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New Study Evaluates Quality of Information on YouTube, TikTok About Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • May 20, 2023

Researchers Urge Health Care Professionals to Develop Accurate Information for the Platforms

San Francisco — New research released today at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting examined the quality of content in YouTube and TikTok videos on dissociative identity disorder and found novel results.

Dissociative identity disorder is a rare condition, impacting less than 1% of the general population, that causes a person to alternate between at least two separate personality states. It is often discussed on social media platforms, and while that discussion offers an opportunity for education, the threat of misinformation looms as well.

To access the quality of the information available on YouTube and TikTok, a team of researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (Isreal Bladimir Munoz, Jasmine Liu-Zarzuela, Navin Oorjitham, M.D., and Devon Jacob) ran searches for “dissociative identity disorder,” “multiple personality disorder,” and “split personality disorder.” Videos were sorted by “most viewed” for YouTube and “most liked” for TikTok. The top 60 videos were selected from each search term on each platform. Videos were excluded if they were unrelated to dissociative identity disorder, under one minute (YouTube only), not in English, were duplicates, or had no audio. Sixty YouTube videos and 97 TikTok videos met the criteria.

The videos were classified by four independent reviewers as useful, misleading, or neither useful nor misleading. The researchers rated 51.7% of YouTube videos as useful, 6.7% misleading, and 41.7% neither, while 5.2% of TikTok videos were useful, 10.3% misleading, and 84.5% neither. Of the YouTube videos that were useful, many contained educational content and interviews, while the TikTok videos tended to be utilized for self-expression.

The researchers conclude that “healthcare professionals and organizations should create content of high quality and engagement on social media platforms, particularly TikTok, in order to educate users on dissociative identity disorder.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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