Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2014; 18 (13): 1957-1967

Understanding pharmacokinetics: are YouTube videos a useful learning resource?

S.A. Azer

Medical Education, Curriculum Development and Research Unit, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether YouTube videos on pharmacokinetics can be a useful learning resource for medical students.

METHODS: YouTube was searched from 01 November to 15 November 2013 for search terms “Pharmacokinetics”, “Drug absorption”, “Drug distribution”, Drug metabolism”, “Drug elimination”, “Biliary excretion of drugs”, and “Renal excretion of drugs”.  Only videos in the English and those matching the inclusion criteria were included. For each video, the following characteristic data were collected: title, URL, duration, number of viewers, date uploaded, and viewership per day, like, dislike, number of comments, number of video sharing, and the uploader /creator. Using standardized criteria comprising technical, content, authority and pedagogy parameters, three evaluators independently assessed the videos for educational usefulness. Data were analyzed using SPSS software and the agreement between the evaluators was calculated using Cohen’s kappa analysis.

RESULTS: The search identified 1460 videos. Of these, only 48 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Only 30 were classified as educationally useful videos (62.5%) scoring 13.83±0.45 (mean±SD) while the remaining 18 videos were not educationally useful (37.5%) scoring 6.48±1.64 (mean±SD), p = 0.000. The educationally useful videos were created by pharmacologists/educators 83.3% (25/30), professors from two universities 13.3% (04/30) and private tutoring body 3.3% (01/30). The useful videos were viewed by 12096 (65.4%) and had a total of 433332 days on YouTube, while the non-educationally useful videos were viewed by 6378 (34.6%) viewers and had 20684 days on YouTube. No correlation was found between video total score and number of like (R2 0.258), dislike (R2 0.103), viewers (R2 0.186), viewership/day (R2 0.256), comments (R2 0.250), or share (R2 0.174). The agreement between the three evaluators had an overall Cohen’s kappa score in the range of 0.582-0.949.

CONCLUSIONS: YouTube videos on pharmacokinetics and drug elimination showed a range of variability in regard to the contents of their educational usefulness.  Medical educators should be aware of the potential influence of YouTube videos may have on student’s understanding of pharmacokinetics and drug elimination. Users who rely on the comments made by viewers or the approval expressed in terms of the number of like given by viewers should become aware that these indicators are not accurate and do not correlate with the scores given to videos.

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To cite this article

S.A. Azer
Understanding pharmacokinetics: are YouTube videos a useful learning resource?

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2014
Vol. 18 - N. 13
Pages: 1957-1967