Prescreening details

Hi There,

I’m inquiring about how specific the prescreeing could be. Our research involves information about participants mental health diagnosis. Would we be able to pre screen those or should it be in the study description?

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Hi @Nazanin_Babaei!

I’m new to using Prolific but because I’m also exploring my pre-screening options, I might be able to give my two cents to the discussion.

Prolific offers a pre-screening filter for Health, mental health included. When you create a new study, Prolific offers you the option of pre-screening your audience:

If you select “Prescreen participants”, you get a menu with several presccreening filters. Go ahead and select the “Health” filter, and you will presented with a list of health-related options.

From what you wrote, I understand that you need participants who have been diagnosed with a mental health problem.
I do not know if you’re looking for participants struggling with a specific mental discorder, but you can prescreen participants that have been diagnosed. These are some of your options:

Mental health/illness/condition - ongoing : This option allows you to filter participants who have – or have had – a diagnosed, on-going mental health/illness/condition.

Long-term health condition or disability: See screenshot below

To my knowledge, there is no filter that allows you to prescreen participants with a specific mental health diagnosis. This means that if you are only interested in participants with, e.g., bipolar disorder, you will not be able to prescreen for this specific mental disorder. However, there are options for substance abuse; it depends on how specific you want to be and whether you are focusing on a specific mental-health diagnosis.
If you take a look at the other available options, you might find something that suits your study, such as the Chronic condition/illness, NHS Mental Health Support, Antidepressants, Medication use, etc.

(Also, keep in mind that “when separate filters are combined, they operate in an AND relation. Whereas, different options within a filter operate in an OR relation” 🤔 Ask Anything Thread (Newbie Friendly) - #285 by Josh

On the other hand, if you are indeed interested in recruiting participants with a specific diagnosis, you could first use the Prolific filters to create a pool of potential particiants, and then create a preliminary study to further customise your sample. After the first study, you would be able to filter out the participants that interest you, and direct them to the main study. This article was helpful: Recruiting a Custom Sample – Prolific (edit: this is the response from the Newbie thread that I got for cutomising your sample 🤔 Ask Anything Thread (Newbie Friendly) - #290 by Josh)

Regarding your question " should it be in the study description?"
I guess, it depends; what would you plan to include in the description? Again, this does not ensure that participants who are not of interest to you would not take part in your study.
Also, you should maybe check whether including such info in the description would introduce a confound.

I hope this helped a bit.


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Hey @Nazanin_Babaei, welcome to the community!

Just to add to @Xenia’s absolutely fantastic and comprehensive answer:

Would we be able to pre screen those or should it be in the study description?

We don’t allow prescreening in the study description, but you can apply the filters suggested above, and reconfirm the answers at the beginning of the study - as long as you phrase the questions in the exactly same way as they’re framed on Prolific. Or you can recruit a custom sample :slight_smile:

Let me know if you have any other questions!