Consulting “Dr. YouTube”: an objective evaluation of hypospadias videos on a popular video-sharing website

Amr Salama, Janet Panoch, Elhaam Bandali, Aaron Carroll, Sarah Wiehe, Stephen Downs, Mark P. Cain, Richard Frankel, Katherine H. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Parents who make decisions about hypospadias repair for their child may seek information from online platforms such as YouTube. Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the health literacy demand of hypospadias videos on YouTube using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audiovisual Materials (PEMAT-A/V). Study design: We performed a YouTube search using the term “hypospadias,” limiting results to the first 100 videos. We excluded videos that were <1 min or >20 min and videos that were not in English or did not include subtitles. Two evaluators independently examined videos and determined PEMAT-A/V scores for understandability and actionability (i.e., ability to identify actions the viewer can take). Videos with scores >70% are understandable or actionable. The inter-rater reliability (kappa) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of PEMAT scores were calculated. Bivariate and multivariable linear regression models assessed the association of video characteristics with respective scores. Results: Of the 100 videos that were identified on YouTube, 47 (47%) were excluded leaving 53 for analysis: 14 were >20 min, 14 were <1 min, 9 had no audio or subtitles, 7 were not in English, 1 was a duplicate, 1 was unrelated to hypospadias, and 1 was deleted at the time of data analysis. Three (5.6%) were understandable (mean score 54.5%, standard deviation (SD) 14.9) and eight (15.1%) were actionable (mean score 21.8%, SD 16.6) (Extended Summary Figure). Kappa values ranged from 0.4 to 1. The ICC's were 0.55 and 0.33 for understandability and actionability, respectively. In the bivariate analysis, mean understandability scores were significantly higher for English language videos (p = 0.04), videos with animation (p = 0.002), and those produced by industry (p = 0.02). In the multivariable analysis, mean understandability scores were significantly higher for “expert testimonial” or “other” video types after adjusting for graphics type and overall tone (p = 0.04). Mean understandability scores were also significantly higher for videos with animation after adjusting for video type and overall tone (p = 0.01). Mean actionability scores were significantly higher for videos with a negative tone (p = 0.01). Discussion: The vast majority of hypospadias-related YouTube content is not appropriate for users with low health literacy although certain types of videos, such those with animation and expert testimonials, scored higher on understandability than other types. Conclusion: Due to the lack of sufficient online informational content regarding hypospadias, we plan to engage parents of sons with hypospadias in the development of high-quality patient educational materials about hypospadias.[Formula presented]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70.e1-70.e9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Decision making
  • Hypospadias
  • Pediatrics
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology

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