The Recruitment, Adherence and Retention (FAR) Core (RC4) of the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) at the University of Florida (UF) is tasked with ensuring (a) a steady flow of prospective participants to supported studies, (b) that participants are diverse and heterogeneous with respect to disability status and race/ethnicity, and (c) that affiliated investigators (especially junior scholars) have access to necessary information regarding feasibility, participant availability, and strategies for communicating with prospective participants. A key goal of the RC4 is to support the generalizability and external validity of study flndings. To ensure adequate representation of poorly functioning older persons in its studies, that enhance the RC4, investigators have developed substantial experience with the recruitment of older adults, especially minorities, both in the Gainesville/Alachua County region, and in the more general North Central Florida catchment area of the center. The Recruitment Core will directly provide services to support recruitment, including development and implementation of recruitment strategies, monitoring and reporting recruitment progress, and development of recruitment materials. The Recruitment Core will also help OAlC affiliated studies and investigators, especially Junior Scholars, to develop strategies for monitoring and improving participants'adherence and retention in clinical research studies. The presence of a dedicated core also facilitates enrollment of women, ethnic minorities, and elders with disabilities, all of whom have often been under-represented in both observational and intervention studies. The Recruitment Core works in partnership, particularity, with RCI (Clinical Translational Resource Core?to evaluate the real-time progress of each study, and to ensure seamless integration of recruitment, screening, and data acquisition/randomization), RC3 (Biostatistics and Data Management Core?to ensure that power analyses have been conducted, and that recruitment targets and inclusion/enrollment criteria are feasible;in addition, RC4 supports the core with real-time participant tracking, including sources of leads and recruitment efficiency). RC4 is allied with RCDC (Research Career Development Core) and PESC (Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core) to ensure that new studies have feasible and successful recruitment plans. RC4 continuously evaluates the success of strategies to facilitate participation, retention and adherence in OAlC-associated research, and seeks to identify the most effective and efficient RAR strategies. In both the services provided and studies conducted by the Recruitment Core, a particular emphasis is on the participation of ethnic minorities and persons with physical disability into research on aging.
Understanding and preventing disability among older adults has emerged as one of the most important public health problems ofthe 21st century. The Recruitment, Adherence and Retenfion Core ofthe Pepper OAIC at the University of Florida supports studies by ensuring that older adults?particulariy diverse individuals with incipient physical frailty?are aware of research participation opportunities.
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