Whether the videos are reliable and contain the right information is hard to determine. The origin of the videos was not always clear or hard to track down, and information about the creators of the videos was scarce. This makes it difficult to determine the reputation of the source. Fifteen percent of the videos was originally uploaded by an academic or medical research institute or an organisation of medical professionals, and almost twenty percent was posted by an individual health professional or researcher.
Interesting and informative
To qualify as an educational instrument, the videos must not only provide correct information, but also be interesting for the viewer. Researchers judged the videos themselves, but the number of views on YouTube also gave an indication. This shows that particularly animation videos are very popular. According to the researchers, the video ‘Tame The Beast – It’s time to rethink persistent pain’¹ did not only cover all seven principles, but was also very interesting. Besides that, the TED-Ed video ‘How does your brain respond to pain?’² scored high among researchers and viewers on YouTube.
Although only one video covered all seven principles about pain education, videos that cover less aspects may be relevant if they address a specific gap in the knowledge of the patient. According to the scientists, the extent to which patients learn from the videos and modify their behaviour as a result should be further investigated.
The researchers conducted a sort of ‘systematic review’ of online videos. With predetermined search criteria, they searched for English spoken videos of ten minutes maximum, that provided information about the neuroscientific aspects of pain. Videos that exclusively addressed coping skills or treatments, or that did not provide any information about the role of the brain or the nervous system in pain sensation, were excluded.