19 Scopus citations


Purpose: Facebook (FB) use has grown exponentially over the past decade, including in rural areas. Despite its popularity, FB has been underutilized as a research follow-up approach to maintain contact with research participants and may have advantages in less densely populated areas and among more hard-to-reach, at-risk groups. The overall goal of this study was to examine FB as a supplemental follow-up approach to other follow-up strategies with rural drug-using women. Methods: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with randomly selected women who completed baseline interviews in 3 rural jails in 1 state. Analyses focus on participants who were released from jail and were eligible for 3-month follow-up (n = 284). Bivariate analyses were used to examine differences between FB users and nonusers, and multivariate logistic regression models examined predictors of 3-month follow-up participation and being located for follow-up using FB. Findings: About two-thirds (64.4%) of participants were regular FB users. Bivariate analyses indicated that FB users were younger, more educated, and more likely to have used alcohol in the 30 days before incarceration but less likely to have a chronic health problem. Regression analyses indicated that rural FB users had more than 5 times the odds of being located for the 3-month follow-up interview, even after controlling for other variables. There were no significant predictors of being followed up using FB. Conclusions: Findings suggest that FB is widely used and well accepted among rural drug-using women. Among hard-to-reach populations, including those in rural, geographically isolated regions, FB serves as a method to improve participant follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-256
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 National Rural Health Association


  • facebook
  • follow-up
  • longitudinal
  • substance use
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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