EPAD recruited its first French research participant in September 2016 via the Gerontopole of Toulouse University Hospital (CHUT, Toulouse, France). It was the first site to open in France and the fourth in Europe and has currently recruited over 130 participants. The main mission of this institute is to develop research and prevention through multidisciplinary and health projects including Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Dr Pierre Jean Ousset, head of the clinical research center: “The entire team is fully committed and enthusiastic to be part of this exciting project. We are particularly proud to be among the best recruiting centers in Europe and to make a significant contribution to this unprecedented research effort”.
We are glad to provide an overview of the hard work the CHUT team is doing for EPAD. The team is organizing events and conferences that are beneficial for the recruitment into EPAD. As an example, on June 2018, the Gerontopole of Toulouse University Hospital organised a concert honouring Claude Nougaro (popular French singer) for the EPAD research participants in Toulouse. The special event was a major opportunity to gather more than 200 attendees. The next conference on prevention and healthy aging is scheduled next month in the context of the “blue week” dedicated to seniors in France.
The CHUT team is pleased to share some top tips that help them to run the EPAD study efficiently in Toulouse:
- Dedicated clinical research centre, prevention and therapeutic programs for Alzheimer’s disease and a team well-trained for research. This internal communication encompasses training of all physicians of both memory and geriatric clinics and CRA dedicated for recruitment.
- The external communication is focused on:
- local patient organisation (e.g. conference, recruitment brochures and posters)
- general practitioners and memory consultation regional network
- conferences partnership with town halls and retirement clubs
- the organisation of periodically cultural events.
- Use of specific tools to inform participants about the EPAD study and keep them motivated to continue participation such as a bimonthly local newsletter (8,000 subscribers), gifts, greeting cards for New Year and invitations to cultural events.
All these activities are ultimately improving recruitment, engagement and retention of research participants within EPAD. We are glad to see that the CHUT team is also organising bimonthly calls with the other EPAD sites in France to share its best practices. Well done to the entire team (pictured)!
Prof Bruno Vellas, principal investigator of the CHUT team underlines the daily commitment necessary for the success of a project. He said “we have a specific weekly meeting, with the entire team, to solve and anticipate all possible problems. This sustained effort is the unique key to success”.
Pictured from the left
- Standing: Dr Pierre Jean Ousset (head of clinical research center), Isabelle Carrié, (clinical project manager), Pr Bruno Vellas (Head of Gérontopôle), Delphine Pennetier (CRA), Florence Tavares (study nurse), Dr Françoise Lala (investigator), Dr Julien Delrieu, (investigator), Sylvie Montel (study nurse), Dr Nathalie Sastre (investigator), and Albanne Brosset (study nurse).
- Seated: Audrey Casaux (psychologist) and Camille Coulange (psychologist).
In addition, 116 new research participants have been enrolled in the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study (LCS) during the summer break in July and August. Congratulations are due to VUmc (Amsterdam, Netherlands) as the team screened 19 research participants in July and August. A special mention this month goes to Peter Connelly’s team (Tayside, UK) who recruited 15 new research participants. The EPAD family of trial delivery centres grew to 20 sites in August with Brescia (Italy) enrolling its first research participant.