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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349028

Research Project: Sarcopenia, Nutrition, and Physical Activity

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Recruitment of mobility limited older adults into a facility-led exercise-nutrition study: the effect of social involvement

Author
item Corcoran, Michael - Tufts University
item Nelson, Miriam - Tufts University
item Sacheck, Jennifer - Tufts University
item Reid, Kieran - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Kirn, Dylan - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Fielding, Roger - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Folta, Sara - Tufts University

Submitted to: Gerontologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2015
Publication Date: 3/20/2015
Citation: Corcoran, M.P., Nelson, M.E., Sacheck, J.M., Reid, K.F., Kirn, D., Fielding, R.A., Folta, S.C. 2015. Recruitment of mobility limited older adults into a facility-led exercise-nutrition study: the effect of social involvement. Gerontologist. 56(4):669-676. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnv018.

Interpretive Summary: Older adults are among the most challenging population groups to enroll into clinical research studies. This article describes two methods used by investigators to recruit mobility limited older adults residing at assisted living or senior housing (SH) facilities into a facility-led exercise-nutrition research study. Sedentary (inactive) older adults were recruited from 42 different assisted living facilities (ALFs) or SH communities. Two different recruitment approaches were used: At 22 sites, investigators conducted heavily advertised informational sessions to recruit participants (Info only). At 20 locations, these sessions were preceded by attendance of a study team member at various activities offered by the facility over the preceding 2 weeks (activity attendance). We found that sixty percent more residents elected to be screened for eligibility when study personnel attended an activity offered by the facility. Activity attendance resulted in significantly less time, costs, and participant withdrawals compared with facilities with no activity attendance. These results suggest that studies seeking to recruit this population of older adults are likely to benefit from deliberately building trust and familiarity among the resident population at senior living communities.

Technical Abstract: Purpose of the Study: Older adults are among the most challenging population groups to enroll into health-related research. This article describes two methods used by investigators to recruit mobility limited older adults residing at assisted living or senior housing (SH) facilities into a facility-led exercise-nutrition research study. Design and Methods: Sedentary older adults were recruited from 42 different assisted living facilities (ALFs) or SH communities. Two different recruitment approaches were used: At 22 sites, investigators conducted heavily advertised informational sessions to recruit participants (Info only). At 20 locations, these sessions were preceded by attendance of a study team member at various activities offered by the facility over the preceding 2 weeks (activity attendance). Population reach, enrollment, personnel cost, and time required to recruit at least five participants at each facility was measured. Reasons for declining participation and withdrawal rate were also measured. Results: Sixty percent more residents elected to be screened for eligibility when study personnel attended an activity offered by the facility. Activity attendance resulted in significantly less time, costs, and participant withdrawals compared with facilities with no activity attendance. Implications: Study team member attendance at activities offered by senior living facilities reduces cost and duration of recruitment and improves study retention. Interventions targeting this demographic are likely to benefit from deliberately building trust and familiarity among the resident population at senior living communities as part of the recruitment process.