Send to

Choose Destination
Aging Ment Health. 2003 Mar;7(2):75-82.

Recruitment of rural community-dwelling older adults: barriers, challenges, and strategies.

Author information

Department of Nursing, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland 21801, USA.


The significant increase in the number of older adults in the USA, particularly in rural areas, has signaled the need for more research to address the health care needs of this complex, heterogeneous, and vulnerable population. However, accessing older adults in rural areas presents an especially difficult challenge for gerontological researchers. Barriers can include the normal physiological changes that accompany aging, prevalence of chronic illness and medication use, lower literacy rates, transportation issues, and a distrust of 'outsiders' and research in general. Specific strategies that may facilitate participation include the use of gatekeepers to gain entry, increased personal contact by researchers sensitive to the unique needs of older adults, and other media approaches tailored to the rural community. Understanding the characteristics of rural older adults, along with careful planning of recruitment strategies, is crucial to obtaining adequate participation and the acceptance of future research efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center