The Reliability of YouTube Videos Describing Stereotactic Radiosurgery: A Call for Action

Karim ReFaey, Shashwat Tripathi, Angela M. Bohnen, Mark R. Waddle, Jennifer Peterson, Carla Vazquez-Ramos, Celine M. Bondoc, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Daniel M. Trifiletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Gamma Knife radiosurgery was introduced in the 1960s and is currently used worldwide. The internet has become a foremost source of information used by patients and their families. In this study, we aim to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the Gamma Knife radiosurgery–related YouTube videos. Methods: We searched YouTube and the first 3 pages sorted according to “Relevance-Based Ranking” were included for analysis. Four independent health care workers from different disciplines evaluated the videos using the validated DISCERN tool. Results: Our search resulted in 65,774 videos, and 14 videos met inclusion criteria. Our study found that 50% (7 of 14) of the videos were uploaded by university-affiliated hospitals; 14% of videos scored 3. The search term “Radiosurgery for intraaxial brain lesions” had the highest percentage of moderate videos (DISCERN = 3) (50%). Conclusions: Patients and caregivers turn to online sources to gather information about the disease. However, the available YouTube published videos are published without proper academic monitoring, as in such a free platform, published videos tend to catch a general audience for different purposes, which leads to diminishing quality control. Academic medical institutions should consider a proper monitoring process for videos to improve the accuracy of the published information for the patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e398-e402
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - May 2019


  • CyberKnife
  • Gamma Knife
  • Patient education
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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