The Use of Facebook in Recruiting Participants for Health Research Purposes: A Systematic Review

by Christopher Whitaker, Sharon Stevelink, Nicola Fear et al.
J Med Internet Res 2017;19(8):e290

11 pp. 499 kB

The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding the current use and success of Facebook to recruit participants for health research purposes. The authors conclude that there is growing evidence to suggest that Facebook is a useful recruitment tool and its use, therefore, should be considered when implementing future health research. When compared with traditional recruitment methods (print, radio, television, and email), benefits include reduced costs, shorter recruitment periods, better representation, and improved participant selection in young and hard to reach demographics. It however, remains limited by Internet access and the over representation of young white women. Future studies should recruit across all ages and explore recruitment via other forms of social media.

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