TikTok as an Education Tool For Kidney Stone Prevention

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Conference Proceeding

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Journal of Urology


INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: The incidence of kidney stones in the United States continues to increase. TikTok, a social media application with over one billion users worldwide, has emerged as an online center for medical knowledge sharing by physicians and non-physicians alike through short informational videos. Little is known regarding the quality of medical advice provided in these videos. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reach and quality of kidney stone prevention information on TikTok. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of renal stone prevention content on TikTok utilizing the search term #kidneystoneprevention to assess all the videos appearing on October 10th, 2022. Only videos in English, related to the topic, and with >1000 views were included. Videos were analyzed for views, uploader profession, and stone prevention recommendations. Videos were assessed utilizing DISCERN, a questionnaire used to appraise the quality of consumer health information (max score of 80 per video). The one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine statistical significance groups. RESULTS: Out of a total of 131 videos, 87 fit the inclusion criteria, resulting in a total of 8.75 million views. An average DISCERN score of 27.0 was observed. Only 8 videos were published by physicians, of which the average DISCERN score of 35.3 was significantly greater than an average score of 26.2 for non-physicians (p<0.05). The most common recommendation was increased fluid intake (38.0%) followed by monitoring calcium levels (9.02%) and decreasing oxalate rich foods (9.2%). The most common nutritional supplementation was lemon water (8.0%). Table 1 displays the proportion of videos that match particular American Urologic Association (AUA) diet therapy recommendations. No pharmalogic therapies were addressed in any videos. CONCLUSIONS: Kidney stone prevention content on TikTok has a wide reach with millions of consumers. The majority of videos fail to match AUA recommendations regarding diet therapies for stone prevention. Further research is needed to understand the extent of kidney stone prevention misinformation on social media and how it contributes to patient outcomes. Increased engagement in TikTok by urologists and health organizations may improve public education





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American Urological Association Annual Meeting, April 28 - May 1, 2023, Chicago, IL