Preferences of NIA Alzheimer's Disease Research Center participants regarding remote assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Michael Nunnerley, Nora Mattek, Jeffrey Kaye, Zachary Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person research study visits were moved to an online format using a variety of communication platforms (e.g., Webex and Zoom). Increased technology use among older adults allowed for greater insight regarding the remote research study visit format. Methods: A survey developed by the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) was distributed among 12 Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers (ADRCs). The COVID-19 Technology Accessibility Survey aimed to understand preferences of older adults regarding their research study visits and how they accessed the internet. Results: Among 12 ADRCs, 2070 responses were received (mean age: 72.8 years [standard deviation (SD) = 10.4], mean education: 16.6 years [SD = 2.6], race/ethnicity: 85% White/non-Hispanic). Among respondents, those with some form of cognitive impairment were more likely to prefer remote research study visits (mild cognitive impairment [MCI] vs. normal [odds ratio (OR) = 1.40, P = 0.02] and dementia vs. normal [OR = 1.48, P < 0.01]). Respondents with cognitive impairment were also less likely to have interest in smartphone use during at-home study visits (MCI vs. normal [OR = 0.71, P = 0.02] and dementia vs. normal [OR = 0.63, P < 0.001]). Results were similar regarding tablet use (MCI vs. normal [OR = 0.73, P = 0.04] and dementia vs. normal [OR = 0.72, P = 0.01]). Geographical location was analyzed in terms of the percentage of respondents in each region who preferred remote research study visits: West, 51%; Midwest, 34%; South, 41%; and Northeast, 57% (P < 0.0001). Discussion: Results from the study suggest that there is a growing interest in the remote research study visit format. Further studies will allow for greater understanding and development of this research format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12373
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • COVID-19
  • aging
  • cognitive impairment
  • remote research
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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