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Using Facebook to Reach People Who Hear Voices

Traditional methods used to engage those who hear voices can often fall short due to barriers that impede patient's abilities to access care. Even for those who have access to care, many still want to take treatment into their own hands. Social media offers opportunities to engage patients in a way that may fill the gaps of traditional treatment. However, little is known about ways to reach those who hear voices through social media.

Taking an iterative approach, our team explored best practices for recruiting people who hear voices through the social media platform, Facebook. This study encompassed six phases of development including testing of recruitment Facebook ads, survey layout (including survey pagination, question ordering) and recruitment targeting strategies. Brief survey items captured participant's preference for using Facebook to connect with others (with both peers and clinicians) in addition to open-ended responses about personal experiences of what triggers their voices, ways in which they cope, and advice they would give to others who also hear voices.

Funded by: The National Institute of Mental Health

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