Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 630–641

Representativeness of two sampling procedures for an internet intervention targeting cancer-related distress: a comparison of convenience and registry samples

  • Jason E. Owen
  • Erin O’Carroll Bantum
  • Kevin Criswell
  • Julie Bazzo
  • Amanda Gorlick
  • Annette L. Stanton
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10865-013-9509-6

Cite this article as:
Owen, J.E., Bantum, E.O., Criswell, K. et al. J Behav Med (2014) 37: 630. doi:10.1007/s10865-013-9509-6

Abstract

Internet interventions often rely on convenience sampling, yet convenience samples may differ in important ways from systematic recruitment approaches. The purpose of this study was to evaluate potential demographic, medical, and psychosocial differences between Internet-recruited and registry-recruited cancer survivors in an Internet-based intervention. Participants were recruited from a cancer registry (n = 80) and via broad Internet outreach efforts (n = 160). Participants completed a set of self-report questionnaires, and both samples were compared to a population-based sample of cancer survivors (n = 5,150). The Internet sample was younger, better educated, more likely to be female, had longer time since diagnosis, and had more advanced stage of disease (p’s < .001), and the registry-sample was over-represented by men and those with prostate or other cancer types (p’s < .001). The Internet sample also exhibited lower quality of life and social support and greater mood disturbance (p’s < .001). Understanding how convenience and systematic samples differ has important implications for external validity and potential for dissemination of Internet-based interventions.

Keywords

CancerDistressInternetRecruitmentQuality of life

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason E. Owen
    • 1
  • Erin O’Carroll Bantum
    • 2
  • Kevin Criswell
    • 1
  • Julie Bazzo
    • 1
  • Amanda Gorlick
    • 1
  • Annette L. Stanton
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA
  2. 2.University of Hawai’i Cancer Center, Cancer Prevention and Control ProgramUniversity of Hawai’i at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA