JOURNAL ARTICLE

Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders pilot study: recruitment and baseline characteristics

Jeffrey A Katula, Stephen B Kritchevsky, Jack M Guralnik, Nancy W Glynn, Leslie Pruitt, Kristin Wallace, Michael P Walkup, Fang-Chi Hsu, Stephanie A Studenski, Thomas M Gill, Erik J Groessl, Jason M Wallace, Marco Pahor
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2007, 55 (5): 674-83
17493186

OBJECTIVES: To describe several recruitment parameters derived from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders pilot (LIFE-P) study for use in a full-scale trial of mobility disability prevention.

DESIGN: A description of the recruiting methods and baseline characteristics of a four-site randomized, controlled trial testing the effectiveness of a physical activity intervention at preventing mobility disability.

SETTING: The Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas; Stanford University, Stanford, California; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

PARTICIPANTS: Community-living persons aged 70 to 89 who were able to walk 400 m within 15 minutes and were at high risk for disability (scoring<10 on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)) but without comorbidity severe enough to preclude full study participation.

MEASUREMENTS: Measures of efficiency included number of randomized participants per recruitment technique and costs per randomized participant across randomization techniques.

RESULTS: The 9-month recruiting period resulted in 3,141 telephone screens, of which 424 (13.5%) participants were randomized (68.9% women, 25.7% minorities, 41.5% with SPPB scores<8). Forty percent of telephone-screened participants were excluded primarily because of regular participation in physical activity, health exclusions, or self-reported mobility disability. Of the 1,252 persons attempting the physical performance assessments, 41% scored above the SPPB cutoff. Of the 566 remaining eligible, 9.9% could not complete the 400-m walk, and another 18.9% had various medical exclusions. Direct mailing was the most productive recruitment strategy (61.6% of all randomized participants). Recruitment cost approximately $439 per randomized participant.

CONCLUSION: The LIFE study achieved all recruitment goals and demonstrated the feasibility of recruiting high-risk community-dwelling older persons for trials of disability prevention in diverse geographic areas.

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