A Diversified Recruitment Approach Incorporating Social Media Leads to Research Participation Among Young Adult-Aged Female Cancer Survivors

Posted: Aug 29, 2017
J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 3. 2. 59-65.
KEYWORDS: Women, Adolescent/Young Adult, Verbal Communications, Web, Social Media, Print Media, Brochure or Flyer, Cancer, Survivorship


Outreach through social media and the internet are effective approaches to recruiting AYA-aged female cancer survivors.

Why this item may be useful

Social media was one of multiple recruitment strategies used in two local and two national protocols recruiting AYA-aged female cancer survivors. Recruitment strategies included outreach and referral via healthcare providers and clinics; social media and the internet; community and word of mouth; and a national fertility information hotline. The yield of each recruitment approach was calculated for the local and national studies by comparing the number that participated to the number of potential participants. The highest-yielding local recruitment strategy was healthcare provider and clinic referral. Nationally, social media and internet outreach yielded the highest rate of participation. Overall, internet-based recruitment resulted in the highest number and yield of participants.


  • The highest yielding recruitment strategy for local research studies was through healthcare provider/clinic referral (54%), followed by social media/advertisements/internet (38%) and community outreach/word of mouth (36%). 
  • Nationally, social media/internet was most successful, with 80% of 479 potential AYA female survivors participating. This was followed by healthcare provider/clinic referral (63%), FERTLINE (31%), and community outreach/word of mouth (27%).
  • Local recruitment strategies produced a more diverse population compared to the national surveys; 46% of local participants were Non-White as compared to only 20% of those recruited nationally. Of the local participants, 45% had less than a college degree, compared to just 21% of the national participants.