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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky: Motivating Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers to Participate in Trials

What motivates an individual affected by Alzheimer’s disease – and their family members – to participate in clinical trials? University of Kentucky researchers ask that question in a new paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.

[Photo: Dr. Shoshana H. Bardach]

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research depends on the willingness of patients and their families to participate in trials and studies. Currently, research progress is often impeded by participant recruitment challenges. The Kentucky researchers sought to better understand, from the perspective of individuals engaged in clinical trials (CTs), research motivations.

Drawing on the large base of trial participants at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Center, researchers surveyed participants, or their caregivers, about research motivators. The 87 respondents had a mean age of 72.2, were predominantly Caucasian, 55.2 percent were male, and 56.3 percent had cognitive impairment.

An overwhelming majority of patients and caregivers rated the potential to help themselves or a loved one – as well as the potential to help others in the future – important motivators. Relatively few respondents were motivated by free healthcare, monetary rewards, or to make others happy.

The authors conclude that recruitment efforts for AD trials should focus on the potential benefit to the individual, their loved ones, and others in the future.

The lead author on the paper is Dr. Shoshana H. Bardach, research assistant professor, Graduate Center for Gerontology, UK College of Public Health. Bardach is also the Clinical Trials and Outreach Coordinator for the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. Co-authors are Ms. Sarah D. Holmes and Dr. Gregory Jicha, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.