Objective Validation of YouTube™ Educational Videos for the Instruction of Regional Anesthesia Nerve Blocks

A Novel Approach

George L. Tewfik; Adam N. Work; Steven M. Shulman; Patrick Discepola


BMC Anesthesiol. 2020;20(168) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: YouTube™ ("YouTube") is often used as an educational tool to instruct anesthesia providers on regional anesthesia nerve blocks. However, there is no current objective standard to assess the educational quality of these user-uploaded videos. A new approach was used to objectively validate these videos by comparing them to high quality educational sources for the seven most commonly used nerve blocks.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the educational quality of user-uploaded videos when compared to the highest quality anesthesia society websites (NYSORA, ACEP, USRA).

Methods: After reviewing the instructional material available for the seven most frequently conducted nerve blocks on high-quality reference websites, we documented the educational characteristics present including such things as indications, volume, anatomy, etc. Next we reviewed the five most popular videos on YouTube for each block (by views) and documented the presence or absence of these educational characteristics.

Results: Eighteen educational characteristics were documented in the "high-quality" anesthesia society reference material. Correlation was sought between this material and YouTube videos. Although there were varying degrees of correlation between the high quality sources and the videos, rarely did YouTube videos contain as high a percentage of these educational characteristics as the well-established sources. Some videos contained very few of these important educational characteristics.

Conclusion: Although YouTube has been used an educational tool, we recommend that only high quality sources be used to teach or illustrate regional anesthesia nerve blocks.