Exploring Digital Recruitment in Mental Health Research
The recent scoping review by Smith, Grohmann, and Trivedi delves into an innovative approach to recruiting adolescents for mental health research. This study is a pivotal step in understanding how digital platforms can bridge gaps in research participation.
With an emphasis on participants aged 13-18, the review offers a comprehensive analysis of the advantages and challenges posed by social media recruitment methods. Its findings are crucial for future research designs.
The Source Article Details
Use of social media in recruiting young people to mental health research: a scoping review by Megan V A Smith et al. in 2023.
The Source Article's Abstract
This review explored the literature on the use of social media in recruiting young people, aged 13-18 years, to mental health research. It aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to recruitment and strategies to improve participation in future research.
Articles published between January 2011 and February 2023 were searched for on PubMed, Scopus, Medline (via EBSCOhost) and Cochrane Library databases.
Studies that outlined social media as a recruitment method and recruited participants aged 13-18 years.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
Data was extracted by two reviewers independently and cross-checked by a third reviewer. Data on study design, aims, participants, recruitment methods and findings related specifically to social media as a recruitment tool were collected.
24 journal articles met the inclusion criteria. Studies were predominantly surveys (n=13) conducted in the USA (n=16) recruiting via Facebook (n=16) and/or Instagram (n=14). Only nine of the included articles provided a summary of success and reviewed the efficacy of social media recruitment for young people in mental health research. Type of advertisement, the language used, time of day and the use of keywords were all found to be factors that may influence the success of recruitment through social media; however, as these are based on findings from a small number of studies, such potential influences require further investigation.
Social media recruitment can be a successful method for recruiting young people to mental health research. Further research is needed into recruiting socioeconomically marginalised groups using this method, as well as the effectiveness of new social media platforms.
The Source Article References
- Global burden of mental health problems among children and adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic: an umbrella review by Hossain, 2022 in Psychiatry Res
- The headspace brief interventions clinic: increasing timely access to effective treatments for young people with early signs of mental health problems by Schley, 2019 in Early Interv Psychiatry
- Recruiting adolescent research participants: in-person compared to social media approaches by Moreno, 2017 in Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw
- Social media recruitment for mental health research: a systematic review by Sanchez, 2020 in Compr Psychiatry
- Recruitment strategies for nurse enrollment in an online study by Surdam, 2020 in Nurs Res
- Recruiting nurses via social media for survey studies by Bethel, 2021 in Nurs Res
- Recruiting for health, medical or psychosocial research using Facebook: systematic review by Thornton, 2016 in Internet Interv
- Social media usage and development of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence: a review by Cataldo, 2020 in Front Psychiatry
- Insights into Facebook pages: an early adolescent health research study page targeted at parents by Amon, 2016 in Int J Adolesc Med Health
- Updated methodological guidance for the conduct of scoping reviews by Peters, 2020 in JBI Evid Synth
- Longitudinal predictors of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in sexual and gender minority adolescents by Smith, 2020 in J Abnorm Psychol
- What works for mental health problems in youth? Survey of real-world experiences of treatments and side effects by Morgan, 2021 in Early Interv Psychiatry
- Leveraging social media to explore the barriers to treatment among individuals with depressive symptoms by Szlyk, 2020 in Depress Anxiety
- Mental health disparities among Canadian transgender youth by Veale, 2017 in J Adolesc Health
- Canadian adolescents’ mental health and substance use during the covid-19 pandemic: associations with covid-19 stressors by Craig, 2023 in Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement
- Thirteen reasons why: the impact of suicide portrayal on adolescents' mental health by Rosa, 2019 in J Psychiatr Res
- Adolescents and young adults engaged with pro-eating disorder social media: eating disorder and comorbid psychopathology, health care utilization, treatment barriers, and opinions on harnessing technology for treatment by Fitzsimmons-Craft, 2020 in Eat Weight Disord
- Explaining behavioral health differences in urban and rural sexual minority adolescents: a longitudinal investigation of minority stress in a diverse national sample of sexual minority adolescents: a longitudinal investigation of minority stress in a div by Goldbach, 2023 in J Rural Health
- Changes in the health of adolescent athletes: a comparison of health measures collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic by McGuine, 2021 in J Athl Train
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on perceptions of health and well-being among sexual and gender minority adolescents and emerging adults by Mitchell, 2022 in LGBT Health
Citing the Source Article (APA)
Smith, M.V.A., Grohmann, D., Trivedi, D. (2023). Use of social media in recruiting young people to mental health research: a scoping review. BMJ Open, 13(11), e075290-e075290. 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-075290
Social Media: A Potent Tool for Engagement
This review meticulously examines social media’s efficacy in engaging a younger demographic. The platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have shown significant potential in reaching out to adolescents, a group traditionally difficult to engage in mental health research.
The use of specific keywords, advertisement types, and strategic posting times were identified as critical factors in maximizing recruitment effectiveness. These insights provide a roadmap for future studies aiming to leverage social media for research purposes.
Emerging Trends and Future Directions
While the review heralds social media as a promising recruitment tool, it also highlights the need for further research. Particularly, it calls for more studies focusing on socioeconomically marginalized groups and the impact of emerging social media platforms.
This leads us to question: how can new digital platforms be harnessed effectively for research recruitment, and what ethical considerations should guide these endeavors?
- Problem: Recruitment of young individuals for mental health research.
- Population: Adolescents aged 13-18 years.
- Intervention: Use of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for recruitment.
- Comparison: Traditional recruitment methods.
- Outcome: Enhanced recruitment effectiveness and broader participant reach.
- Numbers: Analysis of 24 journal articles.
- Strength: Comprehensive review of diverse studies.
What are your thoughts on the potential and challenges of using social media for recruiting young people in mental health research? Share your insights and join the conversation below!