Recruiting US Chinese Elders Into Clinical Research for Dementia

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This study described and evaluated the rapid recruitment of elderly Chinese into clinical research at the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (MSADRC).

Design and Methods:

Methods of publicizing the study included lectures to local senior centers/churches and publications in local Chinese newspapers. The amount of time and success of these methods were evaluated. A “go to them” model of evaluation was used to enable participants to complete the study visit at locations where they were comfortable.


From January to December 2015, we recruited 98 participants aged 65 years or older who primarily speak Mandarin/Cantonese and reside in New York. The mean age and years of education was 73.93±6.34 and 12.79±4.58, respectively. The majority of participants were female (65.3%) and primarily Mandarin speaking (53.1%). Of all enrollees, 54.1% were recruited from community lectures, 29.6% through newspapers, 10.2% through word of mouth, and 6.1% from our clinical services. About 40.8% of participants underwent evaluations at the MSADRC, 44.9% at local senior centers/churches, and 14.3% at home.


Given that the majority of our participants had low English proficiency, the use of bilingual recruiters probably allowed us to overcome the language barrier, facilitating recruitment. Our “go to them” model of evaluation is another important factor contributing to our successful recruitment.

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