Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 26;9(3):e92744. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092744. eCollection 2014.

The role of social media in recruiting for clinical trials in pregnancy.

Author information

1
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; The Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recruitment of women in the periconceptional period to clinical studies using traditional advertising through medical establishments is difficult and slow. Given the widespread use of the internet as a source for medical information and research, we analyze the impact of social media in the second phase of an ongoing randomized, open-label clinical trial among pregnant women. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of social media as a recruitment tool through the comparison of diverse recruitment techniques in two different phases of the trial.

METHODS:

Recruitment in Phase 1 of the study consisted solely of traditional healthcare-based sources. This was compared to Phase 2 of the study where traditional recruitment was continued and expanded, while social media was used as a supplementary source. Yearly recruitment and recruitment rates in the two phases were compared using the Mann Whitney U test. The contributions of each recruitment source to overall recruitment were analyzed, and the impact of potential confounders on recruitment rate was evaluated using a multiple regression and Interrupted Time Series Analysis.

RESULTS:

In the first phase of the study, with over 56 months of recruitment using traditional sources, 35 women were enrolled in the study, resulting in a mean rate of ±0.62 recruits/month. In the 6 months implementing recruitment through social media, 45 women were recruited, for a 12-fold higher rate of ±7.5 recruits/month. Attrition rates remained constant, suggesting that social media had a positive impact on recruitment. The Interrupted Time Series Analysis detected a significant difference in recruitment after the intervention of social media (p<0.0001) with an evident increase in the number of recruits observed after the use of social media.

CONCLUSIONS:

Clinicians and scientists recruiting for clinical studies should learn how to use online social media platforms to improve recruitment rates, thus increasing recruitment efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

PMID:
24671210
PMCID:
PMC3966825
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0092744
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center