YouTube is used by more than 70 percent of adults and 81 percent of 15- to 25-year-olds. The information quality of videos related to the two most performed aesthetic procedures—botulinum toxin type A (Botox) and soft-tissue filler injections—has not been assessed or compared to that of websites.
A YouTube search for “Botox” and “fillers” was performed in July of 2020, identifying the most popular health information videos. Quality was assessed using the validated Journal of American Medical Association, Health on the Net principles, and the DISCERN criteria in addition to a procedure-specific content score. Quality scores were compared between different groups of video contributors and against websites.
A total of 720 measurements of quality were performed across 95 YouTube videos and 85 websites. The mean quality scores were as follows: Journal of the American Medical Association, 1.74/4 ± 0.718; Health on the Net, 6.66/16 ± 2.07; DISCERN, 40.0/80 ± 9.25; and content, 39.1/100 ± 11.9. Physician, nonphysician health professionals, and other (news, magazine channels, and influencers) were all of higher quality than patient-based videos (p < 0.001). The mean DISCERN percentage score for videos was 50.04 ± 11.57 and significantly less than that of websites, 55.46 ± 15.74 (p = 0.010). The mean content scores showed a similar result, 39.06 ± 11.92 versus 60.76 ± 17.65 (p < 0.001), respectively.
Improvement is needed in the quality of YouTube videos related to aesthetic injectables. Plastic surgeons, who are the most frequent video contributors, are most qualified to provide this change. Plastic surgeons should include videos as part of their online presence, as they may help facilitate a greater viewership.