Exception from informed consent trials: Social-media-based community consultation campaigns are representative of target communities

Academic Article


  • Background € Community consultation' (CC) is a key step when conducting Exception From Informed Consent research. Social-media-based CC has been shown to reach more people than traditional methods, but it is unclear whether those reached are representative of the community as a whole. Methods This is a retrospective analysis of the CC performed in preparation for the PHOXSTAT trial. Social media advertisement campaigns were conducted in the catchment areas of the three participating trauma centers and evaluated by examining Facebook user statistics. We compared these data to georeferenced population data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. We examined variations in the proportion of each age group reached, by gender. Results Our social media advertisements reached a total of 332 081 individuals in Los Angeles, Birmingham, and Nashville. Although there were differences in the proportion of individuals reached within each age group and gender groups, compared with the population in each area, these were small (within 5%). In Birmingham, participants 55 to 64 years old, 25 to 34 years old, and females 18 to 24 years old were slightly over-represented (a larger proportion of individuals in this age group were reached by the social media campaign, compared with the population resident in this area). In contrast, in Nashville, female participants 45 to 64 years old, and males 25 to 64 years old were over-represented. In Los Angeles, females 45 to 64 years old, and males 25 to 64 years and over were over-represented. Discussion In conclusion, this study demonstrates that social media CC campaigns can be used to reach a sample of the community broadly representative of the population as a whole, in terms of age and gender. This finding is helpful to IRBs and investigators, as it lends further support to the use of social media to conduct CC. Further work is needed to analyze how representative community samples are in terms of other characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Level III evidence Economic & Value-based Evaluations.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Farley P; Stephens SW; Crowley B; Collins SP; Wong MD; Panas AB; Dennis BM; Richmond N; Inaba K; Brown KN
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 1