Challenges in Using Social Media as a Recruitment Platform for an Unfunded Nationwide Online Survey: Irish Public’s Perception of the Disorders of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism

Abstract

This case study details the methods used to obtain a nationwide sample of adults residing in Ireland, using social media as a recruitment platform, without any funding or financial support. Many early science investigators do not have financial support for conducting research or have such limited funds that being able to save on recruitment expenditure would be valuable. Social media platforms have been explored as a research recruitment tool in several settings. However, their feasibility for collecting representative survey data, for a study with no financial support, remains unexplored. This case study aims to (1) describe the methodology used to recruit a nationwide sample of adults residing in Ireland to participate in a survey on mental health and (2) outline findings related to recruitment, challenges using social media as a recruitment platform, and strategies used to address these challenges.

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