The primary forum for people and medical experts to share their firsthand knowledge of medical ailments and offer health advice is social media. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most well-liked health subjects on the video-sharing social media site TikTok. For a study, researchers sought to look into the Tiktok content’s quality to assess its instructional value and the veracity of the information being shared about IBS.
Two independent reviewers thematically examined the source, viewership, intent, and content of the first 100 videos with the hashtag #IBS that met the requirements for inclusion. Influencers, laypeople, and medical professionals were all assigned to the source or organization that posted the video. The content categories were humor, lifestyle and acceptability, marketing, and medical advice. The goal was categorized as instructional and factual. The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audiovisual Materials (PEMAT-A/V) and Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmark criteria were used to evaluate the overall quality, understandability, and actionability of the film.
In comparison to the 10% (n = 10) posted by medical experts, 42% (n = 42) of the videos that met the criterion for inclusion were posted by social media influencers. About 47% (n = 14) of the videos out of the 30% (n = 30) rated as instructive videos were found to be factual. In the non-educational films (n = 68), non-medical professionals posted the great majority (97%) of them. When compared to material shared by medical professionals, influencer content received more shares (16,382, SD 25,673) on average (10,869, SD 19,488). Contrarily, compared to films produced by influencers, medical professionals had a greater average number of views (3,661,000, SD 3,807,115). (2,926,476, SD 2,874,250). Lifestyle/acceptability and health advice were the two topics covered in IBS films the most frequently (43%, n = 43; 40%, n = 40).
Nearly half of the IBS-related TikTok videos were released by influencers and lack quality instructional information. Influencers’ content was more likely to be shared, and those by doctors received more views on average. The results backed up the collaboration between influencers and healthcare organizations and experts to provide factual educational material and improved the exchange of health information.