top of page
  • Writer's pictureSophia Webber and Taylor Gray

An Introduction to the Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

Banner image of bio photos of guests and hosts of the Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative podcast
Pictured Above (From Left to Right): Dr. Marc Cohen; Dr. Erin McGaffigan; Taylor Gray; Sophia Webber


In this episode, listeners are introduced to the hosts: Taylor and Sophia and the Aging PCOR (Patient Centered Outcomes Research) Learning Collaborative. These two students are interested in expanding their knowledge about stakeholder engagement when researching older adults. Join them in learning as they sit down and speak with different experts on engaged research and highlight the importance of viewing older adults as partners instead of research subjects! Listen to them talk with Dr. Erin McGaffigan and Dr. Marc Cohen about the Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative.

Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR): Research that engages the patient (or participant) at every stage of the process. It values patients as partners, not just as research subjects.

Listen to the Episode Below:

Taylor’s Reflections

Hey everyone! My name is Taylor Gray, a 3rd year Gerontology PhD student at UMass Boston. Listening back over this episode brings back so many memories. It was my first ever attempt at hosting a podcast! I remember when Dr. McGaffigan suggested the podcast be hosted by students, I told her (and myself) that I could do it. I was very nervous to take on this responsibility and “put myself out there.” I think that is a powerful skill for a student or researcher to possess: do not let your fear be an obstacle to opportunities.

I believe researchers may feel that same fear when it comes to utilizing Participant-Centered Research Methods. Many researchers are not yet comfortable with or knowledgeable about these methods. Further, fully embracing these methods could cause a researcher to feel like they have relinquished some control of their project and can require moments of vulnerability and open-mindedness.

We recorded this podcast during the Spring semester of the second year of my PhD program. As I mention in this episode, I had never heard of stakeholder engagement or Patient-Centered Outcomes Research methodology. During the semester I was tasked with designing a research project for my Advanced Public Policy course, and I decided to design a study that would investigate issues with “The Ride FLEX”, a public transportation program designed for older adults in the Boston area. I felt this would be a perfect time to incorporate some of the things I learned from participating in The Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative.

As part of my methodology, I included an advisory board of drivers and older adult passengers that would ensure I was asking the right questions, including the right participants, and disseminating the results back to those who needed to understand them. Although my professor had not explicitly taught about this methodological approach, she was very pleased that I included it in my project.

What this revealed to me is that students like myself can learn about things outside the classroom, like Patient Centered Outcomes Research, and improve our work. Unfortunately, these methods are not reinforced heavily in curricula across the country. Students can do their part to “shift the paradigm” towards engaged methodology by mentioning these methods to their peers or even including them in a project.

This first episode spends a lot of time laying the groundwork for the rest of the series. Use this episode as a reference if you are hoping to get a better understanding of PCOR (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research) in the future, and be sure to listen to the rest of this exciting series!

7 views0 comments


bottom of page