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Evaluation of different recruitment methods: Longitudinal, web-based, pan-european physical activity through sustainable transport approaches (PASTA) project
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN 14388871, Vol. 21, no 5, p. e11492-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Sufficient sample size and minimal sample bias are core requirements for empirical data analyses. Combining opportunistic recruitment with a Web-based survey and data-collection platform yields new benefits over traditional recruitment approaches. Objective: This paper aims to report the success of different recruitment methods and obtain data on participants' characteristics, participation behavior, recruitment rates, and representativeness of the sample. Methods: A longitudinal, Web-based survey was implemented as part of the European PASTA (Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches) project, between November 2014 and December 2016. During this period, participants were recruited from 7 European cities on a rolling basis. A standardized guide on recruitment strategy was developed for all cities, to reach a sufficient number of adult participants. To make use of the strengths and minimize weakness, a combination of different opportunistic recruitment methods was applied. In addition, the random sampling approach was applied in the city of Örebro. To reduce the attrition rate and improve real-time monitoring, the Web-based platform featured a participant's and a researchers' user interface and dashboard. Results: Overall, 10,691 participants were recruited; most people found out about the survey through their workplace or employer (2300/10691, 21.51%), outreach promotion (2219/10691, 20.76%), and social media (1859/10691, 17.39%). The average number of questionnaires filled in per participant varied significantly between the cities (P<.001), with the highest number in Zurich (11.0, SE 0.33) and the lowest in Örebro (4.8, SE 0.17). Collaboration with local organizations, the use of Facebook and mailing lists, and direct street recruitment were the most effective approaches in reaching a high share of participants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
JMIR Publications Inc. , 2019. Vol. 21, no 5, p. e11492-
Keywords [en]
Longitudinal survey, Mobile phone, Multicentral, Opportunistic sampling, Recruitment, Web-based questionnaire, Web-based survey
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-334258DOI: 10.2196/11492ISI: 000467070500001PubMedID: 31066715Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85065780898OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-334258DiVA, id: diva2:1791418
Note

QC 20230825

Available from: 2023-08-25 Created: 2023-08-25 Last updated: 2023-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Smeds, Emilia

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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