Using Social Media to Recruit Millennial- Aged Survivors of Pediatric Cancer for a Mixed-Methods Study

Title

Using Social Media to Recruit Millennial- Aged Survivors of Pediatric Cancer for a Mixed-Methods Study

College

College of Health Sciences

Program

Ph.D. Health Services Research

Publication Date

3-28-2019

Abstract

Background: It’s estimated that there are 328,652 adult childhood cancer survivors in the United States (Maeda, 2009; Mariotto et al., 2009). The majority of millennial-aged survivors are at risk for developing complications related to their treatment known as late effects; most are not participating in recommended screening protocols to identify them (Schultz et al., 2010). Social media provides a viable recruitment tool for this difficult to reach population since a majority (85%) of Millennials report using at least one form of social media (Jiang, J., 2018). Methodology: Targeted distribution of an online survey was implemented. Members of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW), post invitations to the survey in the private, closed, and secret social media groups they moderated. In addition, an extensive search was conducted for social media accounts, groups, and pages assisting Millennial **survivors. Of the 61 groups and organizations identified, 48 groups and pages distributed the survey. For 18 months the announcement was posted monthly or every other month depending on group activity level. Posts were also shared across platforms. Results: A total of 146 individuals clicked on the survey link, and 90 surveys were completed. Of the completed surveys, 11 were excluded. While the total number of responses was lower than the targeted sample size of 179 the overall response rates for both the online portion (n= 43,54%) and the phone interview (n=23,53%) were higher than the accepted 30% response. Conclusion: A growing body of research suggests social media is a viable recruitment method for study participants. While enrollment levels were low completion rates were higher than most for both portions of the study. Various components of the changing social media landscape should be considered in future studies, such as funding posts, increased distribution frequency, and an incentive for each participant.

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Using Social Media to Recruit Millennial- Aged Survivors of Pediatric Cancer for a Mixed-Methods Study


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