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Mpox (monkeypox) information on TikTok: analysis of quality and audience engagement

BMJ Glob Health. 2023 Mar;8(3):e011138. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2022-011138.


BACKGROUND: Online information on mpox (monkeypox) is not well studied. We have analysed the video content, information quality, and audience engagement of mpox-related videos on TikTok.

METHODS: Using a hashtag-based searching strategy, we identified 2462 mpox-related videos on TikTok from 1 January to 11 August 2022; 85 were included after exclusion criteria screening. Videos were evaluated for content on features and treatment of mpox. Video and information quality was assessed using the DISCERN instrument and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) criteria. We recorded video source, evaluation scores, and viewer engagement metrics. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used for statistical analysis and multiple linear regression for factor-association studies.

RESULTS: Of the 85 videos, two assessed all content topics and highlighted 33% of all content items in clinical guidelines. The overall average score for the videos was 39.56 of 80 on the DISCERN instrument and 1.93 of 4 on the JAMA criteria. No video met all JAMA criteria. Subgroup analysis based on author identity suggested the variance in video scores by source (p<0.05 for all). Overall scores were higher for videos produced by doctors and science communicators than for those made by institutional users, nurses, and the general public. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that having people in the video (69.20, p=0.0001) and including information on treatment choices (1.15, p=0.045) were significant, independent determinants of audience engagement.

CONCLUSION: Public-directed TikTok videos on mpox frequently provide incomplete, inaccurate information, highlighting the potential risks of using TikTok as a health information source.

PMID:36918216 | DOI:10.1136/bmjgh-2022-011138

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