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Implementation of Web-Based Respondent Driven Sampling among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Sweden.

Strömdahl S, Lu X, Bengtsson L, Liljeros F, Thorson A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The WebRDS produced a sample of Internet-using MSM in Sweden who all reported sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI during the last 12 months.It holds promise for future online studies among MSM and a possibility to reach MSM at risk for HIV/STI with interventions or information.Some challenges were found including short recruitment chains, and further research need to address how to optimize WebRDS online recruitment methods in high income settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

ABSTRACT

Background: Respondent driven sampling (RDS) was designed to study 'hidden' populations, for which there are no available sampling frame. RDS has been shown to recruit far into social networks of the study population and achieve unbiased estimates when certain assumptions are fulfilled. Web-based respondent driven sampling (WebRDS) has been implemented among MSM in Vietnam and produced a sufficient sample of MSM. In order to see if WebRDS could work in a 'hidden' population in a high-income setting, we performed a WebRDS among MSM in Sweden to study a sensitive topic, sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI and Internet use.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was implemented between July 11, 2012 and January 21, 2013 by using a WebRDS software. Men, fifteen years old or above, who reported having ever had sex with another man were included. The web-survey explored sociodemographics, sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI and Internet use.

Results: The WebRDS process created a sample of 123 eligible respondents. The mean age among participants was 32 years old. All respondents reported having had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with at least one regular and one casual sex partner during the last 12 months. On average participants reported having had UAI with three casual sexual partners and in total having had seven casual sex partners during the last 12 months.

Conclusion: The WebRDS produced a sample of Internet-using MSM in Sweden who all reported sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI during the last 12 months. It holds promise for future online studies among MSM and a possibility to reach MSM at risk for HIV/STI with interventions or information. Some challenges were found including short recruitment chains, and further research need to address how to optimize WebRDS online recruitment methods in high income settings.

No MeSH data available.


Participation in the WebRDS over time.
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pone.0138599.g003: Participation in the WebRDS over time.

Mentions: Two seeds and five participants were successful at recruiting four respondents, the maximum number possible. Seeds represented 33 out of 123 eligible participants i.e. 30% of the final sample. About two thirds (68%) of the final sample was recruited before the server failure on August 23, 2012. Ten (out of 13) recruitment chains did not start again after being re-invited when the server was functioning again after the breakdown. The three recruitment chains that did start recruiting after the server breakdown, contributed with an addition of six more respondents. Recruitment chains started after the server failure were slower in comparison to before the server failure, as shown in Fig 3.


Implementation of Web-Based Respondent Driven Sampling among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Sweden.

Strömdahl S, Lu X, Bengtsson L, Liljeros F, Thorson A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Participation in the WebRDS over time.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4591333&req=5

pone.0138599.g003: Participation in the WebRDS over time.
Mentions: Two seeds and five participants were successful at recruiting four respondents, the maximum number possible. Seeds represented 33 out of 123 eligible participants i.e. 30% of the final sample. About two thirds (68%) of the final sample was recruited before the server failure on August 23, 2012. Ten (out of 13) recruitment chains did not start again after being re-invited when the server was functioning again after the breakdown. The three recruitment chains that did start recruiting after the server breakdown, contributed with an addition of six more respondents. Recruitment chains started after the server failure were slower in comparison to before the server failure, as shown in Fig 3.

Bottom Line: The WebRDS produced a sample of Internet-using MSM in Sweden who all reported sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI during the last 12 months.It holds promise for future online studies among MSM and a possibility to reach MSM at risk for HIV/STI with interventions or information.Some challenges were found including short recruitment chains, and further research need to address how to optimize WebRDS online recruitment methods in high income settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

ABSTRACT

Background: Respondent driven sampling (RDS) was designed to study 'hidden' populations, for which there are no available sampling frame. RDS has been shown to recruit far into social networks of the study population and achieve unbiased estimates when certain assumptions are fulfilled. Web-based respondent driven sampling (WebRDS) has been implemented among MSM in Vietnam and produced a sufficient sample of MSM. In order to see if WebRDS could work in a 'hidden' population in a high-income setting, we performed a WebRDS among MSM in Sweden to study a sensitive topic, sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI and Internet use.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was implemented between July 11, 2012 and January 21, 2013 by using a WebRDS software. Men, fifteen years old or above, who reported having ever had sex with another man were included. The web-survey explored sociodemographics, sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI and Internet use.

Results: The WebRDS process created a sample of 123 eligible respondents. The mean age among participants was 32 years old. All respondents reported having had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with at least one regular and one casual sex partner during the last 12 months. On average participants reported having had UAI with three casual sexual partners and in total having had seven casual sex partners during the last 12 months.

Conclusion: The WebRDS produced a sample of Internet-using MSM in Sweden who all reported sexual risk behaviour for HIV/STI during the last 12 months. It holds promise for future online studies among MSM and a possibility to reach MSM at risk for HIV/STI with interventions or information. Some challenges were found including short recruitment chains, and further research need to address how to optimize WebRDS online recruitment methods in high income settings.

No MeSH data available.