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Study of dermatology on YouTube shows new ways science reaches public
Date:7/9/2014

p>YouTube is for more than watching World Cup highlights, Brian Williams refreshing old school rap classics, and videos of skateboarders landing in unfortunate positions on railings. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the Dermatology Online Journal shows that YouTube also allows researchers, journals, and health advocates to connect directly with the public on topics of skin cancer and prevention.

"No matter what field you're in, social media is the future of how we communicate around the world," says Chante Karimkhani, MD candidate in the lab of Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH investigator at the CU Cancer Center and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Dellavalle also manages the Facebook page and other social media for the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The study queried YouTube for search terms related to dermatology including "sun protection, skin cancer, skin cancer awareness, and skin conditions." Results included 100 videos with a cumulative 47 million views. The videos were shared a total of 101,173 times and drove 6,325 subscriptions to distinct YouTube user pages.

According to the researchers, whose previous studies include similar examinations of Twitter and Facebook (and forthcoming studies of Instagram and Tumblr), these results point to a new opportunity to disseminate research directly to the public.

"It used to be that researchers and journals depended on independent media to interpret their findings for the public. It could be a little like a game of telephone. Now through social media, journals can have their own presence their own mouthpiece directly to the public that may include patients or health care providers or even other researchers," Karimkhani says.

In the field of dermatology, specifically, the researchers see great promise in speaking directly to consumers of social media. They p
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Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert  

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