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Learning from older citizens’ research groups

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:15 authored by Carol Munn-Giddings, Andrew J. McVicar, Melanie J. Boyce, Niamh O'Brien
This article adds to an ongoing conversation in gerontology about the importance of training and involving older people in research. Currently, the literature rarely distinguishes between the one-off involvement of older citizens in research projects and the development of research groups led by older people that sustain over time as well as the nature of educational initiatives that support their development. This article presents a case-study based on evaluative data from the WhyNot! Older Citizens Research Group which has been running independently for nearly eight years. Members’ evaluations of and reflections on the impact of the training programme, explore from their perspective: Why older people want to get involved in research training and research groups, what they value most in the training and the types of impact their involvement has had. Creating an educational environment where participants were able to contribute their knowledge in a new context as well learn new skills through group-work based experiential learning were key. Regular role-modelling provided by inputs from successful established citizen research groups was also important. Of the many benefits members gained from being part of a research group, emphasis was given to the relational aspects of the experience. Likewise the benefits members’ accorded to taking part in training and research transcended individual benefits encompassing benefits to the collective and the wider community. Linking health, social care and educational policies is important in providing coherence and opportunity for older people’s voices to shape research, policy and practice.



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Educational Gerontology




Taylor & Francis

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  • Accepted version


  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)

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