Comparing recruitment strategies for a digital smoking cessation intervention: Technology-assisted peer recruitment, social media, ResearchMatch, and smokefree.gov

Jamie M. Faro*, Catherine S. Nagawa, Elizabeth A. Orvek, Bridget M. Smith, Amanda C. Blok, Thomas K. Houston, Ariana Kamberi, Jeroan J. Allison, Sharina D. Person, Rajani S. Sadasivam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Choosing the right recruitment strategy has implications for the successful conduct of a trial. Our objective was to compare a novel peer recruitment strategy to four other recruitment strategies for a large randomized trial testing a digital tobacco intervention. Methods: We compared enrollment rates, demographic and baseline smoking characteristics, and odds of completing the 6-month study by recruitment strategy. Cost of recruitment strategies per retained participant was calculated using staff personnel time and advertisement costs. Findings: We enrolled 1487 participants between August 2017 and March 2019 from: Peer recruitment n = 273 (18.4%), Facebook Ads n = 505 (34%), Google Ads = 200 (13.4%), ResearchMatch n = 356 (23.9%) and Smokefree.gov n = 153 (10.3%). Mean enrollment rate per active recruitment month: 1) Peer recruitment, n = 13.9, 2) Facebook ads, n = 25.3, 3) Google ads, n = 10.51, 4) Research Match, n = 59.3, and 5) Smokefree.gov, n = 13.9. Peer recruitment recruited the greatest number of males (n = 110, 40.3%), young adults (n = 41, 14.7%), participants with a high school degree or less (n = 24, 12.5%) and smokers within one's social network. Compared to peer recruitment (retention rate = 57%), participants from Facebook were less likely (OR 0.46, p < 0.01, retention rate = 40%), and those from ResearchMatch were more likely to complete the study (OR 1.90, p < 0.01, retention rate = 70%). Peer recruitment was moderate in cost per retained participant ($47.18) and substantially less costly than Facebook ($173.60). Conclusions: Though peer recruitment had lower enrollment than other strategies, it may provide greater access to harder to reach populations and possibly others who smoke within one's social network while being moderately cost-effective. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03224520

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106314
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume103
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Digital intervention
  • Dissemination
  • Peer recruitment
  • Smoking cessation
  • Tailored

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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