Online Program

Recruitment of an online sample of women living with polycystic ovary syndrome: A feasibility study

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Elizabeth Baker, PhD, MPH, CPH, Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormone condition among reproductive-age women, affecting 5-10% of this population. However, there are limited studies assessing the psychosocial impact of PCOS, and researchers have been limited by their ability to access clinical populations. As the number of women living with (WLW) PCOS seeking online health information and emotional support increases, it is expected that the internet will evolve as an effective (1) recruitment tool, (2) research setting, and (3) intervention medium. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of recruiting WLW PCOS using targeted advertising on a social networking site. The researcher posted an invitation to participate in an online survey on the discussion board of a PCOS support group that was part of a larger social networking site. Women who clicked on the invitation were redirected to the study website. American WLW PCOS age 18+ years who read and understood English were eligible to participate. Of the 96 women who visited the website, 57 were eligible to participate, over half of which provided their contact information to participate in future studies. No incentives were offered. The issues in the recruitment process included those related to low response rates, selected groups of participants, and potential ethical issues. Results demonstrate the potential of using social networking websites to engage WLW PCOS in public health research. Future directions for Internet research among WLW PCOS is discussed.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the feasibility of recruiting of an online sample of women living with polycystic ovary syndrome; Identify online recruitment issues including low response rates, selected groups of participants, and potential ethical issue

Keyword(s): Women's Health, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary investigator of this pre-dissertation research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.