Recruitment to research studies to meet sample quality, size, and power requirements may be challenging, with underrepresentation of specific gender, age or ethnic groups being a common source of bias within research. Social media are defined as web-based applications that enable creation and exchange of user generated content. Facebook, one of the most renowned social networking interfaces currently has 1.44 billion users worldwide, and cross-sectional studies of user demography suggest a remarkably equal uptake across different ethnic, socioeconomic classes and gender groups. The use of social media in research studies thus provides opportunity to engage and recruit large numbers of eligible participants from diverse populations, at any time, and from potentially anywhere in the world. Furthermore, social networking sites create a valuable conduit for patient and public involvement (PPI) within research and science, but their use should be carefully balanced with the unavoidable loss of confidentiality and anonymity which is inherent in the use of such applications.
02 Nov 2015 - 04 Nov 2015