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Three New Studies Give Clear Guidance on How to Better Recruit Volunteers for Alzheimer's Clinical Studies
Date:7/12/2009

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Successful Recruitment Strategies from the U.S. Alzheimer's Disease Centers

Tamara Markgraf, MBA, Research Program Manager at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's DiseaseResearchCenter in Madison and colleagues interviewed 22 administrators and outreach staff from 20 ADCs about their recruitment strategies and outcomes.

They found that all ADCs utilize community outreach and educational seminars to promote clinical study participation. 17 centers visit health-fairs; 15 recruit from patient clinics. 10 centers reported that the most successful recruitment strategy was recruitment from clinics. Other successful strategies included word of mouth (4) and referrals from physicians (3).

All the ADCs reported partnering with outside organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association. Several have linked with churches, church groups, or church leaders in efforts to boost recruitment, in particular minority recruitment. Many tried sending out postcards to high density postal codes, and other mass mailings. Advertising was not an option for most of those who reported, due to budget constraints.

Recruitment hurdles reported included minority recruitment (8) and inclusion/exclusion criteria (6). Half of ADCs utilize a recruitment registry with databases ranging from 200 to more than 1,500. Interestingly, only six of 20 sites reported their registry as a "beneficial" recruitment tool. In addition, although all ADCs have a website, few (7) see it as a beneficial, active tool for clinical study recruitment. In fact, the Internet was found to be the least successful reported strategy. Despite identified hurdles, 13 of the ADCs report meeting annual recruitment goals.

"Our data suggest that successful recruitment is a result of a comprehensive recruitment plan," Markgraf said. "The successful ADCs promote study participation while conducting community educational events,
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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