Project Lead

Professor David Story


Clinical Trials Facilitation

Learn more

Consumer and Community Involvement

Learn more

Lead partner

Health Issues Centre

Representation of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds is remarkably low in medical research. These low participation rates may lead to adverse outcome(s) because trial participants may not be representative of those who benefit most from new therapies and trial data may not be generalizable to the target populations.  Previous research has indicated that limited availability of interpreting services, questionable quality of interpreting services, not understanding the consent process, children influencing their decision to participate and limited use of technology has made it difficult for people with CALD backgrounds to volunteer.

With the success of social media as a tool for connecting with friends, accessing news and advertising, we propose that it may also help researchers engage with hard-to-reach populations. The Health Issues Centre (HIC) has developed a method of using social media to access members of the community who do not traditionally engage with research and previously found this approach successful. To ascertain how successful it is for engaging older-Italian-Australian and older-Vietnamese Australians, MACH and HIC will compare the numbers who complete an online survey via Facebook versus a more traditional method of recruiting participants via community groups. This study will help inform whether social media is an effective tool for recruiting older-Italian Australians and older-Vietnamese Australians to medical research.

This research will:

  • Inform what the people who are recruited via social media think about social media as a recruiting tool compared with those who are recruited through a community organisation.
  • Indicate whether social media could be used by researchers to recruit older Italian-Australian and older Vietnamese-Australian people to participate in medical research.
  • help ensure results from clinical trials are relevant to a more diverse population and reduce the risk of unknown harms arising when new treatments become widely available.

Full report can be accessed here.