257176 A content analysis of prostate cancer screening information on YouTube

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Tracey Thomas, MA, MS , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Otis Owens, MPH , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Daniela B. Friedman, Msc, PhD , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
BACKGROUND: Although prostate cancer (PrCA) is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer mortality among men, there is controversy surrounding PrCA screening. With medical experts in disagreement about the benefits of screening, organizations such as the American Cancer Society (ACS), recommend that men make an informed decision about screening with their healthcare provider. To make an informed decision, more men are seeking cancer information online. This study assesses the quality of PrCA screening information on YouTube.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the quality of PrCA screening information on YouTube, focusing on source, tone, breadth, and accuracy of video content.

METHODS: Researchers conducted a content analysis of the 90 most frequently viewed YouTube videos pertaining to PrCA screening. Codes were developed based on the ACS's PrCA screening guidelines.

RESULTS: Most videos were created and posted by independent users (33%) and medical organizations (32%). The majority of videos (54%) were pro-screening in tone. Sixty-eight percent provided general screening information, with 17% including PrCA symptoms and 19% providing the recommended screening age. Most (61%) contained prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) information, but only 20% of those videos discussed uncertainties of the test. Twelve percent discussed informed decision making, but only 7% discussed the importance of men making a joint decision with their providers.

CONCLUSIONS: YouTube is not a recommended source for PrCA screening information. Health professionals and cancer educators can improve this website's information by posting videos focused on informed decision making and the benefits, risks, and uncertainties of screening.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how social media can provide individuals with the types of information they need to make an informed decision about prostate cancer screening. Discuss challenges of using social media as a recommended source for prostate cancer screening information.

Keywords: Health Communications, Media Message

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina (USC) Arnold School of Public Health. I work with the National Cancer Institute-funded South Carolina Cancer Disparities Community Network-II, serving as a project coordinator for a pilot project focused on prostate cancer education in African-American communities. I serve on the USC Science and Health Communication Research Group and South Carolina Cancer Alliance Prostate Cancer Workgroup.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.