The rise of TikTok has seen it become more than just an entertainment platform, with the app now increasingly being used as a search engine for a range of purposes, especially among younger users.
One of those uses is mental health, and gleaning insight into potential mental health conditions, with TikTok trends helping to connect users with advice and assistance from others who are experiencing similar challenges.
Which can be hugely beneficial – but at the same time, most of the information is coming from non-qualified sources, which can lead to problems in misdiagnosis, misunderstanding and even people taking incorrect medications for a perceived condition.
To glean some more insight on this, the team from PlushCare recently analyzed 500 TikTok videos that included the #mentalhealthtips and #mentalhealthadvice hashtags, with medically trained professionals then assessing the recommendations and advice for accuracy, and potential risk.
The study showed that:
- 83.7% of mental health advice on TikTok is misleading, while 14.2% of videos include content that could be potentially damaging
- Only 9% of those advising on the platform had a relevant qualification in the respective field
- 54% of advice contained accurate information, but 31% of videos contained inaccurate information.
The research shows that while there can be some benefits, it’s worth also noting the potential risks, and ensuring that users don’t take everything that they see in the app as an absolute truth.
Check out the full findings from PlushCare’s research below.