ORCID (Optional)


Document Type

Original Report


Higher Education | Medicine and Health Sciences


Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has forced healthcare systems to disseminate their training materials quickly and broadly, including instruction on identifying cases of infection through correct nasopharyngeal swabbing. Incorrect nasopharyngeal swabbing technique leads to substandard sampling, patient discomfort, and increased risk of complications. We set out to evaluate the quality of educational videos on the nasopharyngeal swab procedure.

Methods: Using video search engines, videos on nasopharyngeal swabbing were identified and distributed to two reviewers. The quality of videos was assessed using a scoring system that examined indications, contraindications, personal protective equipment use, swab depth, swab angle, and audiovisual quality. Descriptive statistics and Spearman’s correlation coefficients were utilized to analyze video quality and its association with individual video characteristics.

Results: Videos received an average composite score of 5.4 (range: 0-10), with about half of all videos properly discussing and demonstrating the nasopharyngeal swab technique. Over 62% of reviews indicated that the reviewer would not recommend the video to a trainee, with the vast majority identifying improper swab technique as the main factor. There were no statistically significant associations between video score and publication date, number of views, and subscribers to the publisher.

Conclusion: Our study shows a glaring lack of quality educational videos on the nasopharyngeal swab procedure. Health care providers should be cautious when using educational videos to learn procedures as popularity may not be associated with accuracy.




nasopharyngeal swab, training, education, videos, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Table 1.pdf (43 kB)
Table 1

Table 2.pdf (51 kB)
Table 2



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