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Trials ; 23(1): 862, 2022 Oct 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2064839


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic forced many research teams to adjust the way they conduct studies, including moving to remote delivery of some or all of their recruitment and data collection processes. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is widely used in research and is available in multiple formats for different groups and assessment settings. Here, we reflect on our experiences of administering the MoCA Blind/Telephone as part of the initial telephone eligibility check for participation in a randomised controlled trial with community-dwelling older people with frailty. MAIN BODY: In response to COVID-19, a number of changes were made to the trial's screening and recruitment procedures, to minimise the amount of time the researchers would spend in the participants' homes when recruitment began in May 2021. One of the changes was for the researchers to conduct a cognitive assessment for eligibility during an initial telephone call, rather than during the subsequent home visit for consent and baseline data collection. We found that in comparison with conducting the assessment in-person, telephone administration caused uncertainty for the researchers about whether participants were struggling to answer questions due to cognition or hearing impairment. Some participants experienced practical difficulties when combining holding a telephone and completing one of the assessment items. It was hard for the researchers to judge the emotional impact that undertaking the assessment was having on the older people on the telephone, without visual warning signs of fatigue or mood. We discuss the potential impact of these issues on trial recruitment and participant engagement, and the feasibility of videoconferencing as an alternative method of conducting the MoCA. CONCLUSION: The MoCA is a useful tool when cognitive impairment is part of screening and data collection and it is helpful to have the option to use the test remotely. However, as we have found, telephone testing is not always straightforward. Researchers should weigh up the pros and cons for each individual study, especially those involving older adults. If choosing remote methods, consider the practicality of using videoconferencing and think about the possible impact of telephone assessment on the relationship with the (potential) research participants. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Personalised care planning for older people with frailty ISRCTN16123291 28/08/2020.

COVID-19 , Frailty , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cognition , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , Surveys and Questionnaires
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e048524, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528552


INTRODUCTION: The Community Ageing Research 75+ (CARE75+) study is a longitudinal cohort study collecting extensive health and social data, with a focus on frailty, independence and quality of life in older age. CARE75+ was the first international experimental frailty research cohort designed using trial within cohorts (TwiCs) methodology, aligning epidemiological research with clinical trial evaluation of interventions to improve the health and well-being of older people. CARE75+ REMOTE is an extension of CARE75+ using a remote model that does not require face-to-face interactions for data collection in the current circumstances of a global pandemic and will provide an efficient, sustainable data collection model. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Prospective cohort study using TwiCs. One thousand community-dwelling older people (≥75 years) will be recruited from UK general practices by telephone. Exclusions include: nursing home/care home residents; those with an estimated life expectancy of 3 months or less; and people receiving palliative care. DATA COLLECTION: Assessments will be conducted by telephone, web-submission or postal questionnaire: baseline, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 36 months. Measures include activities of daily living, mood, health-related quality of life, comorbidities, medications, frailty, informal care, healthcare and social care service use. Consent will be sought for data linkage and invitations to additional studies (sub-studies). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: CARE75+ was approved by the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) Committee Yorkshire and the Humber-Bradford Leeds 10 October 2014 (14/YH/1120). CARE75+ REMOTE (amendment 13) was approved on the 18th November 2020. Consent is sought if an individual is willing to participate and has capacity to provide informed consent. Consultee assent is sought if an individual lacks capacity. Results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences. Results will be summarised and disseminated to study participants via newsletters, local engagement events and on a bespoke website. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN16588124.

Activities of Daily Living , Quality of Life , Aged , Aging , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies