Feasibility of a patient-driven approach to recruiting older adults, caregivers, and clinicians for provider–patient communication research


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Abstract

Purpose:This report describes the implementation of a novel, patient-driven approach to recruitment for a study of interpersonal communication in a primary care setting involving persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD), their family caregivers, and their primary care providers (PCPs).Data sources:Patients and caregivers were centrally recruited from a university-based memory clinic, followed by the recruitment of patient's individual PCPs. Recruitment tracking, naturalistic observation, and survey methods were used to evaluate recruitment success.Conclusions:About half of the patients and caregivers (n = 54; 51%) and most of the PCPs (n = 31; 76%) who we approached agreed to an audiorecording of the patient's next PCP visit. Characteristics of patient, caregiver, and PCP participants were compared to those of nonparticipants. Patient characteristics did not differ by participation status. Caregivers who volunteered for the study were more likely to be female and married than were those who declined to participate. Compared to nonparticipants, PCPs who agreed to the study were appraised slightly more favorably by patients' caregivers on a measure of satisfaction with care on the day of the visit. The vast majority of participating PCPs (95%) reported that the study had little or no impact on the flow of routine clinical operations.Implications for research:Findings support the feasibility of a patient-driven approach to recruitment for studies involving multiple linked participants. Our discussion highlights possible advantages of such an approach, including the potential to empower patient participants while achieving maximum variability within the pool of clinician participants.

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