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Potential of Using Twitter to Recruit Cancer Survivors and Their Willingness to Participate in Nutrition Research and Web-Based Interventions: A Cross-Sectional Study

  • Keaver L
  • McGough A
  • Du M
  • et al.
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Abstract

Background: Social media is rapidly changing how cancer survivors search for and share health information and can potentially serve as a cost-effective channel to reach cancer survivors and invite them to participate in nutrition intervention programs. Objective: This study aimed to assess the feasibility of using Twitter to recruit cancer survivors for a web-based survey and assess their willingness to complete web-based nutrition surveys, donate biospecimens, and to be contacted about web-based nutrition programs. Methods: We contacted 301 Twitter accounts of cancer organizations, advocates, and survivors to request assistance promoting a web-based survey among cancer survivors. The survey asked respondents whether they would be willing to complete web-based nutrition or lifestyle surveys, donate biospecimens, and be contacted about web-based nutrition programs. Survey promotion rate was assessed by the percentage of Twitter accounts that tweeted the survey link at least once. Survey response was assessed by the number of survey respondents who answered at least 85% (26/30). We compared the characteristics of cancer survivors who responded to this survey with those who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2010 and evaluated factors associated with willingness to complete web-based surveys, donate biospecimens, and be contacted to participate in web-based nutrition programs among those who responded to the social media survey. Results: Over 10 weeks, 113 Twitter account owners and 165 of their followers promoted the survey, and 444 cancer survivors provided complete responses. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they would be willing to complete web-based nutrition or lifestyle surveys (297/444, 67.0%) and to be contacted to participate in web-based nutrition interventions (294/444, 66.2%). The percentage of respondents willing to donate biospecimens were 59.3% (263/444) for oral swab, 52.1% (231/444) for urine sample, 37.9% (168/444) for blood sample, and 35.6% (158/444) for stool sample. Compared with a nationally representative sample of 1550 cancer survivors in NHANES, those who responded to the social media survey were younger (53.1 years vs 60.8 years; P

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APA

Keaver, L., McGough, A., Du, M., Chang, W., Chomitz, V., Allen, J. D., … Zhang, F. F. (2019). Potential of Using Twitter to Recruit Cancer Survivors and Their Willingness to Participate in Nutrition Research and Web-Based Interventions: A Cross-Sectional Study. JMIR Cancer, 5(1), e7850. https://doi.org/10.2196/cancer.7850

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