BACKGROUND: Up to this date, there are no reports made about the use of media for recruiting research volunteers in Latin American populations. Given the emergence of clinical research in Ecuador, a study of this kind in the local population will be beneficial for future research, and is probably applicable to other countries in the region.
METHODS: Two public calls were made for a cross-sectional study on cognitive function and diabetes. We only included people between 55 and 65 years of age without previous neurocognitive conditions. We invited individuals through interviews on the radio, television broadcasts and local newspapers, along with social media ads. Each individual was asked about the method by which they learned of the project. We calculated the frequency in which each method was reported and a chi-square test was used to assess gender differences in the results.
RESULTS: A total of 274 patients were enrolled in the study, 64.2% are women and 35.8% men. We found that 29.93% learned of it from third persons, 20.8% through radio, 8.76% through social media, 8.39% by newspaper, and 5.11% by television, while a remaining 27.01% had not previously heard of the recruitment call. Methods reported varied significantly between men and women (p = 0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: Traditional media were the most common method of recruitment, with radio interviews being the most frequently reported. Individually, none of them surpassed the frequency of people learning of the project from other people (snowball effect). Social networks play an important role, exceeding certain traditional media. We have described for the first time in Latin America the use of media as methods to recruit volunteers for research, and the importance of project dissemination by the participants to reach more people.
- cross-sectional studies
- Latin America
- patient selection
ASJC Scopus subject areas