC, Kurnaz R, Güler OM, İnamlık M, Hayran O. Youtube as an Information Source During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic: Evaluation of the Turkish and English Content. Cureus. 2020;12:e10795. doi: 10.7759/cureus.10795.

Desai T, Shariff A, Dhingra V, Minhas D, Eure M, Kats M. Is content really king? An objective analysis of the public's response to medical videos on YouTube. PLoS One. 2013;8:e82469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082469.

Erdem MN, Karaca S. Evaluating the Accuracy and Quality of the Information in Kyphosis Videos Shared on YouTube. Spine. 2018;43:E1334-e1339. doi: 10.1097/brs.0000000000002691.

Singh AG, Singh S, Singh PP. YouTube for information on rheumatoid arthritis--a wakeup call? J Rheumatol. 2012;39:899-903. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.111114.

Yuksel B, Cakmak K. Healthcare information on YouTube: Pregnancy and COVID-19. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020;150:189-93. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13246.

Aydin MA, Akyol H. Quality of Information Available on YouTube Videos Pertaining to Thyroid Cancer. J Cancer Educ. 2020;35:599-605. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13246.

Madathil KC, Rivera-Rodriguez AJ, Greenstein JS, Gramopadhye AK. Healthcare information on YouTube: A systematic review. Health Informatics J. 2015;21:173-94. doi: 10.1177/1460458213512220.

Bao Y, Sun Y, Meng S, Shi J, Lu L. 2019-nCoV epidemic: address mental health care to empower society. Lancet. 2020;395:e37-e38. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(20)30309-3.

Zhang B, Zaman A, Silenzio V, Kautz H, Hoque E. The Relationships of Deteriorating Depression and Anxiety With Longitudinal Behavioral Changes in Google and YouTube Use During COVID-19: Observational Study. JMIR Ment Health. 2020;7:e24012. doi: 10.2196/24012.

Gao J, Zheng P, Jia Y, Chen H, Mao Y, Chen S, et al. Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak. PLoS One. 2020;15:e0231924. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0231924.

Hernández-García I, Giménez-Júlvez T. Characteristics of YouTube Videos in Spanish on How to Prevent COVID-19. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17134671.

Dutta A, Beriwal N, Van Breugel LM, Sachdeva S, Barman B, Saikia H, et al. YouTube as a Source of Medical and Epidemiological Information During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study of Content Across Six Languages Around the Globe. Cureus. 2020;12:e8622. doi: 10.7759/cureus.8622.

Aljondi R, Alghamdi S. Diagnostic Value of Imaging Modalities for COVID-19: Scoping Review. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22:e19673. doi: 10.2196/19673.

Fields BKK, Demirjian NL, Dadgar H, Gholamrezanezhad A. Imaging of COVID-19: CT, MRI, and PET. Semin Nucl Med. 2020. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2020.11.003.

Kawchuk G, Hartvigsen J, Innes S, Simpson JK, Gushaty B. The use of internet analytics by a Canadian provincial chiropractic regulator to monitor, evaluate and remediate misleading claims regarding specific health conditions, pregnancy, and COVID-19. Chiropr Man Therap. 2020;28:24. doi: 10.1186/s12998-020-00314-9.

Ayaz R, Hocaoğlu M, Günay T, Yardımcı OD, Turgut A, Karateke A. Anxiety and depression symptoms in the same pregnant women before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Perinat Med. 2020;48:965-70. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2020-0380.






Research Article

How to Cite

Tekin ZN, Satır Özel C. YouTube as a source of information on the radiologic approach to COVID-19. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 1 [cited 2022 Jun. 25];5(12):1174-8. Available from: