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Facebook advertising for participant recruitment into a blood pressure clinical trial
Methods: Conventional advertisements (newspaper, radio and posters) were employed for the first 20 months of a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted in three Australian capital cities from Tasmania, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. With dwindling participant recruitment, at 20 months a Facebook advertising campaign was employed intermittently over a 4-month period. Recruitment results were retrospectively compared with those using conventional methods in the previous 4 months.
Results: Compared with conventional recruitment methods, Facebook advertisement was associated with a significant increase in the number of participants recruited in the Australian Capital Territory (from an average 1.8-7.3/month; P < 0.05). There was also an increase in Tasmania that was of borderline significance (from 4.0 participants recruited/month to 9.3/month; P = 0.052). However, there was no effect in Queensland (from 6.0 participants recruited/month to 3.0/month; P = 0.15). Facebook advertisement was associated with a significant decrease in the age of participants enquiring into the study (from 60.9 to 58.7 years; P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Facebook advertising was successful in helping to increase recruitment of middle-to-older aged participants into a blood pressure clinical trial, although there may be some variability in effect that is dependent on location.
Publication titleJournal of Hypertension
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication530 Walnut St, Philadelphia, USA, Pa, 19106-3621
Rights statementCopyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health