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Keywords:

  • delirium;
  • family caregivers;
  • participant recruitment;
  • public health model

Abstract

Recruiting older adults and their family caregivers into research studies presents challenges. Although the literature notes some general recruitment challenges, no studies specifically address the unique challenges of recruiting older adults who have Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and their family caregivers in studies about delirium or suggest using a framework to identify barriers to recruiting this population. In conducting a pilot study about preparing family caregivers to detect delirium symptoms in older adults with (AD) the researchers used the Public Health Model for identifying barriers to recruitment. The goals of this methodological article are to: (1) briefly describe the methodology of the pilot study to illustrate how the Public Health Model was applied in the context of the present study and (2) discuss the benefits of the Public Health Model for identifying the barriers to recruitment in a study that prepared family caregivers to detect delirium symptoms in older adults with AD. The Public Health Model helped us to identify four specific barriers to recruitment (lack of knowledge about delirium, desire to maintain normalcy, protective caregiving behaviors, and older adult's fears) and ways to overcome them. The Public Health Model might also help other researchers address similar issues.