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University News

Dr. YouTube: What's your diagnosis?
Kallur Lakshmi

JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 3, 2017) – Research conducted by a resident physician in the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine earlier this year now is garnering international attention.

With more and more people turning to the Internet for health advice, ETSU resident physician Dr. Lakshmi Kallur served as the lead researcher on a project that evaluates the educational quality of seasonal influenza videos found on YouTube. She, along with her team, conducted a keyword search of “seasonal influenza” from January 28 to February 5, then analyzed the top most-viewed videos for their characteristics, source and content. 

Kallur and her team utilized the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to create a scale to evaluate the quality of content provided in each video. Three hundred videos were analyzed and the source for each was classified as either healthcare provider, alternative-medicine provider, patient and/or patient’s parents, company, media or professional society.

“This study confirmed that most YouTube videos on seasonal influenza are provided by professional societies and health care providers with over half of the videos attempting to educate patients,” Kallur said. “However, these videos, although containing accurate information, did not fulfill our criteria as far as educating patients thoroughly.”

Kallur shared further results from the study at the American College of Chest Physicians CHEST Annual Meeting 2017 in Toronto earlier this month.

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