Perceptions of Research Burden and Retention among Participants in ADRC Cohorts

Matthew Gabel, Rebecca M. Bollinger, Melissa Knox, Dean W. Coble, Joshua D. Grill, Dorothy F. Edwards, Susan L. Stark, Jennifer H. Lingler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Alzheimer disease (AD) and related dementias clinical research is associated with significant participant burden. The Perceived Research Burden Assessment (PeRBA) measures participants' perceptions of logistical, psychological, and physical burdens. The purpose of this study was to assess PeRBA's psychometric properties, perceptual sources, and behavioral consequences with participants in a multisite study of participant retention in longitudinal cohort studies of Alzheimer disease and related dementias. Design: Multicenter mixed methods. Setting: In-person or phone. Participants: A total of 443 participants at 4 NIA-funded Alzheimer Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) were randomly selected and invited to participate if they were 45 years of age or more, enrolled in longitudinal studies, and had a Clinical Dementia Rating Scale global score ≤1. Measurements: Participants completed a 20-minute survey including the 21-item PeRBA about their research participation. Results: PeRBA demonstrated high-internal consistency and convergent validity. PeRBA scores correlated with expected perceptual factors. Higher PeRBA scores were associated with lower attendance and higher dropout rates. Conclusions: PeRBA can be used by researchers to identify participants who may feel overburdened and tailor approaches and strategies to support participants in longitudinal AD studies, maximizing participation, and reducing dropout. Making efforts to increase participants' understanding of study procedures, and building and maintaining trust throughout the study, can contribute to reducing perceived burden and potentially increasing retention in longitudinal AD studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • Alzheimer disease
  • dementia
  • longitudinal studies
  • psychogeriatrics
  • research design and methodology


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