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Alzheimer Disease Clinical Trial Recruitment

Does Participation in a Brief Cognitive Screen at a Community Health Fair Promote Research Engagement?

Barber, Justin M., MS*; Bardach, Shoshana H., PhD*,†; Jicha, Gregory A., MD, PhD*,‡

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: October-December 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 4 - p 333–338
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000263
Original Articles

Background: Slow participant recruitment impedes Alzheimer disease research progress. Although research suggests that direct involvement with potential participants supports enrollment, strategies for how best to engage potential participants are still unclear.

Purpose: This study explores whether community health fair (HF) attendees who engage in a brief cognitive screen (BCS) are more likely to enroll in research than attendees who do not complete a BCS.

Subjects: A total of 483 HF attendees.

Methods: Attendees were tracked for a 1-year period to ascertain research involvement.

Results: In total, 364 attendees expressed interest in research and 126 completed a BCS. Over the follow-up period, 21 individuals prescreened as eligible and 19 enrolled in an investigational study. Among all HF attendees, BCS completers had a 2.5-fold increase in subsequently prescreening as eligible as compared with non-BCS completers. However, when limited only to participants who stated an interest in research, this difference was no longer significant.

Conclusions: Completing a BCS at a community event may be an indicator of future research engagement, but for those already interested in participation, the BCS may be a poor indicator of future involvement. The BCS may also reduce anxiety and stigma around memory evaluation, which may translate into research engagement in the future.

*Sanders Brown Center on Aging

Graduate Center for Gerontology, College of Public Health

Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Supported by the National Institute on Aging P30 AG028383.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Shoshana H. Bardach, PhD, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, 1030 South Broadway, Suite 5, Lexington, KY 40504 (e-mail:

Received December 18, 2017

Accepted May 23, 2018

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