OUP user menu

Journal of Crohn's and Colitis: 9 (4)


Laurence J. Egan, Ireland

Associate Editors

Maria T. Abreu, USAShomron Ben-Horin, IsraelSilvio Danese, ItalyPeter Lakatos, HungaryMiles Parkes, UKGijs van den Brink, NLSéverine Vermeire, Belgium


Published on behalf of

YouTube® and inflammatory bowel disease

Saurabh Mukewar , Preethi Mani , Xianrui Wu , Rocio Lopez , Bo Shen
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crohns.2012.07.011 392-402 First published online: 1 June 2013


Background and aims: Nearly half of all patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) use the Internet as a source of information for their disease. We analyzed the source, content and accuracy of IBD videos found on YouTube® – one of the most popular websites in the United States – and assessed the demographic variables of the viewers.

Methods: The 100 most viewed videos with relevant information on IBD were analyzed. We included only English language videos that were less than 20 min in length and primarily focused on IBD. Those with no sound/poor sound quality were excluded. More than 30 variables were analyzed.

Results: Adults of 45–54 years old (95.1%) comprised the most common age group of viewers. Forty-eight percent of videos focused on Crohn's disease (CD), 32.0% on ulcerative colitis (UC), and 20.0% on both. Overall content for patient education was poor. Videos discussing alternative treatment options were more likely to depict patients' personal experience (73.9% vs. 2.4%) (p < 0.001) and be an advertisement compared to patient education videos (78.3% vs. 0) (p < 0.001). Videos discussing patient education had a higher number of favorites (mean 25.0 vs. 5.5) (p < 0.001), comments (mean 22.0 vs. 5.0) (p < 0.022) and “likes” (mean 19.0 vs. 9.0) (p = 0.025) than the ones discussing alternative treatment options.

Conclusions: YouTube® videos on IBD are popular but a poor source of patient education. Healthcare providers and professional societies should provide more educational materials using this powerful Internet tool to counteract the misleading information, especially for the targeted age group (45–54 years).

  • Crohn's disease
  • Internet
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • World Wide Web
  • YouTube
  • Abbreviations:
    aminosalicylic acid
    the Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America
    Crohn's disease
    health-related quality of life
    ileal pouch anal-anastomosis
    inflammatory bowel disease
    non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    tumor necrosis factor
    ulcerative colitis
  • View Full Text

    Log in through your institution