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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.

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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.


Number of posts and EdgeRank scores for the study period by month and SC.
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figure2: Number of posts and EdgeRank scores for the study period by month and SC.

Mentions: The 4 sites experienced an average of 229 (range 185-299) Facebook Likes in December 2011; by the completion of the pilot in March 2012, this average jumped to 257 (range 219-321), an average increase of 28 likes (range 6-45) over the pilot period. Likes is a cumulative metric over the period of Facebook use, therefore we calculated “Likes per Month”. The SC Facebook pages averaged 16 (range 12-18) months of publishing and the Likes per Month ranged from 12 to 23 (see Figure 2). SCs averaged 17 posts per month (range 7-35) and generally increased to 37 posts per month (range 13-53) over the study period.


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)

Number of posts and EdgeRank scores for the study period by month and SC.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

figure2: Number of posts and EdgeRank scores for the study period by month and SC.
Mentions: The 4 sites experienced an average of 229 (range 185-299) Facebook Likes in December 2011; by the completion of the pilot in March 2012, this average jumped to 257 (range 219-321), an average increase of 28 likes (range 6-45) over the pilot period. Likes is a cumulative metric over the period of Facebook use, therefore we calculated “Likes per Month”. The SC Facebook pages averaged 16 (range 12-18) months of publishing and the Likes per Month ranged from 12 to 23 (see Figure 2). SCs averaged 17 posts per month (range 7-35) and generally increased to 37 posts per month (range 13-53) over the study period.

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.