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Integrative Review of Recruitment of Research Participants Through Facebook

Reagan, Louise; Nowlin, Sarah Y.; Birdsall, Stacia B.; Gabbay, Juliana; Vorderstrasse, Allison; Johnson, Constance; D’Eramo Melkus, Gail

doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000385
FEATURE ARTICLES
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Background Facebook (FB) has been widely used recently to recruit participants for adult health research. However, little is known about its effectiveness, cost, and the characteristics of participants recruited via FB when compared to other recruitment methods.

Objectives The purpose of this integrative review was to examine the published evidence concerning the use of FB in participant recruitment for adult health research, as compared to other social media, online, and traditional recruitment methods.

Methods In this integrative review, we used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. PubMed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, and Web of Science were the electronic databases used to identify the published articles. In regard to language, the search was limited.

Results The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of using FB for recruitment in healthcare research as compared to more traditional forms of recruitment remain unclear. Reporting of recruitment strategies is inconsistent, and costs are often not included. FB is being used for recruitment frequently with other methods and, although often effective, can be costly.

Discussion FB is used to recruit participants for a variety of studies, with researchers using both free and paid ads to reach potential participants. Reporting of recruitment methods needs to be more rigorous, streamlined, and standardized in scientific papers.

Louise Reagan, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAANP, is Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs. At the time of this research, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York.

Sarah Y. Nowlin, PhD, MSN, is Postdoctoral Associate, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York.

Stacia B. Birdsall, MPH, CNM, is Research Assistant, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York.

Juliana Gabbay, BA, is a second year medical student at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Brooklyn, New York. At the time of this research, she was Research Assistant, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York.

Allison Vorderstrasse, DNSc, APRN, FAAN, is Associate Professor, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York.

Constance Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Associate Dean for Research, the University of Texas Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing, Houston.

Gail D'Eramo Melkus, EdD, C-NP, FAAN, is Associate Dean for Research, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

This research was exempt from review by the internal review board, as it did not involve human subjects.

Corresponding author: Sarah Y. Nowlin, PhD, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, 433 1st. Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 (e-mail: syn216@nyu.edu).

Online date: August 19, 2019

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