Multisite recruitment and data collection among older adults: exploring methods to conserve human and financial resources

J Nurs Meas. 2012;20(2):142-52. doi: 10.1891/1061-3749.20.2.142.


The purpose of this article is to describe strategies that were effective in recruitment and data collection among older adults in 3 quantitative studies while decreasing costs in terms of time and money. Factors effective in reducing use of investigators' time and expenses included limiting exclusion of data because of abnormal Mini-Cog scores by careful initial screening and avoiding repeated reminders or follow-up, collecting data in small groups, collapsing consent, dementia screening, and data collection into single sessions, as well as accommodating for sensory and literacy deficits. The cross-sectional, descriptive studies were conducted among community-dwelling older adults attending senior citizen centers and among older adults in independent or assisted living apartments within continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). In the latest study, a convenience sample (N=152) was recruited and data collection was completed in 4 weeks at a total cost of less than $5,000. Methods common to qualitative research and those commonly used in community-based research were adapted to reduce time and costs for recruitment, screening, and data collection. Given limited availability of research funding, other nursing researchers may find one or more of these methods useful.

MeSH terms

  • Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged, 80 and over / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cost Savings / methods
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection / economics*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Female
  • Housing for the Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States