The IGNITE Trial: Participant Recruitment Lessons Prior to SARS-CoV-2

Eric D. Vidoni, Amanda Szabo-Reed, Chaeryon Kang, Jaime Perales-Puchalt, Ashley R Shaw, George A. Grove, Morgan Hamill, Donovan Henry, Jeffrey M. Burns, Charles H Hillman, Arthur F Kramer, Edward McAuley, Kirk I. Erickson

Research output: Working paper


Full and diverse participant enrollment is critical to the success and generalizability of all large-scale Phase III trials. Recruitment of sufficient participants is among the most significant challenges for many studies. The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has further changed and challenged the landscape for clinical trial execution, including screening and randomization. The Investigating Gains in Neurocognition in an Intervention Trial of Exercise (IGNITE) study has been designed as the most comprehensive test of aerobic exercise effects on cognition and brain health. Here we assess recruitment into IGNITE prior to the increased infection rates in the United States, and examine new challenges and opportunities for recruitment with a goal of informing the remaining required recruitment as infection containment procedures are lifted. The results may assist the design and implementation of recruitment for future exercise studies, and outline opportunities for study design that are flexible in the face of emerging threats.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Number of pages25
StateIn preparation - May 25 2020

Publication series



  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Novel coronavirus
  • 2019-nCoV
  • Pandemic
  • enrollment
  • screen-fail
  • cognition
  • exercise
  • disparity

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  • Cite this

    Vidoni, E. D., Szabo-Reed, A., Kang, C., Perales-Puchalt, J., Shaw, A. R., Grove, G. A., Hamill, M., Henry, D., Burns, J. M., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., McAuley, E., & Erickson, K. I. (2020). The IGNITE Trial: Participant Recruitment Lessons Prior to SARS-CoV-2. (medRxiv). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.