Characteristics Associated with Willingness to Participate in a Randomized Controlled Behavioral Clinical Trial Using Home-Based Personal Computers and a Webcam
One challenge in cognitive-decline prevention trials is sample recruitment bias—willing volunteers could be socially active, in relatively good health, and have high educational levels and cognitive function, which could reduce the generalizability of study results and mask trial effects. The authors developed a randomized, controlled trial to examine whether conversation-based cognitive stimulation delivered through personal computers, a webcam, and the Internet would have a positive effect on cognitive function among older adults with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment. To recruit for this trial, the researchers mailed a survey to 2,000 residents of retirement communities. More than 300 respondents showed interest in the study and provided contact information. Members of this "committed with interest group" were more likely than other respondents to be computer users, physically active, and have higher levels of loneliness. The authors concluded that increasing potential participants’ familiarity with a personal computer and the Internet before trial recruitment could increase participation rates.
Dodge HH, Katsumata Y, Zhu J, et al. Characteristics associated with willingness to participate in a randomized controlled behavioral clinical trial using home-based personal computers and a webcam. Trials 2014;15:508.