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Medical students are increasingly turning to the website YouTube as a learning resource. This study set out to determine whether the videos on YouTube accurately depict the type of seizures that a medical student may search for. Two consultant epileptologists independently assessed the top YouTube videos returned following searches for eight terms relating to different categories of seizures. The videos were rated for their technical quality, concordance of diagnosis with an epileptologist-assigned diagnosis, and efficacy as a learning tool for medical education. Of the 200 videos assessed, 106 (63%) met the inclusion criteria for further analysis. Technical quality was generally good and only interfered with the diagnostic process in 8.5% of the videos. Of the included videos, 40.6-46.2% were judged to depict the purported diagnosis with moderate agreement between raters (75% agreement, κ=0.50). Of the videos returned after searching "tonic-clonic seizure", 28.6-35.7% were judged to show nonepileptic seizures with almost perfect interrater agreement (92.9% agreement, κ=0.84). Of the videos returned following the search "pseudoseizure", 77.8-88.9% of videos were judged to show nonepileptic seizures with substantial agreement (88.9% agreement, κ=0.61). Across all search terms, 19.8-33% of videos were judged as potentially useful as a learning resource, with fair agreement between raters (75.5% agreement, κ=0.38). These findings suggest that the majority of videos on YouTube claiming to show specific seizure subtypes are inaccurate, and YouTube should not be recommended as a learning tool for students. However, a small group of videos provides excellent demonstrations of tonic-clonic and nonepileptic seizures, which could be used by an expert teacher to demonstrate the difference between epileptic and nonepileptic seizures.

Original publication




Journal article


Epilepsy Behav

Publication Date





221 - 226


Clinical videos, Epilepsy, Internet learning, Medical education, Nonepileptic attack, YouTube, Diagnosis, Differential, Education, Medical, Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic, Humans, Internet, Learning, Observer Variation, Seizures, Students, Medical, Video Recording