This month, we get to know the North Bristol centre behind EPAD. The team of Elizabeth Coulthard (principal investigator of the EPAD project in North Bristol) began recruiting in June 2018 and has currently recruited 40 participants in the EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study (LCS). We caught up with her team and asked them a few questions about their best practices and recruitment strategies.
Any top tips for running the LCS efficiently at your site? The key to managing this is having staff that know the study well and have good explanation of the Lumbar Puncture procedure. We have weekly meetings to discuss screening appointments and know study doctor / rater / nurse availability to plan visits accordingly.
How are you able to find suitable subjects for the cohort? We have a good database of healthy volunteers interested in research, close working links with Bristol BDR (Brains for dementia research) which has been very good for recruitment, inviting screen failures from another big study to take part in EPAD has worked well (captive audience!). We have used Join Dementia Research (national database of people interested in dementia research). We plan to increase our MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) recruitment in the future by recruiting from the MCI clinic that is run by our service. We have an annual newsletter which goes to all of our healthy volunteer database at Christmas time so we included a piece about EPAD in that last year (2018). BRACE (a local dementia charity who we have close working links with) have also promoted our research opportunities on their website, social media and newsletters.
Any country teleconferences/meetings you are organizing and how frequent? Our study coordinator attends monthly teleconferences for England coordinators organised by Delia Gheorghe in Oxford. Some of the EPAD team attended the EPAD Investigator meeting and the Proof of Concept kick off meeting held in Berlin in February and plan to attend the EPAD England meeting in Oxford this July.
Any past or future events/conference which have been beneficial for recruitment into EPAD? We attend the BRACE annual conference in Bristol each year and have a stall to promote our research opportunities.
Any activities in terms of participant engagement? We recently had a stand in the atrium of the main hospital building here at Southmead Hospital for Clinical Trials Day and signed up healthy volunteers to our research database.
“The participants that we see have a really keen interest in Alzheimer’s disease; it’s really rewarding to work on something that both staff and participants are really passionate and motivated about”, said Rebecca Cousins.
Pictured: From left to right: Elena Bellavia, Catherine Watkins, Dr Victoria Sanderson, Beccy Pracownik, Natalie Rosewell, Rebecca Cousins (missing staff: Bethan Owen)
We are pleased that Fundació ACE (Spain) became the latest addition to the EPAD family and recruited their first research participants. We currently have 22 sites across Europe enrolling and more than 1,750 research participants screened. There was a total of 99 new research participants enrolled in the EPAD study in May. This month, special mentions go to Pablo Martinez-Lage’s team in San Sebastian (Spain) who recruited 54 new research participants in May.