The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Learning from older peoples’ reasons for participating in demanding, intensive epidemiological studies: A qualitative study

Learning from older peoples’ reasons for participating in demanding, intensive epidemiological studies: A qualitative study
Learning from older peoples’ reasons for participating in demanding, intensive epidemiological studies: A qualitative study
Background:
Recruitment rates of older people in epidemiological studies, although relatively higher than in clinical trials, have declined in recent years. This study aimed to explore motivating factors and concerns among older participants in an intensive epidemiological study (Hertfordshire Sarcopenia Study - HSS) and identify those that could aid future recruitment to epidemiological studies and clinical trials.

Methods:
Participants of the HSS fasted overnight and travelled several hours each way to the research facility at an English hospital for extensive diet/lifestyle questionnaires and investigations to assess muscle including blood tests and a muscle biopsy. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 participants (10 women) at the research facility in May-October 2015. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed thematically by three researchers.

Results:
We identified personal motives for participation (potential health benefit for self and family; curiosity; comparing own fitness to others; socialising). Altruistic motives (benefit for other people; belief in importance of research) were also important. Participants voiced a number of external motives related to the study uniqueness, organisation and safety record; family support; and just ‘being asked’. Anxiety about the biopsy and travel distance were the only concerns and were alleviated by smooth and efficient running of the study.

Conclusions:
Personal and altruistic reasons were important motivators for these older people to participate in demanding, intensive research. They valued belonging to a birth cohort with previous research experience, but personal contact with the research team before and after consent provided reassurance, aided recruitment to HSS and could be readily replicated by other researchers.
Any fears or concerns related to certain aspects of a demanding, intensive study should ideally be explored at an early visit to establish a good relationship with the research team.
Motivation, Patient Participation, Qualitative Research, Aged, epidemiological study
1471-2288
167-175
Baczynska, Alicja M.
88ab8281-44cb-4d45-b86c-df92716ef943
Shaw, Sarah
9629b12a-8ee2-4483-a9ca-6efb4eef74c8
Patel, Harnish
e1c0826f-d14e-49f3-8049-5b945d185523
Sayer, Avan A.
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Roberts, Helen C.
5ea688b1-ef7a-4173-9da0-26290e18f253
Baczynska, Alicja M.
88ab8281-44cb-4d45-b86c-df92716ef943
Shaw, Sarah
9629b12a-8ee2-4483-a9ca-6efb4eef74c8
Patel, Harnish
e1c0826f-d14e-49f3-8049-5b945d185523
Sayer, Avan A.
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Roberts, Helen C.
5ea688b1-ef7a-4173-9da0-26290e18f253

Baczynska, Alicja M., Shaw, Sarah, Patel, Harnish, Sayer, Avan A. and Roberts, Helen C. (2017) Learning from older peoples’ reasons for participating in demanding, intensive epidemiological studies: A qualitative study. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 17, 167-175. (doi:10.1186/s12874-017-0439-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background:
Recruitment rates of older people in epidemiological studies, although relatively higher than in clinical trials, have declined in recent years. This study aimed to explore motivating factors and concerns among older participants in an intensive epidemiological study (Hertfordshire Sarcopenia Study - HSS) and identify those that could aid future recruitment to epidemiological studies and clinical trials.

Methods:
Participants of the HSS fasted overnight and travelled several hours each way to the research facility at an English hospital for extensive diet/lifestyle questionnaires and investigations to assess muscle including blood tests and a muscle biopsy. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 participants (10 women) at the research facility in May-October 2015. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed thematically by three researchers.

Results:
We identified personal motives for participation (potential health benefit for self and family; curiosity; comparing own fitness to others; socialising). Altruistic motives (benefit for other people; belief in importance of research) were also important. Participants voiced a number of external motives related to the study uniqueness, organisation and safety record; family support; and just ‘being asked’. Anxiety about the biopsy and travel distance were the only concerns and were alleviated by smooth and efficient running of the study.

Conclusions:
Personal and altruistic reasons were important motivators for these older people to participate in demanding, intensive research. They valued belonging to a birth cohort with previous research experience, but personal contact with the research team before and after consent provided reassurance, aided recruitment to HSS and could be readily replicated by other researchers.
Any fears or concerns related to certain aspects of a demanding, intensive study should ideally be explored at an early visit to establish a good relationship with the research team.

Text
pre print BMC Med Research 2nd revision 171117 - Author's Original
Download (67kB)
Text
documentHC - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (431kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 December 2017
Keywords: Motivation, Patient Participation, Qualitative Research, Aged, epidemiological study

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416680
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416680
ISSN: 1471-2288
PURE UUID: b73e4b43-a5f2-4865-bedb-c08511815e04
ORCID for Helen C. Roberts: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5291-1880

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:02

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×