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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30

Using virtual social networks for case finding in clinical studies: An experiment from adolescence, brain, cognition, and diabetes study


1 Diabetes Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran
3 Foundation for Education, Research and Services on Educational Medicine and School Health, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Canada
5 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Bagher Larijani
5th Floor, Shariati Hospital, North Kargar Avenue, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_329_16

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Background: One of the main usages of social networks in clinical studies is facilitating the process of sampling and case finding for scientists. The main focus of this study is on comparing two different methods of sampling through phone calls and using social network, for study purposes. Methods: One of the researchers started calling 214 families of children with diabetes during 90 days. After this period, phone calls stopped, and the team started communicating with families through telegram, a virtual social network for 30 days. The number of children who participated in the study was evaluated. Results: Although the telegram method was 60 days shorter than the phone call method, researchers found that the number of participants from telegram (17.6%) did not have any significant differences compared with the ones being phone called (12.9%). Conclusions: Using social networks can be suggested as a beneficial method for local researchers who look for easier sampling methods, winning their samples' trust, following up with the procedure, and an easy-access database.


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