244652 Facebook, email, or text messaging? Recruitment strategies for a teen-based, health-focused social media website for low-income adolescents in California

Monday, October 31, 2011

Philip M. Massey, MPH , School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Deborah Glik, ScD , School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Michael Prelip, MPH, DPA , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Elaine Quiter, MS , School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Michael Fiore , EPG Technologies, Van Nuys, CA
Sharon Nessim, Dr PH , Manager, QI Research & Analysis, Health Net of California, Woodland Hills, CA
Nancy Wongvipat, MPH , Health Education and Cultural and Linguistics Services, Health Net, Woodland Hills, CA
Hoa Su, MPH , State Health Programs, Health Net of California, Inc., Pasadena, CA
Nearly one in three California adolescents are recipients of public health insurance. To increase adolescent engagement in their health plan, UCLA partnered with a health insurance company, Health Net of California, to develop a social media website. The purpose of the site is to test whether a social media intervention can encourage adolescents ages 13-17 to better utilize their health insurance benefits. The teen presence on social networking sites is on the rise 73% of teens in the U.S. used social networking sites in 2009, up from 55% in 2006 and 65% in 2008. Our intervention required two recruitment steps: 1) recruitment into the study and 2) recruitment to the website (intervention group only). Both paper-and-pencil and online strategies were used to enroll members into the study; results show that the consent process must be adapted to meet the needs of online recruitment. For recruitment to the website, we used both traditional and non-traditional methods to enroll teens on the site, including tailored emails, texts, Facebook messages, participant-produced greeting cards, and classroom-based outreach. Conversion rates varied according to the strategy used. Out of a recruitment pool of 52,500, we anticipated randomizing 5,250 teens into control and intervention groups. To date, 1,200 teens have been randomized, with 137 study participants enrolled on the site. Lessons learned from recruitment are numerous and informative. The recruitment of teens to a social media intervention demands innovative strategies that are easily adaptable, including both online and offline techniques that engage youth and their peers.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe online and offline recruitment strategies to a social media website. 2)Discuss strengths and limitations of matching recruitment strategy with the online intervention. 3)Evaluate the effectiveness of social media recruitment on low-income youth.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Internet

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have worked with new and social media health interventions for adolescents for the past 4 years and have helped develop new measures of health literacy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.