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Case study: Join Dementia Research helped me recruit a large number of participants - Devon's Story

Join Dementia Research - Devon's Story

I first came across the Join Dementia Research (JDR) website when I was working as part of a national randomised control trial looking at cognitive behavioural therapy for carers of people with dementia back in 2015.

I remember at the time that using JDR to manage volunteers for the study was a smooth process, and allowed multiple members of the research team to go on and contact people that were matched to take part in the study.

JDR allows for recruitment from a wide geographical area, which was great for the trial which covered the whole of the UK. Having access to this pool of participants enabled us to meet our large recruitment target.

As I had such a positive experience of using JDR in the past, when I planned my research project as part of my Clinical Psychology Doctorate, I was keen to include JDR as part of my recruitment strategy. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, all of my other recruitment channels were cut off and the only way to recruit was online.

My project was looking at the experiences of adult children who care for their parents with dementia and the impact that dementia has had on their relationships. I signed up to the site as a researcher and following this, I was offered a call with one of the team who took me through the set-up of the study and directed me to some online training about using the system.

This took the stress out of the set-up process and it allowed for easy matching of participants, including by geographical area. The team was easily contactable by email and always happy to help with any queries.

Thanks to JDR, I was able to have a relatively stress free recruitment process during a very difficult time for all. I managed to interview six carers online, all of whom were brilliant and gave invaluable information about their personal experiences. This meant I was able to complete my methods paper in a timely manner, which enabled me to meet my competencies to qualify as a Clinical Psychologist.

I would recommend JDR to anyone looking to recruit to a study involving people with dementia or their family members/carers, as it provides access to a large group of potential participants who are keen to get involved and make a difference.