270599 Accessing hidden populations: Advertisements on social networking websites for cost-effective participant recruitment

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Adriana Arcia, PhD, RN , School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Miami, North Bay Village, FL
Background: The ability of researchers to carry out investigations can be limited by their ability to access populations of interest. Innovations in participant recruitment are needed to enable researchers to carry out studies in timesaving and cost-effective ways. Methods: An advertising campaign was displayed on a popular social networking website to recruit pregnant women for an online survey. Ads were targeted such that they were shown only to individuals who met some of the inclusion criteria (i.e., female, aged 18-44, living in the United States). The self-service application provided by the social networking website allowed the investigator to create the ads, manage expenditures, and track usage metrics on an as-needed basis. Results: Over the course of 18 weeks the ads were shown 10,577,381 times to 7,248,985 unique users of the social networking site. The ads received 6,094 clicks by 5,963 unique users for a unique click-through rate of 0.08% at a mean cost of $0.63 per click. Eighteen percent (18%, n = 1,075) of those who clicked on a recruitment ad consented to participate. Strict additional eligibility criteria reduced the respondent pool to a final count of 344 women. The total cost of the campaign was $3,821.81 or $11.11 per participant. Conclusions: A national sample of nulliparous women in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy was obtained successfully at a reasonable cost and with only modest technological expertise. Highly targeted online ads are a cost-effective method for reaching hidden or otherwise difficult-to-access populations for public health nursing research.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the capabilities of the use of advertisements on social networking websites. Analyze the limitations of the use of advertisements on social networking websites. Discuss the potential research applications of advertisements on social networking websites.

Keywords: Internet, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctorally-prepared nurse and successfully completed a research study using the recruitment methodology described in the presentation.
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.

Back to: 5209.0: PHN Practice