Impact of Recruitment Methods in Subjective Cognitive Decline

J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;57(2):625-632. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160915.


Background: Recruitment methods can determine sample characteristics in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease dementia, but little is known about its influence in subjective cognitive decline (SCD).

Objective: To determine the influence of two types of recruitment methods in the characteristics of individuals with SCD.

Methods: We select and compare clinical and neuropsychological features, and frequency of APOE ɛ4 allele of 326 subjects with SCD from two cohorts: Open House Initiative (OHI) versus Memory Unit (MU). A logistic regression analysis (LRA), using gender and years of education as covariates, was used to examine the neuropsychological variables.

Results: The OHI sample were mostly women (75.9% versus 64.5%, p < 0.05), with higher educational level (12.15 [3.71] versus 10.70 [3.80] years, p = 0.001), and more family history of dementia (138 [62.7%] versus 44 [41.5%], p < 0.001) than the MU sample. Also, the OHI sample showed better overall neuropsychological performance than the MU sample, and after a LRA, this trend continued in automatic response inhibition capacity, abstract reasoning, and recognition memory. We did not find differences in age, depression history, and/or APOE ɛ4 allele frequency.

Conclusion: SCD subjects showed different demographic and neuropsychological characteristics depending on the recruitment method, which should be taken into account in the design of research studies with this target population.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; patient recruitment; research subject recruitment; sampling studies; subjective cognitive decline.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoprotein E4 / genetics
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / genetics
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology*
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Patient Selection*
  • Sex Factors


  • Apolipoprotein E4