Original Study|Articles in Press

Characteristics Assessment of Online YouTube Videos on Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer

  • Author Footnotes
    # Statistical Analysis: 600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver V5Z 4E6, Canada. Tel.: 250-503-6194
    Brandon S. Chai
    # Statistical Analysis: 600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver V5Z 4E6, Canada. Tel.: 250-503-6194
    Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Paris-Ann Ingledew
    Address for correspondence: Paris-Ann Ingledew, MD, MHPE, Department of Surgery, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of British Columbia, 600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver V5Z 4E6, Canada.
    Department of Surgery, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    BC Cancer- Vancouver, Department of Radiation Oncology, Vancouver, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    # Statistical Analysis: 600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver V5Z 4E6, Canada. Tel.: 250-503-6194
Published:February 23, 2023DOI:



      Radiotherapy (RT) is an important component of breast cancer management but is underutilized due to barriers such as the lack of proper education. YouTube is commonly used for obtaining health information, yet the quality of information has been a previous concern. This study systematically evaluates the characteristics of educational YouTube videos on RT for breast cancer.

      Materials and Methods

      A total of 200 YouTube videos were identified by recording the top 50 videos of 4 searches. Duplicates were removed, videos were rank ordered and screened against pre-determined inclusion criteria, then the first 50 videos were reviewed using a video assessment tool. Two independent reviewers were used. Positively skewed distributions were observed for most general parameters including views, likes, length and View Ratio.


      The USA (66%) or UK (20%) were the most common locations of publication. Publishers were frequently affiliated with health care facilities (48%) or non-profits (30%). The interview using a physician (68%) or patient (26%) was the most common media type, and B-roll footage with narration (48%) was the second most common. Most videos were targeted towards patients (96%), had comments (56%) and subtitles available (96%). The most common themes identified were Explaining RT (54%), Acute Side Effects (40%) and Patient Care Experience (32%).


      This review is useful to inform the future development of video resources for health education in this topic. Though parameters were variable and inconsistently followed best practice guidelines, YouTube remains as a potentially important tool for the dissemination of health information.


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