The MiND Study - GP Recruitment in a pandemic

The MiND study is all about clinical translation – establishing a simple screening blood test for GPs and other specialists, for quicker, accurate diagnosis of dementia and other causes of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

COVID-19 has posed some real challenges to getting the Markers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (MiND) Study into general practice, but this hasn’t stopped the Study Team in pivoting their efforts to ensure this game-changing study doesn’t go unnoticed.

In an ideal world, the Study Recruitment Team would be visiting GPs to meet with their practice teams.  In the absence of such visits, the Team have been earnestly calling and zooming practices across Victoria and QLD to engage GPs and encourage them identify and refer eligible patients via the MiND Study website, They will soon be contacting practices in WA, NSW, and SA too.

Working in partnership with the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, the Neuropsychiatry team at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, have implemented a multipronged approach to recruitment in general practice. Strategies include: working with Future Health Today (FHT) practices to identify suitable patients for the Study, exploring PATRON data, setting up virtual meetings with practice teams as well as ensuring coverage in mainstream and industry communications, including  a recent story on the ABC 7:30 Report. Other communique’ include Primary Health Network and RACGP newsletters.

We are pleased to share that this varied approach is yielding positive responses and engagement from the general practice community, and has resulted in actual recruited participants, despite the challenges posed by COVID. Since going live in February this year, we have received over 200 referrals, with an increasing number now coming from general practice.

We are happy with the results, but we still have a long way to go to get to our magic number of 200 participants from general practice alone.

We welcome your interest, ideas and advice around strategies for recruitment and are happy to receive any industry contacts and connections you may have that could help us in our quest to achieve our goal, and to lead to a test that could help GPs and their patients.  Reach out to us – we have some amazing puntastic MiND Mugs to offer to referrers and collaborators! 

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