Advertisement

Facebook as a Recruitment Tool for Adolescent Health Research: A Systematic Review

      Abstract

      Background

      Researchers are increasingly using social media to recruit participants to surveys and clinical studies. However, the evidence of the efficacy and validity of adolescent recruitment through Facebook is yet to be established.

      Objective

      To conduct a systematic review of the literature on the use of Facebook to recruit adolescents for health research.

      Data Sources

      Nine electronic databases and reference lists were searched for articles published between 2004 and 2013.

      Study Eligibility Criteria

      Studies were included in the review if: 1) participants were aged ≥10 to ≤18 years, 2) studies addressed a physical or mental health issue, 3) Facebook was identified as a recruitment tool, 4) recruitment details using Facebook were outlined in the methods section and considered in the discussion, or information was obtained by contacting the authors, 5) results revealed how many participants were recruited using Facebook, and 6) studies addressed how adolescent consent and/or parental consent was obtained.

      Study Appraisals and Synthesis Methods

      Titles, abstracts, and keywords were scanned and duplicates removed by 2 reviewers. Full text was evaluated for inclusion criteria, and 2 reviewers independently extracted data.

      Results

      The search resulted in 587 publications, of which 25 full-text papers were analyzed. Six studies met all the criteria for inclusion in the review. Three recruitment methods using Facebook was identified: 1) paid Facebook advertising, 2) use of the Facebook search tool, and 3) creation and use of a Facebook Page.

      Conclusions

      Eligible studies described the use of paid Facebook advertising and Facebook as a search tool as methods to successfully recruit adolescent participants. Online and verbal consent was obtained from participants recruited from Facebook.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Academic Pediatrics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Lamb J.
        • Puskar K.R.
        • Tusaie-Mumford K.
        Adolescent research recruitment issues and strategies: application in a rural school setting.
        J Pediatr Nurs. 2001; 16: 43-52
        • Nguyen B.
        • McGregor K.A.
        • O’Connor J.
        • et al.
        Recruitment challenges and recommendations for adolescent obesity trials.
        J Paediatr Child Health. 2012; 48: 38-43
        • Steinbeck K.
        • Baur L.
        • Cowell C.
        • Pietrobelli A.
        Clinical research in adolescents: challenges and opportunities using obesity as a model.
        Int J Obes. 2009; 33: 2-7
        • Montgomery K.C.
        Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet.
        MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass2007
        • Tapscott D.
        Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World.
        McGraw-Hill, New York, NY2008
      1. Facebook. Key facts. Available at: http://newsroom.fb.com/Key-Facts. Accessed February 10, 2014.

      2. Schlosser RW. Appraising the quality of systematic reviews. FOCUS Technical Brief 17. 2007. Available at: http://www.ktdrr.org/ktlibrary/articles_pubs/ncddrwork/focus/focus17/Focus17.pdf. Accessed February 26, 2014

        • Hilton S.
        • Smith E.
        “I thought cancer was one of those random things. I didn’t know cancer could be caught...”: adolescent girls’ understandings and experiences of the HPV programme in the UK.
        Vaccine. 2011; 29: 4409-4415
        • Ellis L.A.
        • Collin P.
        • Davenport T.A.
        • et al.
        Young men, mental health, and technology: implications for service design and deliver in the digital age.
        J Med Internet Res. 2012; 14: 145-153
        • Fenner Y.
        • Garland S.
        • Moore E.E.
        • et al.
        Web-based recruiting for health research using a social networking site: an exploration study.
        J Med Internet Res. 2012; 14: e20
        • Jones L.
        • Saksvig B.I.
        • Frieser M.
        • Young D.R.
        Recruiting adolescent girls into a follow-up study: benefits of using a social networking website.
        Contemp Clin Trials. 2012; 33: 268-272
        • Ahmed N.
        • Jayasinghe Y.
        • Wark J.D.
        • et al.
        Attitudes to chlamydia screening elicited using the social networking site Facebook for subject recruitment.
        Sexual Health. 2013; 10: 224-228
        • Chu J.L.
        • Snider C.E.
        Use of a social networking Web site for recruiting Canadian youth for medical research.
        J Adolesc Health. 2013; 23: 00783-00785
        • Close S.
        • Smaldone A.
        • Fennoy I.
        • et al.
        Using information technology and social networking for recruitment of research participants: experience from an exploratory study of pediatric Klinefelter syndrome.
        J Med Internet Res. 2013; 15: e48
        • Campaign bidding. Available at Facebook.
        (Accessed)
      3. SurveyMonkey. Available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/. Accessed September 3, 2013.

      4. RecruitSource. Available at: https://www.recruitsource.com/Pages/Home.aspx. Accessed September 3, 2013.

      5. Facebook. Statement of rights and responsibilities. Available at: http://www.facebook.com/legal/terms. Accessed September 3, 2013.

      6. Facebook. Facebook advertising guidelines. Available at: http://www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines.php. Accessed September 3, 2013.

      7. Facebook. Guide to creating Facebook ads and sponsored stories. Available at: http://fbrep.com//SMB/Ads_Create_Flow.pdf. Accessed September 3, 2013.

