Synergizing geriatric research and education in an allied health profession with an older adult community advisory board: development and process outcomes

An Thi Nguyen, Sharon Burnside, Kristin Junge, Emily Kling Somerville, Marian Keglovits, Susan Lynn Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Community advisory boards (CABs) have been used to improve research outcomes involving specific communities and populations, including older adults. There is potential to synergize the use of CABs to encompass both research activities and the education of healthcare professionals to help meet increasing demands for a geriatric healthcare workforce in aging populations worldwide. We describe the development and process outcomes of a CAB that synergizes geriatric research and education of students in an allied health profession (occupational therapy). Implementation costs from June 2017–June 2019 were recorded. In-depth interviews were conducted with CAB participants, who were community-dwelling older adults living in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Interview data were analyzed using a constant comparison method based on a grounded theory approach. Themes were derived regarding barriers, facilitators, and benefits of CAB participation for older adults. Fourteen older adults (aged 65 and over) were initially recruited. The total direct cost of CAB implementation was 4050 United States Dollars over two years. Barriers to CAB participation for older adults included unexpected schedule conflicts due to illness and lack of understanding of the research process, while facilitators included accessible meeting spaces, staff support, flexible participation options, and financial support (e.g., transportation). Perceived benefits of CAB participation included gains in social capital, more positive views of research, and social connectedness. Key lessons learned are described and can be used to inform a novel approach to developing and implementing CABs to improve outcomes of geriatric research and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-496
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Gerontology
Volume46
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2020

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