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Learn More. Technology has transformed our lifestyles in dramatic and ificant ways, including new and less expensive options for recruiting study participants. This study examines cost and participant differences between two recruitment sources, Craigslist CLand print newspapers PNs. This paper also reviewed and compared studies involving clinical trials published since that recruited participants using CL alone or in combination with other methods.
Secondary data analyses from a parent study involving a randomized controlled trial of a mail-based intervention to promote self-change with problem drinkers. ificant differences were found between CL and PN participants on most demographic and pretreatment drinking variables.
While all participants had AUDIT scores suggestive of an alcohol problem and reported drinking at high-risk levels, CL participants had less severe drinking problem histories, were considerably younger, and had a higher socioeconomic status than PN participants. Using CL is a viable recruitment method for soliciting participants, particularly those that are younger, for alcohol intervention studies. It is also less expensive than newspaper. When CL participants were recruited, they reported being slightly more confident to change their drinking than PN participants.
Limitations of using CL are discussed, including that some initial ad responders gave inconsistent answers to similar questions and a few tried to enter the study more than once.
Technology, which has become an integral part of our everyday lives, has radically changed the way we live and work, including how participants are recruited for research studies. Of the million people in the U. While more Internet users were younger 10 years ago, recent research suggests a growing of older adults are accessing the Internet, especially those that are more affluent and better educated Older Adults and Technology Reports, n.
Founded in in the San Francisco bay area, it was incorporated as Craigslist sex Santo Domingo private for-profit company in Craigslist Corporate History,April Today it takes postings from individuals in more than 70 countries and in 12 different languages. It has also become a popular website for recruiting participants for research studies.
It allows the placing of a single advertisement in any one geographic location e. Based on factsheets from Craigslist CL,May 5it is estimated that 60 million people in the U. Further, each month more than 80 million classified are posted. These statistics indicate that CL target an extremely large and broad audience.
Before the advent of the Internet, most researchers used some type of print e. Today, multiple web, Internet, and social media sites e. While studies have used CL to recruit different groups e. Researchers that have used CL have reported placing in different sections e. To better summarize existing studies on CL as a study recruitment source, we reviewed and compared studies involving clinical trials published since that recruited participants using only CL or in combination with other methods.
Studies not deed as clinical interventions were excluded e. Nine studies met these criteria and are described in Table 1. For the five studies that used recruitment sources besides CL, data for those sources are included. Several studies compared multiple recruitment sources but did not include CL as a recruitment method; therefore, they are not listed in Table 1 [e. Lastly, one study that used multiple recruitment sources including CL was excluded as only four participants were recruited from there Morgan, Jorm, and Mackinnon, Characteristics of studies that used Craigslist to recruit participants, and if relevant compared Craigslist with other Internet and traditional participant recruitment sources.
Traditional recruiting sources refer to any form of broadcast or print media e. Internet recruiting sources refer to any form of advertising via the World Wide Web e. While the total cost of advertising is important, the effectiveness of a recruitment method is ultimately related to the of participants who are enrolled in a study.
Consequently, the best way to evaluate and compare the cost-effectiveness of different recruitment methods is to examine the cost per eligible participant by recruitment source.
As can be seen in Table 1the cost per enrolled participant is somewhat variable across studies. The following two clinical trials, which only used Facebook, are good examples.
Brief et al. Ramo, Rodriguez, Chavez, Sommer, and Prochaska using 36 different Facebook to target young adult smokers generated 3, impressions and unique clicks.
The present study used a secondary data analysis to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CL versus print newspaper PN to recruit participants for a randomized controlled trial deed to promote self-change from alcohol problems Sobell, Sobell, Gioia, Montgomery, and Marker,August. The analysis had two objectives: a to compare demographic and alcohol history variables for participants recruited using Craigslist.
In this paper, we also review the opportunities and challenges offered by CL for researchers. For purposes of the present analysis, participants are allocated to one of two groups CL: Craigslist. Participants were recruited over a month period using the following inclusion criteria: a must have seen the study ad i. These drinking criteria are consistent with the risk drinking criteria used by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism In addition, callers who called more than once after being told they did not meet the eligibility criteria were deemed ineligible and were only counted one time.
The study involved no face-to-face contact with participants. The participants in the final study cohort had volunteered to participate in a randomized clinical trial RCT deed to promote self-change from alcohol problems. Henceforth, the RCT will be referred to as the parent study. Because the parent study has been described elsewhere Sobell et al. At the time of the study, the most recent U. Census Bureau data were used to select cities or geographic areas in each state with Craigslist sex Santo Domingo populations.
The same were used to recruit participants for PNs and CL. The as they appeared in print are shown in Fig. for CL were posted by going to the main web Craigslist. Depending on the area selected we were able to post CL in the jobs section for one to two weeks, and then they were removed by CL. were placed at least once in 51 major metropolitan areas across the U. On occasion, in some areas were run more than once.
While Craigslist typically does not charge a fee for related to research studies, some major metropolitan cities e. Some CL resulted in few responders e. These differences could have reflected the population in the area served by the particular CL, how many times a CL ad was placed for a particular city, how many days the ad was run, and whether the ad appeared near the front or the end of the CL.
The latter two variables were not within our control. The ad used in PNs was the same as for CL, except it was usually small e. The cost of placing had a great deal of variability. As with CLsome PN were run more than once in some cities. What affects the cost of many newspaper is the of days the ad appears and the section where it appears.
Due to such costs, most of the 69 PN were run for only one day. The study procedures were the same for participants whether they were recruited from CL or PN .
All callers were prescreened by phone for initial eligibility. Those who were initially eligible were sent a consent form by mail and asked to read, and return it in a prepaid envelope addressed to the project. Once the ed consent was received, potential participants were sent their assessment materials by mail to complete and to return to the project using a prepaid envelope. All participants received the same intervention materials to assist them in changing their drinking. Based on other studies that have used web-based Klingemann and Sobell, ; Mirtenbaum et al.
Initial callers were prescreened using key questions that could quickly rule out ineligible callers e. Another reason for the phone prescreening was because the placement of the CL i.
Because prior research has shown that some participants provide invalid answers to CL and Facebook Brief et al. Potential participants were asked several questions on two different occasions, and those who gave inconsistent answers at the prescreen phone call and assessment e. An important criterion for entry into alcohol studies is the amount of alcohol consumed.
During the phone prescreening the QDS Dum et al.
In the current study, the QDS was used to collect prescreening drinking data for the three months prior to seeing the study ad. Participants who were eligible based on their initial prescreening answers were asked to complete an assessment questionnaire and several forms as described below.
This form included basic demographic e. It is used to initially screen individuals whose scores might suggest a problem with alcohol Reinert and Allen, Two scales assessing motivation to change drinking have been used in past brief interventions reviewed in Sobell and Sobell, For both scales, higher s indicate greater confidence or readiness to change, respectively.
Studies of brief interventions and promoting self-change reviewed in Klingemann and Sobell, ; Sobell and Sobell, have asked participants to provide a self-appraisal of the severity of their alcohol problem prior to entering the study. In the present study, this time frame was 90 days before seeing the ad. Studies have shown that higher severity ratings have been associated with poorer treatment outcomes reviewed in Sobell and Sobell, The TLFB is a psychometrically sound measure for assessing daily drinking for intervals ranging from 1- to months Agrawal, Sobell, and Sobell, ; Sobell and Sobell, Examining alcohol consumption over shorter TLFB intervals e.