Challenges to recruitment of participants with MCI in a multicentric neuropsychological study

Michela Brambillaa, Mario A Parra, Sergio Della Sala, Federica Alemanno, Simone Pomati

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Background: Data on recruitment of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) samples are seldom reported and this issue can be an important source of research waste. Aim: To describe the recruitment challenges and reasons for non-eligibility faced during a bi-centre clinical study assessing the predictive value of a neuropsychological battery of the progression to dementia. Methods: Potential MCI participants were identified from databases of the two memory clinics based in Milan (Italy) and invited to the screening assessment. Results: About 50% of the cases initially identified were ineligible according to inclusion/exclusion criteria and the two sites took 22 months to recruit the planned 150 people. The main reasons for non-eligibility were the MMSE score (41%), age (14%), presence of cerebrovascular disorders (9%), perceptual deficits (6%), neurological (6%) or psychiatric (4%) comorbidities and low education (5%). Conclusion: Awareness of the reasons for exclusion and of the time needed to recruit the planned sample would provide hints for the planning of future studies on MCI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Early online date14 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2020


  • MCI
  • recruitment
  • clinical research
  • neuropsychology
  • mild cognitive impairment (MCI)


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