Patient Recruitment for Alzheimer’s: A Red Carpet Event

Recruiting for Alzheimer's clinical trials

Patient Recruitment for Alzheimer’s: A Red Carpet Event

In the United States alone, more than 5 million people over age 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Today there is still no cure, but there is hope. More than 79 compounds are in clinical development for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive related diseases.

How do we get people to come in for early detection and diagnosis?

Faced with the challenge of motivating the at-risk population to get free memory testing, one clinical trial site had the novel idea of hosting a free movie and memory screening event. 

Before the Curtain Goes Up

The allure of the event may have been the newly released movie, but the goal was to bring in at-risk people to schedule free memory testing and screen for an Alzheimer’s study. To reach the right audience – those with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s – we worked hand-in-hand with the site to set the stage for success.

  1. Do your research.  Before the event we had to find our attendees. Google helped us locate senior centers, assisted living facilities and caregiver support groups in the area.
  2. Connect with the community. The study team personally called each center to identify the activity director and schedule an in-person visit.
  3. Follow-up and visit. The team hit the pavement and visited each center to build rapport with staff and residents.
  4. Provide a service. During the visit to the senior center, the staff took the opportunity to discuss Alzheimer’s clinical research and how they could partner with the facility to provide services like free memory screening.
  5. Mark the calendar. All of the senior center residents were invited to the free movie event. Many of the centers used the event as their monthly outing, posted it in their community calendar or put an ad in their newsletter.
  6. Talk about Alzheimer’s. Coming to grips with the fact that you or your loved one may have Alzheimer’s is never easy. The movie served as a fun way to bring our target population together and have a conversation about why participation in research is important.   Attendees were able to meet the site’s principal investigator, who gave a brief talk and answered questions.
  7. Maintain contact. Contact did not stop once the event was over. The staff collected contact information from attendees and scheduled time to follow up after the event. The team visited senior centers and conducted free memory screenings.

The Reviews Are In… 

The free movie event was a hit! More than 150 people attended, and more than 50% completed free memory testing. The study team has randomized 3 patients, and more are in screening. The cost per randomization was just $2,326.

Recruitment for Alzheimer’s clinical trials can be a challenge and many trials require the participation of both the caregiver and patient. This creative approach proved effective to raise the site’s profile in the community, attract the study population and ultimately enroll patients in the trial.

Are you interested in exploring creative ways to boost recruitment strategies for your next trial?  Click here for more information about UBC’s Patient & Physician Recruitment & Retention services, or contact us.

Related Reading