Researchers at the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston have received a $630,000 award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to conduct a study entitled: “Measurement Matters: Refining and Validating a PCOR Engagement Measure.”

“Our two-year project is an ambitious attempt to develop and validate a measurement tool to determine the efficacy of stakeholder engagement in research and lay the groundwork for determining impacts on patient-centered care,” says Marc Cohen, PhD, co-director of the LTSS Center.

Cohen’s team will work with Erin McGaffigan, PhD, a research fellow at the LTSS Center and principal of Collective Insight, an engagement company that prioritizes the experiences of the most impacted; and Tam Nguyen, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN, an associate professor of nursing at Boston College with expertise in measurement approaches to population health and evidence-based practice.

 “Collective Insight has implemented engagement strategies for nearly 10 years, and we look forward to working with research and community partners to build and test a tool that has a strong chance to succeed,” says McGaffigan. “If we do this right, we will change how the next generation of researchers define research rigor and possibly catapult person-centered practices here and abroad.”

The project will focus on older adults, who will participate not only in the development process, but also assist in the testing and validation of the measurement tool.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 which funds research that provides patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with evidence-based information for making better informed healthcare decisions.

“Much has been learned in recent years about participatory research that seeks to involve the ultimate end users of study results, including patients, caregivers, clinicians and others, as partners in the research process. But there has been little systematic study about which engagement techniques are most effective,” says PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, M.D., MPH. “This study was selected for its potential to strengthen patient-centered and stakeholder-driven comparative clinical effectiveness research by providing evidence about specific engagement methods and measures that promote representative engagement of patients and other stakeholders in research.”

The PCORI award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by the organization’s staff and issuance of a formal award contract.