Evaluating YouTube as a source of medical information for postpartum depression

Jasmine Liu-Zarzuela, Meghan Mallya, Isreal Munoz, Kimberly Grayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) affects one in seven women in the United States, but up to 50% of PPD cases may go undiagnosed. Thus, new mothers turn to other sources of information for education and support. This study aims to evaluate YouTube as a source of medical information on PPD. Methods: YouTube was queried using the terms “postpartum depression,” “postnatal depression,” and “depression after pregnancy.” The top 60 videos for each term were selected. Three independent reviewers evaluated the quality and reliability of medical information using a modified DISCERN (mDISCERN) Scale and Global Quality Scale (GQS). The videos were classified as useful, misleading, or neither. Results: The analysis included 64 videos. There was a significant difference between mDISCERN scores and GQS scores with respect to video source and classification (α < 0.05). Videos from psychiatrists and other healthcare providers had the two highest mDISCERN and GQS scores, while videos from independent users and news channels had the two lowest mDISCERN and GQS scores. Independent users and news channels had the two highest mean rank for number of views. Limitations: This study analyzed videos in English language, despite a higher prevalence of PPD in non-English speaking countries. It also did not evaluate other platforms where people may find medical information. Conclusion: The current findings emphasize the need for healthcare providers to disseminate high quality and reliable healthcare content not only in clinical practices, but also on social media platforms to educate women enduring postpartum complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100599
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Depression
  • Depression after pregnancy
  • Postnatal depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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