eISSN: 2720-5371
ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
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vol. 32
Original paper

Are YouTube videos a reliable source of information about body dysmorphic disorder?

Maria Dobosz
1, 2
Miłosz Lewandowski
Zuzanna Świerczewska
1, 3
Wioletta Barańska-Rybak
Wiesław J. Cubała

Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Student Scientific Circle of Adult Psychiatry MUG, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2023; 32 (2): 76–82
Online publish date: 2023/06/28
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Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by a preoccupation with a non-existing or minimal defect in appearance. It affects around 2% of the population, causes distress in daily functioning and reduces the quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness and the quality of the most viewed videos regarding BDD on YouTube.

YouTube was searched for the keywords “body dysmorphia” and “dysmorphophobia”. The validated DISCERN instrument and the Global Quality Score (GQS) were used to assess video quality. The Video Power Index (VPI) score was used to evaluate the popularity of videos.

Only 3 videos were rated as good quality based on the DISCERN criteria. The mean DISCERN score between the raters was 32.89 ± 9.23, while the mean GCQ score was 2.84 ± 1.03. Even though only 23.7% of the videos were uploaded by a healthcare source, there was a significant difference between DISCERN scores depending on the source of the video: healthcare – 42 mean vs. non-healthcare – 30.07 mean (p = 0.0035). The mean score for the VPI was 2757 (range, 244.57-11,647.12).

Our study showed that the quality of BDD-related videos on YouTube is poor. Physicians or healthcare organizations should publish more medical content on YouTube, increasing the amount of more reliable and better-quality content for patients.


internet, YouTube, social media, body dysmorphic disorder

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