Background: Online health-related information has become increasingly popular. Social media platforms have great potential to support and change patients’ perspective. Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a common disease which is one of the most frequently researched subjects in foot problems. This study aimed to assess the content, quality and reliability of YouTube videos related to PF and to evaluate if they reflect current PF treatment guidelines.
Methods: The descriptive cross - sectional study analyzed the most viewed 79 YouTube videos retrieved by using the keyword “plantar fasciitis”. The quality, reliability and content of the videos were analyzed using Global Quality Scale (GQS), the modified DISCERN, JAMA and content scoring system by two independent physiotherapist. The analyzed videos were divided into three groups according to their GQS score as high, intermediate and low quality. Also, video parameters were compared between the useful and misleading groups.
Results: Of the analyzed 79 videos, 26 (32.9%) were of low quality, 29 (36.7%) were of intermediate quality and 24 were of (30.3%) high quality. Most of high quality videos were uploaded by allied health professionals (39.4%). View ratio and video power index scores were highest in patients. There were significant differences between useful and misleading videos in terms of DISCERN, GQS and JAMA scores (p =0.000, p=0.000, p=0.020, respectively). Almost all of the evaluated videos contain at least one treatment approach.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the vast of majority YouTube videos on PF are useful and comprehensive, also our results may propose that the vast majority of the videos reflect current treatment guidelines. Video-based information about PF may provide valuable insight to patients, especially in the absence of a direct access to healthcare stakeholders.