YouTube can provide good information for patients on primary bone tumours, research suggests.
Researchers found that 74% of videos relating to the condition on the website provide helpful and accurate information on the condition.
The study, published in the Royal College of Surgeons of England Bulletin, said just 2% of related videos were misleading.
A further 24% contained no useful information, according to the research undertaken at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The videos deemed useful were provided by medical professionals, health information websites and universities.
Co-author of the report Craig Gerrand, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said: “Video has become one of the most popular sources of information on the internet, and our study shows that good information can be found on YouTube when viewers use the right search terms.
“However, we recommend that they check the source of the video first, and consider watching several videos to get a good sample of what is available. The popularity of videos isn’t a reliable guide to their quality.”
Sue Woodward, chairwoman of the patient liaison group of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, added: “The growing digital landscape means more and more patients are going online to look up information regarding illness or forthcoming operations.
“Studies like this are crucial in guiding patients on how to search for and identify useful information and avoid them becoming even more worried or confused.”
The authors of the paper searched the site using key words, including “primary bone tumour” and “primary bone cancer”.
Primary bone tumours make up 3% to 5% of childhood cancers and less than 1% of cancers in adults.