The reliability of Deep Brain Stimulation YouTube videos: YouTube and DBS

Shashwat Tripathi, Karim ReFaey, Rachel Stein, Breanna J. Calhoun, Amanda N. Despart, Megan C. Brantley, Sanjeet S. Grewal, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Robert E. Wharen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) was approved by the FDA in the 1990s and is used to treat a variety of movement disorders. Patients are increasingly turning to the internet for information regarding their ailments. In this study, we aim to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of information presented in DBS-related YouTube videos. Methods: Using the “Relevance-Based Ranking” strategy for analysis we assessed the first 3 pages of YouTube for each of the following keywords: “Deep Brain Stimulation”, “DBS”, “DBS for Parkinson's disease”, “DBS for essential tremor”, and “DBS for movement disorders”. Four independent healthcare personnel evaluated the videos’ education quality and informational material using the validated DISCERN tool. Results: Our study found that only 24% of the 42 published videos analyzed scored above a 3 on the DISCERN scoring scale (considered a “good” video). The search term “Deep Brain Stimulation” had the highest percentage of good videos (DISCERN > 3) (32%). We also found that the duration of videos was longer for the “good” videos (Good = 25.6 min vs Unhelpful = 3.0 min, P = 0.01). Conclusion: YouTube is one of the largest video platforms; the uploaded videos lack reliability and institutional oversight by the experts. We believe that medical institutions should explore this way of communicating to patients by publishing evidence-based and informative videos on diseases and their management. As it is imperative that the medical field advance to combat medical misinformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-204
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • DBS
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Patient education
  • Quality of life
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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