Comparing recruitment strategies for a digital smoking cessation intervention: Technology-assisted peer recruitment, social media, ResearchMatch, and smokefree.gov
Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences; Division of Biostatistics and Health Services Research, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Health Information Technology | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Social Media | Substance Abuse and Addiction
BACKGROUND: Choosing the right recruitment strategy has implications for the successful conduct of a trial. Our objective was to compare a novel peer recruitment strategy to four other recruitment strategies for a large randomized trial testing a digital tobacco intervention.
METHODS: We compared enrollment rates, demographic and baseline smoking characteristics, and odds of completing the 6-month study by recruitment strategy. Cost of recruitment strategies per retained participant was calculated using staff personnel time and advertisement costs.
FINDINGS: We enrolled 1487 participants between August 2017 and March 2019 from: Peer recruitment n = 273 (18.4%), Facebook Ads n = 505 (34%), Google Ads = 200 (13.4%), ResearchMatch n = 356 (23.9%) and Smokefree.govn = 153 (10.3%). Mean enrollment rate per active recruitment month: 1) Peer recruitment, n = 13.9, 2) Facebook ads, n = 25.3, 3) Google ads, n = 10.51, 4) Research Match, n = 59.3, and 5) Smokefree.gov, n = 13.9. Peer recruitment recruited the greatest number of males (n = 110, 40.3%), young adults (n = 41, 14.7%), participants with a high school degree or less (n = 24, 12.5%) and smokers within one's social network. Compared to peer recruitment (retention rate = 57%), participants from Facebook were less likely (OR 0.46, p < 0.01, retention rate = 40%), and those from ResearchMatch were more likely to complete the study (OR 1.90, p < 0.01, retention rate = 70%). Peer recruitment was moderate in cost per retained participant ($47.18) and substantially less costly than Facebook ($173.60).
CONCLUSIONS: Though peer recruitment had lower enrollment than other strategies, it may provide greater access to harder to reach populations and possibly others who smoke within one's social network while being moderately cost-effective. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03224520.
Digital intervention, Dissemination, Peer recruitment, Smoking cessation, Tailored
DOI of Published Version
Faro JM, Nagawa CS, Orvek EA, Smith BM, Blok AC, Houston TK, Kamberi A, Allison JJ, Person SD, Sadasivam RS. Comparing recruitment strategies for a digital smoking cessation intervention: Technology-assisted peer recruitment, social media, ResearchMatch, and smokefree.gov. Contemp Clin Trials. 2021 Feb 8;103:106314. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2021.106314. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33571687. Link to article on publisher's site
Contemporary clinical trials
Faro J, Nagawa CS, Orvek EA, Smith BM, Blok AC, Houston TK, Kamberi A, Allison JJ, Person SD, Sadasivam RS. (2021). Comparing recruitment strategies for a digital smoking cessation intervention: Technology-assisted peer recruitment, social media, ResearchMatch, and smokefree.gov. University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2021.106314. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/faculty_pubs/1954