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Online recruitment: Feasibility, cost, and representativeness in a study of postpartum women

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 03:28 authored by LS Leach, P Butterworth, C Poyser, PJ Batterham, LM Farrer
Background: Online recruitment is feasible, low-cost, and can provide high-quality epidemiological data. However, little is known about the feasibility of recruiting postpartum women online, or sample representativeness. Objective: The current study investigates the feasibility of recruiting a population of postpartum women online for health research and examines sample representativeness. Methods: Two samples of postpartum women were compared: Those recruited online as participants in a brief survey of new mothers (n=1083) and those recruited face-to-face as part of a nationally representative study (n=579). Sociodemographic, general health, and mental health characteristics were compared between the two samples. Results: Obtaining a sample of postpartum women online for health research was highly efficient and low-cost. The online sample over-represented those who were younger (aged 25-29 years), were in a de facto relationship, had higher levels of education, spoke only English at home, and were first-time mothers. Members of the online sample were significantly more likely to have poor self-rated health and poor mental health than the nationally representative sample. Health differences remained after adjusting for sociodemographic differences. Conclusions: Potential exists for feasible and low-cost e-epidemiological research with postpartum populations; however, researchers should consider the potential influence of sample nonrepresentativeness.

History

Journal

Journal of Medical Internet Research

Volume

19

Article number

ARTN e61

Pagination

1-5

Location

Pittsburgh, Pa.

ISSN

1438-8871

eISSN

1438-8871

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

3

Publisher

Journal of Medical Internet Research