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Recruiting for research studies using online public advertisements examples from research in affective disorders

Authors Wise T, Arnone D, Marwood L, Zahn R, Lythe K, Young A

Received 23 June 2015

Accepted for publication 23 September 2015

Published 5 February 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 279—285

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S90941

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Xiang Mou

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Toby Wise,1 Danilo Arnone,1 Lindsey Marwood,1 Roland Zahn,1–3 Karen E Lythe,2,3 Allan H Young1

1Centre for Affective Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, 2Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit, School of Psychological Sciences, 3Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Abstract: Successful recruitment is vital for any research study. Difficulties in recruitment are not uncommon and can have important implications. This is particularly relevant to research conducted in affective disorders due to the nature of the conditions and the clinical services that serve these patients. Recently, online public advertisements have become more generally accessible and may provide an effective way to recruit patient populations. However, there is paucity of evidence on their viability as a method of recruiting patients into studies of disease mechanisms in these disorders. Public advertisement methods can be useful when researchers require specific populations, such as those not receiving pharmacological treatment. This work describes our experience in successfully recruiting participants into neuroimaging research studies in affective disorders using online public advertisements. Results suggest that these online public advertisements are an effective method for successfully recruiting participants with affective disorders into research studies, particularly for research focusing on disease mechanisms in specific populations.

Keywords: recruitment, affective disorders, advertising, depression, anxiety, bipolar

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