Overcoming the COVID-19 Pandemic for Dementia Research: Engaging Rural, Older, Racially and Ethnically Diverse Church Attendees in Remote Recruitment, Intervention and Assessment

Lisa Kirk Wiese, Ishan C. Williams, Nancy E. Schoenberg, James E. Galvin, Jennifer Lingler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Access to cognitive screening in rural underserved communities is limited and was further diminished during the COVID-19 pandemic. We examined whether a telephone-based cognitive screening intervention would be effective in increasing ADRD knowledge, detecting the need for further cognitive evaluation, and making and tracking the results of referrals. Method: Using a dependent t-test design, older, largely African American and Afro-Caribbean participants completed a brief educational intervention, pre/post AD knowledge measure, and cognitive screening. Results: Sixty of 85 eligible individuals consented. Seventy-percent of the sample self-reported as African American, Haitian Creole, or Hispanic, and 75% were female, with an average age of 70. AD knowledge pre-post scores improved significantly (t (49) = −3.4, p <.001). Of the 11 referred after positive cognitive screening, 72% completed follow-up with their provider. Five were newly diagnosed with dementia. Three reported no change in diagnosis or treatment. Ninety-percent consented to enrolling in a registry for future research. Conclusion: Remote engagement is feasible for recruiting, educating, and conducting cognitive screening with rural older adults during a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • aging
  • Alzheimer’s/dementia
  • community
  • healthcare disparities
  • race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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