Network-Based Research on Rural Opioid Use: an Overview of Methods and Lessons Learned
- 256 Downloads
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this paper is to provide a thorough overview of methods used for recruitment, network data collection, and network data management in a network-based study of rural people who use drugs (PWUD) and to offer methodological recommendations for future research on rural drug use.
The Social Networks among Appalachian People (SNAP) study recruited a cohort of 503 rural PWUD via respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and has retained more than 80% of eligible participants over 7–9 years. SNAP has yielded important methodological insights, including that (1) RDS referral was non-random and disproportionately involved kin and (2) interviewer-administered questionnaires were successful in eliciting accurate name and age information about network members.
The SNAP experience suggests that RDS was a successful recruitment strategy for rural PWUD and questionnaires administered by community-based interviewers in the context of a Certificate of Confidentiality could elicit detailed data on PWUD risk networks.
KeywordsSocial networks Rural Substance use HIV Hepatitis C Appalachia Opioid
We would like to acknowledge the community-based study staff for the critical role they have played in the success of the project.
The Social Networks among Appalachian People (SNAP) study described in this review was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant R01 DA024598 and R01 DA033862).
The qualitative ethics research was funded in part by the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute and National Institutes of Drug Abuse (Grant R25 DA031608).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
April M. Young reports grants from National Institute on Drug Abuse and from National Institute of Mental Health.
Abby E. Rudolph reports a grant from National Institute on Drug Abuse (K01 DA033879).
Jennifer R. Havens declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
- 1.Appalachian Regional Commission. Subregions in Appalachia. 2009 [cited 2017 October 27]; Available from: https://www.arc.gov/research/sourceandmethodologygeography.asp.
- 2.Zibbell JE, Iqbal K, Patel RC, Suryaprasad A, Sanders KJ, Moore-Moravian L, et al. Increases in hepatitis C virus infection related to injection drug use among persons aged ≤ 30 years-Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, 2006-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(17):453–8.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 5.PDA I, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, Appalachian Regional Commission. Creating a culture of health in Appalachia: disparities and bright spots. August 2017.Google Scholar
- 7.Zhang Z, Infante A, Meit M, English N, Dunn M, Bowers K. An analysis of mental health and substance abuse disparities & access to treatment services in the Appalachian region. Final report Washington: Appalachian Regional Commission. 2008.Google Scholar
- 8.Appalachian Regional Commission. Health care costs and access disparities in Appalachia. Washington, DC 2012.Google Scholar
- 18.Young AM, Halgin DS, Havens JR. Relationship-level analysis of drug users’ anticipated changes in risk behavior following HIV vaccination. AIDS care. 2015;27(8):1000–04.Google Scholar
- 27.U.S. Census Bureau. Kentucky Quick Facts: Perry County 2010. 2011 [updated June 03, 2011; cited 2011 June 17, 2011]; Available from: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/21/21193.html.
- 30.Lu X. Respondent-driven sampling: theory, limitations & improvements. Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet; 2013.Google Scholar
- 36.Rudolph AE, Crawford ND, Latkin C, Heimer R, Benjamin EO, Jones KC, et al. Subpopulations of illicit drug users reached by targeted street outreach and respondent-driven sampling strategies: implications for research and public health practice. Ann Epidemiol. 2011;21(4):280–9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 40.Burt RD, Hagan H, Sabin K, Thiede H. Evaluating respondent-driven sampling in a major metropolitan area: comparing injection drug users in the 2005 Seattle area national HIV behavioral surveillance system survey with participants in the RAVEN and Kiwi studies. Ann Epidemiol. 2010;20(2):159–67.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 41.Nova Research Company. Questionnaire Development System Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing. 2017.Google Scholar
- 46.Microsoft Excel. Fuzzy Lookup Add-In. 22.214.171.124 ed2011.Google Scholar
- 47.Hopkins C, Young AM. SPIDER: semi-automated processing of interconnected dyads using entity resolution. Cambridge: Charles River Analytics and University of Kentucky; 2017.Google Scholar