Internet communities for recruitment of cancer patients into an Internet survey: a discussion paper.
The purpose of this paper is to provide future directions for the usage of Internet communities (ICs) for recruitment of research participants based on issues raised in an Internet survey among 132 cancer patients. About 317 general and 233 ethnic-specific Internet Cancer Support Groups and 1588 ethnic-specific ICs were contacted to recruit cancer patients. Research staff recorded issues and wrote memos during the recruitment process. The written memos and records were later analyzed using content analysis. The issues included: (a) difficulty in identifying appropriate ICs and potential participants, (b) meta-tags, (c) dominant white and women groups, (d) dynamics inside ICs, (e) difficulty in trust building, and (f) potential selection bias. The findings suggest that researchers thoroughly review the ICs' information, be recognizant of potential gender and ethnic issues and current trends in Internet interaction, and consider potential selection bias.
Im, E-O; Chee, W; Tsai, H-M; Bender, M; Lim, HJ
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