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      Identifying the Most Effective Recruitment Strategy Using Financial Reimbursements for a Web-Based Peer Network Study With Young People Aged 16-18 Years: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

      , BBiomedSci (Hons) 1 , 2 , , PhD 1 , 3 , , PhD 1 , 2 , 4 , , PhD 1 , 2 , 5 , , PhD 1 , 2 , 6 , , PhD 4 , , PhD 1 , 2 , 4 ,
      (Reviewer), (Reviewer)
      JMIR Research Protocols
      JMIR Publications
      young adult, incentive reimbursement, research subject, study participant, financial, research subject recruitment, social network, peer network, web-based network, randomized, friend, recruit, incentive, reimburse, reward, incentivized, youth, adolescent, teenage, recruitment, reinforcing factor, enabling factor, disambiguation, intrinsic incentive, extrinsic incentive, motivation, reward system, positive reinforcement, compensation, monetary, remuneration, remunerative incentive, financial incentive, bonus, stipend, donation

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          Peers are an important determinant of health and well-being during late adolescence; however, there is limited quantitative research examining peer influence. Previous peer network research with adolescents faced methodological limitations and difficulties recruiting young people.


          This study aims to determine whether a web-based peer network survey is effective at recruiting adolescent peer networks by comparing 2 strategies for reimbursement.


          This study will use a 2-group randomized trial design to test the effectiveness of reimbursements for peer referral in a web-based cross-sectional peer network survey. Young people aged 16-18 years recruited through Instagram, Snapchat, and a survey panel will be randomized to receive either scaled group reimbursement (the experimental group) or fixed individual reimbursement (the control group). All participants will receive a reimbursement of Aus $5 (US $3.70) for their own survey completion. In the experimental group (scaled group reimbursement), all participants within a peer network will receive an additional Aus $5 (US $3.70) voucher for each referred participant who completes the study, up to a maximum total value of Aus $30 (US $22.20) per participant. In the control group (fixed individual reimbursement), participants will only be reimbursed for their own survey completion. Participants’ peer networks are assessed during the survey by asking about their close friends. A unique survey link will be generated to share with the participant’s nominated friends for the recruitment of secondary participants. Outcomes are the proportion of a participant’s peer network and the number of referred peers who complete the survey. The required sample size is 306 primary participants. Using a multilevel logistic regression model, we will assess the effect of the reimbursement intervention on the proportion of primary participants’ close friends who complete the survey. The secondary aim is to determine participant characteristics that are associated with successfully recruiting close friends. Young people aged 16-18 years were involved in the development of the study design through focus groups and interviews (n=26).


          Participant recruitment commenced in 2022.


          A longitudinal web-based social network study could provide important data on how social networks and their influence change over time. This trial aims to determine whether scaled group reimbursement can increase the number of peers referred. The outcomes of this trial will improve the recruitment of young people to web-based network studies of sensitive health issues.

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          Most cited references28

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          Research electronic data capture (REDCap)--a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support.

          Research electronic data capture (REDCap) is a novel workflow methodology and software solution designed for rapid development and deployment of electronic data capture tools to support clinical and translational research. We present: (1) a brief description of the REDCap metadata-driven software toolset; (2) detail concerning the capture and use of study-related metadata from scientific research teams; (3) measures of impact for REDCap; (4) details concerning a consortium network of domestic and international institutions collaborating on the project; and (5) strengths and limitations of the REDCap system. REDCap is currently supporting 286 translational research projects in a growing collaborative network including 27 active partner institutions.
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            Adolescence and the social determinants of health

            The health of adolescents is strongly affected by social factors at personal, family, community, and national levels. Nations present young people with structures of opportunity as they grow up. Since health and health behaviours correspond strongly from adolescence into adult life, the way that these social determinants affect adolescent health are crucial to the health of the whole population and the economic development of nations. During adolescence, developmental effects related to puberty and brain development lead to new sets of behaviours and capacities that enable transitions in family, peer, and educational domains, and in health behaviours. These transitions modify childhood trajectories towards health and wellbeing and are modified by economic and social factors within countries, leading to inequalities. We review existing data on the effects of social determinants on health in adolescence, and present findings from country-level ecological analyses on the health of young people aged 10-24 years. The strongest determinants of adolescent health worldwide are structural factors such as national wealth, income inequality, and access to education. Furthermore, safe and supportive families, safe and supportive schools, together with positive and supportive peers are crucial to helping young people develop to their full potential and attain the best health in the transition to adulthood. Improving adolescent health worldwide requires improving young people's daily life with families and peers and in schools, addressing risk and protective factors in the social environment at a population level, and focusing on factors that are protective across various health outcomes. The most effective interventions are probably structural changes to improve access to education and employment for young people and to reduce the risk of transport-related injury. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Social Consequences of the Internet for Adolescents: A Decade of Research


                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                11 August 2023
                : 12
                : e44813
                [1 ] Burnet Institute Melbourne Australia
                [2 ] School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine Monash University Melbourne Australia
                [3 ] Menzies School of Health Research Darwin Australia
                [4 ] Melbourne School of Population and Global Health University of Melbourne Parkville Australia
                [5 ] National Drug Research Institute Curtin University Melbourne Australia
                [6 ] Department of Infectious Diseases Alfred Health Melbourne Australia
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Megan S C Lim megan.lim@ 123456burnet.edu.au
                Author information
                ©Michelle Raggatt, Cassandra J C Wright, Rachel Sacks-Davis, Paul M Dietze, Margaret E Hellard, Jane S Hocking, Megan S C Lim. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 11.08.2023.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 5 December 2022
                : 5 June 2023
                : 14 June 2023
                : 15 June 2023

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