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Comparison of recruitment strategies for behaviour studies among gay men

Comparison of recruitment strategies for behaviour studies among gay men

Methods: We compared the recruitment methods and samples from three Australian studies that recruited participants during 2011-2012: Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS, time- location sampling), “ Think About eXposure to Infection with HIV” ( TAXI-KAB, Internet-based sampling) and “COntemporary Norms in NEtworks and CommuniTies” (CONNECT, respondent- driven sampling, RDS) . Statistical analyses were conducted using chi-squared test and regression methods with RDS weighting of the CONNECT sample. results: GCPS, TAXI-KAB and CONNECT recruited 10,842, 937 and 1,410 participants, respectively. GCPS was the most time-efficient of all three recruitment methodologies. The samples did not vary by age (median age: 34, 35 and 35 years) or ethnic composition (~60% Anglo-Australian).

However, there were statistically significant differences with respect to the proportions of GMSM who had tertiary and higher education (74.6%, 69.4% and 76.6%, p<0.001), men ever tested for HIV (89.4%, 87.1%, and 90.6%, p<0.02), HIV-positive participants (10.9%, 17.4% and 13.3%, p=0.002), and men who reported all of their time spent with gay friends (40.4%, 25.3% and 46.6%, p<0.001).

Conclusion: The results indicate that the differences in the process of data collection resulted in some small differences in the composition of the samples of GMSM recruited by three methodologies (time-location, Internet-based and RDS sampling). Only with respect to social engagement with other gay men were there clear differences: Internet-based recruitment recruited less socially engaged men, whereas RDS (which relies on recruiting through existing social connections) recruited more socially engaged men.

We discuss the implications of these differences for surveillance and research among GMSM. Disclosure of Interest Statement: The Kirby Institute, The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) and the National Centre in HIV Social Research (NCHSR) receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The Kirby Institute is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales. ARCSHS is affiliated with La Trobe University. NCHSR is affiliated with the Faculty of Arts, University of New South Wales. The CONNECT study received NHMRC project grant funding (NHMRC 630547). Gay Community Periodic Surveys were funded by state governments. No pharmaceutical grants were received in the development of this study.

Conference: ASHM 2013
Areas of Interest / Categories: Australian Society for HIV 2013

Australian Society for HIV 2013

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