Recruiting pregnant patients for survey research: A head to head comparison of social media-based versus clinic-based approaches

Lindsay Admon*, Jessica K. Haefner, Giselle E. Kolenic, Tammy Chang, Matthew M. Davis, Michelle H. Moniz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Recruiting a diverse sample of pregnant women for clinical research is a challenging but crucial task for improving obstetric services and maternal and child health outcomes. Objective: To compare the feasibility and cost of recruiting pregnant women for survey research using social media-based and clinic-based approaches. Methods: Advertisements were used to recruit pregnant women from the social media website Facebook. In-person methods were used to recruit pregnant women from the outpatient clinic of a large, tertiary care center. In both approaches, potential respondents were invited to participate in a 15-minute Web-based survey. Each recruitment method was monitored for 1 month. Using bivariate statistics, we compared the number, demographic characteristics, and health characteristics of women recruited and the cost per completed survey for each recruitment method. Results: The social media-based approach recruited 1178 women and the clinic-based approach recruited 219 women. A higher proportion of subjects recruited through social media identified as African American (29.4%, 207/705 vs 11.2%, 20/179), reported household incomes <US $30,000 per year (56.8%, 409/720 vs 25.8%, 47/182), reported being in early pregnancy (18.6%, 135/726 vs 10.4%, 19/183 first trimester), and rated their health as fair or poor (22.2%, 160/722 vs 8.2%, 15/183; all P<.001). A smaller proportion of subjects recruited through social media had earned a college degree (21.3%, 153/717 vs 62.3%, 114/183) and were married or in a domestic partnership (45.7%, 330/722 vs 72.1%, 132/183; all P<.001). Social media-based recruitment costs were US $14.63 per completed survey, compared with US $23.51 for clinic-based recruitment. Conclusions: Web-based recruitment through a social networking platform is a feasible, inexpensive, and rapid means of recruiting a large, diverse sample of pregnant women for survey research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere326
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Methods
  • Pregnant women
  • Social media
  • Surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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