SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Around 30 percent of all YouTube videos about cancer are based on false information, a study showed Wednesday.
A research team from the Chungnam National University Sejong Hospital conducted a study of 702 videos from 227 YouTube channels trying out fenbendazole, an anthelmintic for dogs, as an alternative medicine for cancer, of which 210 videos (29.9 percent) contained false information.
The research team analyzed 90 YouTube videos with over 50,000 views uploaded within a year of September 2019, which showed that fake videos that introduce “evidence” of fenbendazole as an alternative medicine for cancer gained a considerable number of views over time.
The study confirmed that bringing up videos about fenbendazole as recommended content on YouTube works as an inappropriate way to gain misinformed trust of the viewers that the canine anthelmintic can cure cancer.
The research team also gained insight into how patients look up health information on the internet, make medical decisions based on it, and interact with the video creator to increase self-efficacy.
While there is no medical evidence that fenbendazole is effective against cancer, these videos are undermining the efforts to properly treat the disease, the research team said.
The study was published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)