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What is Aging PCOR?


Aging Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) focuses on research topics questions and outcomes most important to older adults and those who care for them. Patients are engaged in the research, not as subjects, but as partners who help decide what to study and how to study it. This is also called Engaged Research. PCOR often compares one program against another to determine which works best for patients. This is called Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER).



Why is the learning collaborative essential?


Older adults are often not included in the design of research, and when they are, those in the study tend to be healthier than the group being studied. Many aging-focused researchers do not know how to engage older adults and caregivers, which limits opportunities for older adults and caregivers to contribute to their work.



  • While many older adults are eager to engage in research, researchers do not always see this as important. 

  • Colleges and universities often do not teach about community engagement in research, so students entering the field of aging lack this knowledge. ​ 

  • Aging-focused research funders are showing interest in this topic, but very few funders require engagement from those they fund. 



How the Learning Collaborative works


The Learning Collaborative changes the way researchers engage with older adults. We teach how to partner with older adults and their caregivers. Older adults and caregivers are then viewed as experts, not just as research subjects! 

The Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative: 

  • SHARES information related to engaged research through our Learning Video Series, our Podcasts, and our online community – the Aging Research Network. 


  • SUPPORTS the teaching of engaged research in Gerontology programs. 


  • ENCOURAGES research funders to see the value of requiring engaged research methods in proposals.  

  • PROVIDES ASSISTANCE to aging-focused researchers, older adults, caregivers, providers, and others in the aging field who want to learn how to make engagement work.  

In the long run, engaging older adults and caregivers in the research process will lead to better systems of care for older adults!


The Aging PCOR Learning Collaboration was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award 19514-LTSS. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 (reauthorized in 2019) to fund comparative effectiveness research which compares the benefits and harm of available programs and tools to determine which work best for patients. This approach provides patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. 

our Experts

The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston partners with Collective Insight, specialists in stakeholder engagement, to develop and facilitate two Steering Committees that guide the direction of the Learning Collaborative.  

Our Grant Steering Committee consists of Researchers, Funders, Academics, and Older Adults who are providing insight to our video and podcast series; product development; and evaluation activities. Members include:  

  • Beverly J Cohen, OLLI Advisor and Older Adult Representative  

  • Myrna Finn, OLLI Advisor and Older Adult Representative 

  • Edward Alan Miller, PhD, MPA, Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Gerontology and Public Policy PhD Program; McCormack Graduate School  

  • Kathleen Wilber, PhD, Professor of Gerontology, USC Leonard Davis; Mary Pickford Foundation Chair in Gerontology   

  • Marcus Escobedo, MPA, Vice President, Communications & Sr. Program Officer, The John A. Hartford Foundation  

  • Amy Eisenstein, Senior Program Officer, RRF Foundation for Aging

  • Odette van der Willik, Deputy Executive Director and Director, American Federation for Aging Research 

  • 2 members of our Older Adult Subcommittee (rotating) 


Our Older Adult Subcommittee also provides insight on grant activities and materials from the perspective of the older adult, ensuring our topics and materials are accessible to their population. Members include: 

  • Juanita J. 

  • Nancy K. 

  • Lisa D. 

  • Naomi I.

  • Linda A. 

  • JeanMarie A. 

  • Loretta S. 

  • Jerry T.

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