Doing research using Youtube

When my kids went to have their immunizations we took some sucrose solution with us to the hospital (don’t ask me how we came to have sucrose solution, its a secret) and were ready to either have the immunizations done during a breast feed, or if that didn’t work due to timing then to give the sucrose.

These simple analgesic interventions have been tested in older infants having their immunizations, and they work, they are cheap and they are simple.

The staff in the clinic looked at us as if we were either severely over-protective nuts, or perhaps just nuts. Maybe that’s a form of self-protection, if you have given hundreds of immunizations to young infants and have never used any sort of analgesic intervention, its better to believe that it doesn’t hurt that much, pain is not such a big deal, and it is too much fuss to worry about getting something sweet in the babies mouth.

In this newly published study from the children’s hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa (CHEO) the authors looked at all the youtube videos they could find which showed an infant being immunized. They found 142. I think that’s a bit weird, why would you do that? Not the research, I mean, why would you take a video of your kids having a jab and then crying? Hopefully there was a least one parent cuddling and comforting the baby.

None of the infants got sweet solutions, and none were breast fed during the jab, few of them were held front to front by a parent. Its perhaps not too surprising, but a bit depressing, that our experience is the usual experience of families getting their vaccines.

The methodology probably also needs some development, what are appropriate search terms for a scientific review of youtube? What do we call the biases involved in whether you are open to having public videos of intimate medical moments displayed (TMI bias? over-sharing bias?) Should journals require searching other video sites? I think there are many other research studies we could do once the methodology is sorted. Episiotomy techniques, are the standardised? Neonatal resuscitation adequacy when being video-ed, I wonder which ethics committee I should apply to, do Google have one?


About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Doing research using Youtube

  1. John Lantos says:

    Don’t worry, Google is monitoring your posts. They’ll get in touch with you if they have any concerns. More likely, you’ll start getting banner ads for sucrose.

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