        • Stern S.
        Studying adolescents online: a consideration of ethical issues.
        in: Buchannan E.A. Readings in Virtual Research Ethics: Issues and Controversies. Information Science Publishing, Hershey, Pa2004: 274-287
        • Johnson S.B.
        • Blum R.W.
        • Giedd J.N.
        Adolescent maturity and the brain: the promise and pitfalls of neuroscience research in adolescent health policy.
        J Adolesc Health. 2009; 45: 216-221
        • Spriggs M.
        Consent in cyberspace: Internet-based research involving young people.
        Monash Bioeth Rev. 2009; 28: 32.1-32.15
        • Brandtzaeg P.B.
        • Luders M.
        • Skjetne J.H.
        Too many Facebook “friends”? Content sharing and sociability versus the need for privacy in social network sites.
        Int J Hum Comput Interact. 2010; 26: 1006-1030
        • Kanter M.
        • Afifi T.
        • Robbins S.
        The impact of parents “friending” their young adult child on Facebook on perceptions of parental privacy invasions and parent–child relationship quality.
        J Commun. 2012; 62: 900-917
        • West A.
        • Lewis J.
        • Currie P.
        Students’ Facebook “friends”: public and private spheres.
        J Youth Stud. 2009; 12: 615-627
        • Park B.K.
        • Calamaro C.
        A systematic review of social networking sites: innovative platforms for health research targeting adolescents and young adults.
        J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013; 45: 256-264
      8. Facebook. Page basics. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/help/281592001947683/. Accessed September 3, 2013.

        • Bull S.S.
        • Vallejos D.
        • Levine D.
        • Ortiz C.
        Improving recruitment and retention for an online randomized controlled trial: experience from the Youthnet study.
        AIDS Care. 2008; 20: 887-893
        • Moreno M.A.
        • Briner L.R.
        • Williams A.
        • et al.
        Real use or “real cool”: adolescents speak out about displayed alcohol references on social networking websites.
        J Adolesc Health. 2009; 45: 420-422
        • Rice E.
        • Monro W.
        • Barman-Adhikari A.
        • Young S.D.
        Internet use, social networking, and HIV/AIDS risk for homeless adolescents.
        J Adolesc Health. 2010; 47: 610-613
        • Bull S.S.
        • Breslin L.T.
        • Wright E.E.
        • et al.
        Case study: an ethics case study of HIV prevention research on Facebook: the Just/Us Study.
        J Pediatr Psychol. 2011; 36: 1082-1092
        • Epstein J.A.
        Adolescent computer use and alcohol use: what are the role of quantity and content of computer use?.
        Addict Behav. 2011; 36: 520-522
        • Garrett C.C.
        • Hocking J.
        • Chen M.Y.
        • et al.
        Young people’s views on the potential use of telemedicine consultations for sexual health: results of a national survey.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2011; 11: 285-295
        • Kalkhuis-Beam S.
        • Stevens S.L.
        • Baumritter A.
        • et al.
        Participant- and study-related characteristics predicting treatment completion and study retention in an adolescent smoking cessation trial.
        J Adolesc Health. 2011; 49: 371-378
        • Bulik C.M.
        • Marcus M.D.
        • Zerwas S.
        • et al.
        CBT4BN versus CBTF2F: comparison of online versus face-to-face treatment for bulimia nervosa.
        Contemp Clin Trials. 2012; 33: 1056-1064
        • Bull S.S.
        • Levine D.K.
        • Black S.R.
        • et al.
        Social media–delivered sexual health intervention: a cluster randomized controlled trial.
        Am J Prev Med. 2012; 43: 467-474
        • Gabarron E.
        • Serrano J.A.
        • Wynn R.
        • Armayones M.
        Avatars using computer/smartphone mediated communication and social networking in prevention of sexually transmitted diseases among North-Norwegian youngsters.
        BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2012; 12: 120-124
        • Graham A.L.
        • Milner P.
        • Saul J.E.
        • Pfaff L.
        Online advertising as a public health and recruitment tool: comparison of different media campaigns to increase demand for smoking cessation interventions.
        J Med Internet Res. 2008; 10: e50
        • Seburg E.M.
        • Horvath K.J.
        • Garwick A.W.
        • et al.
        Complementary and alternative medicine use among youth with juvenile arthritis: are youth using CAM, but not talking about it?.
        J Adolesc Health. 2012; 51: 200-202
        • Bull S.S.
        • Levine D.
        • Schmiege S.
        • Santelli J.
        Recruitment and retention of youth for research using social media: experiences from the Just/Us study.
        Vulnerable Child Youth Stud. 2013; 8: 171-181
        • Drozd F.
        • Raeder S.
        • Kraft P.
        • Bjorkli C.A.
        Multilevel growth curve analyses of treatment effects of a Web-based intervention for stress reduction: randomized controlled trial.
        J Med Internet Res. 2013; : 15
        • Lancaster K.
        • Hughes C.E.
        Buzzed, broke, but not busted: how young Australians perceive the consequences of using illicit drugs.
        Youth Studies Australia. 2013; 32: 19-28
        • Masson H.
        • Balfe M.
        • Hackett S.
        • Phillips J.
        Lost without a trace? Social networking and social research with a hard-to-reach population.
        Br J Soc Work. 2013; 43: 24-40
        • Masters N.T.
        • Beadnell B.
        • Morrison D.M.
        • et al.
        Multidimensional characterization of sexual minority adolescents’ sexual safety strategies.
        J Adol. 2013; 36: 953-961
        • Wells E.A.
        • Asakura K.
        • Hoppe M.J.
        • et al.
        Social services for sexual minority youth: preferences for what, where, and how services are delivered.
        Children Youth Serv Rev. 2013; 35: 312-320