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Re-engaging in Aging and Mobility Research in the COVID-19 Era: Early Lessons from Pivoting a Large-Scale, Interdisciplinary Study amidst a Pandemic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 August 2021

Brenda Vrkljan*
Affiliation:
School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Marla K. Beauchamp
Affiliation:
School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Paula Gardner
Affiliation:
Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Qiyin Fang
Affiliation:
Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Ayse Kuspinar
Affiliation:
School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Paul D. McNicholas
Affiliation:
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
K. Bruce Newbold
Affiliation:
School of Earth, Environment & Society, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Julie Richardson
Affiliation:
School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Darren Scott
Affiliation:
School of Earth, Environment & Society, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Manaf Zargoush
Affiliation:
DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Vincenza Gruppuso
Affiliation:
McMaster Institute for Research on Aging, McMaster University
*Corresponding
Corresponding author: La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à : / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Brenda Vrkljan PhD School of Rehabilitation Science McMaster University Institute for Applied Health Sciences 1400 Main Street West Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7 Canada (vrkljan@mcmaster.ca)

Abstract

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, those planning and conducting research involving older adults have faced many challenges, in part because of the public health measures in place. This article details the early steps and corresponding strategies implemented by our multidisciplinary team to pivot our large-scale aging and mobility study. Based on the premise that all current and emerging research in aging has been impacted by the pandemic, we propose a continuum approach whereby the research question, analysis, and interpretation are situated in accordance with the stage of the pandemic. Using examples from our own study, we outline potential ways to partner with older adults and other stakeholders as well as to encourage collaboration beyond disciplinary silos even under the current circumstances. Finally, we suggest the formation of a Canadian-led consortium that leverages cross-disciplinary expertise to address the complexities of our aging population in the COVID-19 era and beyond.

Résumé

Résumé

Dans le contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19, ceux qui planifient et mènent des recherches impliquant des personnes âgées ont été confrontés à de nombreux défis dus, en partie, aux mesures de santé publique. Cet article présente les premières phases et les stratégies mises en œuvre par notre équipe multidisciplinaire en vue de faire pivoter notre étude à grande échelle sur le vieillissement et la mobilité. En partant du principe que toutes les recherches actuelles et émergentes sur le vieillissement ont été affectées par la pandémie, nous proposons une approche en continuum dans laquelle la question de recherche, l’analyse et l’interprétation sont situées en fonction du stade de la pandémie. À l’aide d’exemples tirés de nos travaux, nous décrivons des moyens permettant d’établir des partenariats avec les personnes âgées et d’autres intervenants, et d’encourager les collaborations entre les disciplines, malgré les présentes circonstances. Enfin, nous suggérons la formation d’un consortium dirigé par le Canada qui tire parti de l’expertise interdisciplinaire pour aborder les complexités de notre population vieillissante à l’ère de la COVID-19 et dans le futur.

Type
Research Note/Note de recherché
Copyright
© Canadian Association on Gerontology 2021

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Re-engaging in Aging and Mobility Research in the COVID-19 Era: Early Lessons from Pivoting a Large-Scale, Interdisciplinary Study amidst a Pandemic
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