The migraine landscape on YouTube: A review of YouTube as a source of information on migraine

Hillah Saffi, Thien Phu Do, Jakob Møller Hansen, David W. Dodick, Messoud Ashina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: YouTube is the most widely used video hosting website in the world; however, the quality and reliability of information is unknown. The aim of this study is to evaluate the content and distribution of the most popular videos on YouTube about migraine. Methods: We searched for migraine-related videos on the online video hosting resource YouTube ( Two authors screened the titles and video descriptions independently for all videos with a view count of ≥ 10,000 views. For each video we recorded descriptive data, the source/author and the primary purpose/content. Results: We identified 351 eligible videos. In total, there was more than 3 days of content viewed more than 163 million times. Only 9% of these videos were authored by healthcare professionals. The majority (44%) of videos focused on complementary and alternative medicine. Discussion: YouTube provides a wide array of easily accessible information on migraine, ranging from authoritative sources to potentially questionable content. If used uncritically, this may result in inadequate clinical management. Peer-reviewed information on migraine mechanisms and treatment is needed to provide the best available evidence for the public and patients. Ideally, a professional society or foundation such as the International Headache Society would develop, curate, and distribute content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1363-1369
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Digital
  • Twitter
  • advocacy
  • consumer health information
  • education
  • online
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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