Recruitment of rural and cognitively impaired older adults for dental research

Bei Wu, Eric A. Goedereis, Richard J. Crout, Brenda L. Plassman, Elizabeth A. DiNapoli, Daniel W. McNeil, Michael Wiener, Martin L. Boone, R. Constance Wiener, Elizabeth Kao, Lina Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recruitment of community-dwelling older adults, particularly those with cognitive impairment and those residing in rural areas, has been consistently challenging for researchers, especially in the dental field. This study reports on recruitment experiences from an ongoing study investigating the association between oral health and cognitive status in later life. Multiple recruitment strategies, including educational presentations and traveling to participants' homes, were used to enroll rural elderly participants with various levels of cognitive function. In general, multipronged, proactive recruitment strategies were more effective than traditional, passive methods in reaching participants with varying degrees of cognitive impairment. The outcome of this study suggests that successful recruitment of such populations involves gaining the support of staff at relevant community organizations, informing community members (including older adults and their family members) of the project and the importance of oral health, and making data collection sites accessible for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Elders
  • Recruitment
  • Rural
  • Underrepre- sented populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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