Two videos recently impressed me with their use of illustration and narration to educate an audience about health.
First, the most recent video by Mike Evans, MD, who curates My Favourite Medicine:
Second, one by the 6-year-old son of Joyce Lee, MD, MPH:
Joyce wrote a thoughtful post about why she helped her son create the video: Online Peer to Peer Education or shall we call it Peer to Teacher Education?
These two videos happen to be hosted on YouTube, but of course other channels and sites are viable alternatives. What interests me is how approachable and informative they are, regardless of the production value.
Reka Anna Lassu says
Hello Susannah! Happy Wednesday! It’ so exciting to see YouTube used for health education, especially when the video is made in a fun and novel way. Thank you for sharing!
I like how the first video is more like a story that someone can relate to rather than a lecture. However, the source is an MD, so the credibility is there. The second one is so cute and in my opinion, the the little boy’s narration makes it memorable (even to adults).
In my research about using YouTube for health promotion, among Swiss residents in their early 20s who are mostly students, I found that the 3 predictors of watching a health video on YouTube were: unintentional info finding, subjective health knowledge, and trust in health information on YouTube.
In regards to the 1st video: I could imagine one of these participants browsing YouTube and accidentally coming across it. Since about 57% of the sample passively interacts with YouTube for health content, 95% of the sample is interested in learning about health info, and about 75% have trust in health info on YouTube, the person would be more likely than not to watch the video. (I do think the video is best suited for a middle-high school age audience though). Moreover, the source being a doctor, 90% would see him as a highly credible source. The person wouldn’t comment on the video since only about 10% of the sample does that.
It would be interesting to actually measure what the participants would do with a specific video instead of just having data that’s general….or seeing how they react to this illustrated video as opposed to one of the doctor just speaking and being filmed! That would be a fun project! The same for the 2nd video. Is it more memorable because of the child?
What do you think?
Thanks for sharing!
Susannah Fox says
The good news is that I’m happily deep into my research, writing, and travels (this time to NYC for the #WiredHealth event).
The bad news is that it has taken me a week to reply to your excellent comment!
In looking at your research, I was very interested in how you included Twitter, Facebook & YouTube as sources of health information. In term of trust, I’d expect people to follow or friend people on Twitter & FB they know or are somewhat familiar with, so “trust” in those cases would be extended to the people, not the platform. Would you say it’s the same for YouTube? Were your respondents likely to follow certain channels? Or were they just browsing and happening upon videos containing health information?
You might be interested in a 2010 Pew Internet report which looked at the types of videos U.S. adults watch on sites like YouTube:
And, reaching even further into the past, a 2007 report which included questions about people’s preferences for professionally-produced videos vs. amateur ones:
I think this is a rich area for further study — probably qualitative, though, instead of quantitative so you can capture the impact of the videos on people’s health knowledge, decision-making, etc.
Reka Anna Lassu says
Hello! How was #WiredHealth?
Yes, I see that if the respondents said they trust Facebook, for example, they are referring to trusting those they actually are friends with on the site. This is a bit trickier since on YouTube people don’t have to have an account to watch videos and don’t have to follow channels. This makes it more difficult to know if they are just watching videos and they trust the uploader of that certain video or if they follow a certain channel and trust all the videos there. It would have been great to ask what channels the respondents follow, but I only asked about watching health videos in general. (good point for next time though!) It would definitely be insightful to do qualitative research on this topic like you mentioned and discover more about the process of watching health videos!
Thank you for the report The State of Online Video! It’s interesting to see that watching videos online for the “education” category has increased from 22% in 2007 to 38% in 2009. I would assume that health videos such as the ones you posted here would be categorized as education so that’s good news!
I’m so excited to see more and more people involved with social media for health!