Development of an informational web site for recruiting research participants: Process, implementation, and evaluation

Patricia E. Hershberger*, Karen Kavanaugh, Rebekah Hamilton, Susan C. Klock, Lisa Merry, Ellen Olshansky, Penny F. Pierce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Internet-based research is increasing, yet there is little known about recruitment approaches that target the Internet. Investigators have been slow to discuss how to plan, develop, and enhance recruitment using the Internet when well-concealed or disparate populations, sensitive topics, or qualitative methods are interspersed into the aims of the study. The twofold purpose of this article was to (1) highlight the major steps and strategies undertaken to develop and implement an innovative Web site for recruiting high-genetic-risk couples who were considering preimplantation genetic diagnosis use, and (2) present the recruitment results and lessons learned based on enrollment, self-evaluation, and descriptive data. The Web site was developed using a five-step process designed by the investigators. A significant step in the process was determining the Web site objectives, which were enacted through contextual and design decisions, and also by incorporating a brief video and study logo into the Web site. The recruitment results indicate that, of the 22 participant couples, ∼82% were recruited via the Internet versus traditional recruitment approaches (ie, clinics, newsletters) and that the majority of couples viewed the Web site prior to enrolling in the study. In conclusion, developing a Web site using the five-step process can facilitate recruitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
JournalCIN - Computers Informatics Nursing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Internet recruitment
  • Internet research
  • Recruitment
  • Sensitive research
  • Web site development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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