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Lyme Disease and YouTube™: A Cross-Sectional Study of Video Contents
Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives
  • Corey H. Basch, William Paterson University
  • Lindsay A. Mullican, Georgia Southern University
  • Kwanza D. Boone, Georgia Southern University
  • Jingjing Yin, Georgia Southern University
  • Alyssa Berdnik, Columbia University
  • Marina E. Eremeeva, Georgia Southern University
  • Isaac Chun-Hai Fung, Georgia Southern University
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Objectives: Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease. People seek health information on Lyme disease from YouTubeTM videos. In this study, we investigated if the contents of Lyme disease-related YouTubeTM videos varied by their sources.

Methods: Most viewed English YouTubeTM videos (n = 100) were identified and manually coded for contents and sources.

Results: Within the sample, 40 videos were consumer-generated, 31 were internet-based news, 16 were professional, and 13 were TV news. Compared with consumer-generated videos, TV news videos were more likely to mention celebrities (odds ratio [OR], 10.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.13–52.58), prevention of Lyme disease through wearing protective clothing (OR, 5.63; 95% CI, 1.23–25.76), and spraying insecticides (OR, 7.71; 95% CI, 1.52–39.05).

Conclusion: A majority of the most popular Lyme disease-related YouTubeTM videos were not created by public health professionals. Responsible reporting and creative video-making facilitate Lyme disease education. Partnership with YouTubeTM celebrities to co-develop educational videos may be a future direction.


Copyright © 2017, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Citation Information
Corey H. Basch, Lindsay A. Mullican, Kwanza D. Boone, Jingjing Yin, et al.. "Lyme Disease and YouTube™: A Cross-Sectional Study of Video Contents" Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives Vol. 8 Iss. 4 (2017) p. 289 - 292
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