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Implications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Targeted Recruitment of Older Adults with Dementia and their Caregivers in the Community: A Retrospective Analysis

Through retrospective analysis, the researchers tested the potential utility of using a GIS tool as part of a targeted recruitment strategy for reaching populations that are challenging to include in dementia care clinical trials. The software program ESRI ArcMap was used to analyze, at the census tract level, American Community Survey 2015 5-year estimates of age, gender, income, and education in Maryland. Using a two-step process, geographic regions were identified in ArcMap that contained various combinations of available data variables. These areas were compared to participant locations from a previously completed traditional recruitment effort to determine overlap. This study successfully defined specific geographic regions in the state of Maryland that overlapped with a large number of known dementia dyad locations obtained via traditional recruitment efforts. The findings suggest that GIS could allow for more targeted recruitment efforts of difficult-to-recruit populations and less utilization of resources for doing so.

Scerpella DL, Adam A, Marx K, et al. Implications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for targeted recruitment of older adults with dementia and their caregivers in the community: A retrospective analysis. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications 2019;16;14:100338.

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