Kidney Stone Surgery: Assessing Public Interest and Evaluating Social Media Content

Parris Diaz, Rebecca A. Takele, Sapna Thaker, Karan N. Thaker, Jorge Ballon, Mayra Lucas, Kevin Kunitsky, Kymora B. Scotland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An increasing number of patients are utilizing the internet to answer their medical questions. Given the lack of verified stone treatment resources on the web, we sought to evaluate online interest in kidney stone surgical interventions and assess the quality of the most popular resources on social media. Google Trends was used to evaluate public interest in different kidney stone interventions between March 2016 and February 2021 and reported as search volume index (SVI). Next, the social media analysis tool, BuzzSumo, was used to identify stone surgery content online on the social media platforms, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and Twitter. To evaluate the quality of health information presented in the online resources, the DISCERN instrument was employed by three individual raters. Ureteroscopy (URS), percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) were identified as the top search terms on Google Trends with mean SVIs of 47.75, 42.98, and 45.74, respectively (p = 0.012). On YouTube, URS, PCNL, and SWL had 12,549, 116,222, and 20,717 views, respectively. Nine articles and fifteen videos were chosen for analysis using the DISCERN tool with a mean score of 2.82 and 2.27, respectively, among three independent evaluators. The result of our study suggests that online users are interested in URS but engaged more often with PCNL content on social media platforms. We found that the quality of online resources related to stone surgery highlights the need for involvement of urologists in creation of engaging high-quality content and sharing of accurate information in a social media-driven society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-960
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2022, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2022.


  • extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy
  • percutaneous nephrolithotomy
  • renal stone
  • ureteral stones
  • ureteroscopy
  • urolithiasis


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