Searching for pelvic floor muscle exercises on YouTube: what individuals may find and where this might fit with health service programmes to promote continence

Stephen, Kate; Cumming, Grant P.
September 2012
Menopause International;Sep2012, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p110
Academic Journal
Objective. This paper describes the investigation, categorization/characterization and viewing of pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFME) on YouTube from the perspective of the 'wisdom of the crowd'. The aim of the research was to increase awareness of the type of clips that individuals are likely to come across when searching YouTube and to describe trends and popularity. This awareness will be useful for the design of continence promotion services, especially for hard-to-reach individuals. Study design. Web-based videos relating to PFE were identified by searching YouTube using the snowball technique. Main outcome measures. Number of views; the approach taken (health, fitness, sexual and pregnancy); product promotion; and the use of music, visual cues and elements designed to encourage exercise. The number of views of each video was recorded at three points over a seven-month period. Results. Twenty-two videos were identified. Overall these videos had been viewed over 430,000 times during the study period. One video was viewed over 100,000 times and overall the median increase in views was 59.4%. Conclusions. YouTube is increasingly used to access information about pelvic floor exercises. Different approaches are used to communicate PFME information but there are no formal structures for quality control. Further research is required to identify which elements of the video clips are effective in communicating information and in motivating exercise and to establish appropriate protocols. Kitemarking is recommended in order that women obtain correct advice.


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