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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.


Email Usage per week among MSM respondents.
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pone.0138599.g005: Email Usage per week among MSM respondents.

Mentions: The majority (60%) of participants checked their email once or more per day (Fig 5). A variety of Internet-based social networks were used, indicating diverse online presence among MSM. The most commonly used was Scandinavia largest web-community for LGBTI (Qruiser) (Fig 6) (26). Web-community membership was reported by 94% (116/123) of participants.


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)

Email Usage per week among MSM respondents.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0138599.g005: Email Usage per week among MSM respondents.
Mentions: The majority (60%) of participants checked their email once or more per day (Fig 5). A variety of Internet-based social networks were used, indicating diverse online presence among MSM. The most commonly used was Scandinavia largest web-community for LGBTI (Qruiser) (Fig 6) (26). Web-community membership was reported by 94% (116/123) of participants.

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.