Why is it important to include older adults in research, and how can it improve your study?

NIH’s new policy on Inclusion Across the Lifespan went into effect January 2019 requiring the inclusion of people of all ages in research studies. In this training module, you will find out the scientific and ethical reasoning behind this policy change, especially as it pertains to the inclusion of older adults in research, and learn strategies and best practices for recruiting and retaining older adults in research studies. Led by Director of Integrating Underrepresented Populations in Research at the Tufts University Clinical and Translational Research Center, Sara C. Folta, PhD, this module consists of didactic lectures and an interview highlighting a stakeholder perspective. Investigators drafting a recruitment plan relevant to this population or new to the inclusion of older populations in research are encouraged to complete this 45-minute, self-paced module.

After completing this module, you should be able to do the following on your own:

  • Explain the importance of including older adult populations in research
  • Describe population-specific challenges that hinder the participation of older adults in research
  • Discuss strategies to increase and sustain the enrollment of older adults populations in research
  • Articulate the importance of creating a robust recruitment plan in the early stage of study planning
  • Recognize the elements of an effective recruitment plan

Watch the video below, and use the arrows in the top left corner to advance from one section to the next:



Or, navigate the sections using the following links:


Recruitment of Older Adults in Research

Barriers to Recruitment

Strategies for Recruitment

Retention of Older Adults in Research

Perspectives form a Patient Stakeholder


To read the bibliography for this module, please click here (PDF).

To learn more about the recruitment and retention of research study participants, please click here.

To submit a request for assistance with recruitment and retention, please click here.