A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Melanoma-Related Content on TikTok

Main Article Content

Shaliz Aflatooni
Kaylee Stankiewicz
Emily Coughlin
Monica Khadka
Paul Rodriguez-Waitkus


melanoma, skin cancer, TikTok, social media


Introduction: The increasing prevalence of social media has a profound impact on the dissemination of melanoma awareness and preventative behaviors. In this study we aimed to evaluate the understandability and actionability of melanoma-related content on TikTok.

Methods: The hashtag #melanoma was searched on TikTok on March 1st, 2023. The videos were reviewed independently by 3 reviewers and descriptive and quantitative metrics were collected. Videos were categorized as either containing educational melanoma information, describing patient experience, or entertaining in nature. The videos were analyzed using the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audiovisual Materials (PEMAT-A/V) to score the understandability and actionability of the videos.

Results: A total of 100 videos were included, 47% were posted by influencers, 42% by healthcare providers, and 11% by other creators. Healthcare professionals produced mostly prevention/screening content (76.2%), while influencers produced a more patient experience content (74.5%, P<.001). Content uploaded by healthcare professionals had higher average understandability score (P<.001). There was no statistically significant difference in actionability score by source. Prevention/screening content had the highest average actionability score (P<.001).

Conclusions: Overall, prevention/screening videos had a significantly greater average understandability score and actionability score. Dermatologists need to ensure that their content conveys clear, step-by-step actions for audience members to promote photoprotective habits. Influencers, also, should consider using their platform to encourage their audience to engage in safe skin habits and recognize signs of melanoma lesions. Further research is needed to evaluate the information accuracy of the melanoma content on TikTok.


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