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Social Media Use in Research: Engaging Communities in Cohort Studies to Support Recruitment and Retention.

Farina-Henry E, Waterston LB, Blaisdell LL - JMIR Res Protoc (2015)

Bottom Line: The NCS is a prospective, longitudinal study of the effects of environment and genetics on children's health, growth and development.Content and Engagement analyses describe what content of posts NCS Study Centers were using, what content they were posting about, and what the online NCS communities found most engaging.Further research about content analysis, optimal metrics to describe engagement in research, the role of localized content and stakeholders, and social media use in participant recruitment is warranted.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Portland, ME, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: This paper presents the first formal evaluation of social media (SM) use in the National Children's Study (NCS). The NCS is a prospective, longitudinal study of the effects of environment and genetics on children's health, growth and development. The Study employed a multifaceted community outreach campaign in combination with a SM campaign to educate participants and their communities about the Study. SM essentially erases geographic differences between people due to its omnipresence, which was an important consideration in this multi-site national study. Using SM in the research setting requires an understanding of potential threats to confidentiality and privacy and the role that posted content plays as an extension of the informed consent process.

Objective: This pilot demonstrates the feasibility of creating linkages and databases to measure and compare SM with new content and engagement metrics.

Methods: Metrics presented include basic use metrics for Facebook as well as newly created metrics to assist with Facebook content and engagement analyses.

Results: Increasing Likes per month demonstrates that online communities can be quickly generated. Content and Engagement analyses describe what content of posts NCS Study Centers were using, what content they were posting about, and what the online NCS communities found most engaging.

Conclusions: These metrics highlight opportunities to optimize time and effort while determining the content of future posts. Further research about content analysis, optimal metrics to describe engagement in research, the role of localized content and stakeholders, and social media use in participant recruitment is warranted.

No MeSH data available.


Facebook cumulative Likes over a 4 month period and average number of likes per month for the 4 participating SCs.
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figure1: Facebook cumulative Likes over a 4 month period and average number of likes per month for the 4 participating SCs.

Mentions: By assigning each post to one category, the prevalence, or frequency of a SC posting about that topic was calculated. Prevalence of each post category was represented as a percentage of the total posts (see Figure 1). Using the lifetime total reach and lifetime engaged user metrics from each post, an overall total reach and engagement was summed for each content category. The engagement score was then calculated by dividing the total engagement for a category by its total reach. This method of analysis was applied to each study center.


Social Media Use in Research: Engaging Communities in Cohort Studies to Support Recruitment and Retention.

Farina-Henry E, Waterston LB, Blaisdell LL - JMIR Res Protoc (2015)

Facebook cumulative Likes over a 4 month period and average number of likes per month for the 4 participating SCs.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4527013&req=5

figure1: Facebook cumulative Likes over a 4 month period and average number of likes per month for the 4 participating SCs.
Mentions: By assigning each post to one category, the prevalence, or frequency of a SC posting about that topic was calculated. Prevalence of each post category was represented as a percentage of the total posts (see Figure 1). Using the lifetime total reach and lifetime engaged user metrics from each post, an overall total reach and engagement was summed for each content category. The engagement score was then calculated by dividing the total engagement for a category by its total reach. This method of analysis was applied to each study center.

Bottom Line: The NCS is a prospective, longitudinal study of the effects of environment and genetics on children's health, growth and development.Content and Engagement analyses describe what content of posts NCS Study Centers were using, what content they were posting about, and what the online NCS communities found most engaging.Further research about content analysis, optimal metrics to describe engagement in research, the role of localized content and stakeholders, and social media use in participant recruitment is warranted.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Portland, ME, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: This paper presents the first formal evaluation of social media (SM) use in the National Children's Study (NCS). The NCS is a prospective, longitudinal study of the effects of environment and genetics on children's health, growth and development. The Study employed a multifaceted community outreach campaign in combination with a SM campaign to educate participants and their communities about the Study. SM essentially erases geographic differences between people due to its omnipresence, which was an important consideration in this multi-site national study. Using SM in the research setting requires an understanding of potential threats to confidentiality and privacy and the role that posted content plays as an extension of the informed consent process.

Objective: This pilot demonstrates the feasibility of creating linkages and databases to measure and compare SM with new content and engagement metrics.

Methods: Metrics presented include basic use metrics for Facebook as well as newly created metrics to assist with Facebook content and engagement analyses.

Results: Increasing Likes per month demonstrates that online communities can be quickly generated. Content and Engagement analyses describe what content of posts NCS Study Centers were using, what content they were posting about, and what the online NCS communities found most engaging.

Conclusions: These metrics highlight opportunities to optimize time and effort while determining the content of future posts. Further research about content analysis, optimal metrics to describe engagement in research, the role of localized content and stakeholders, and social media use in participant recruitment is warranted.

No MeSH data available.