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Aging and Health Services Research Branch

Leveraging Health Services Research in Aging

Anchored at the Hub for Aging Collaboration, the Aging and Health Services Research Branch strives towards building an evidence base to support policy-making and healthy aging initiatives through interdisciplinary collaborations and training the next generation of health services scholars in aging. The collaborative network involving researchers from multiple schools and centers from within and outside Rutgers explores the individual, family, community, and system-level factors that influence older adults and healthy aging. 

Research Infrastructure

Aging and Health Services Research branch operates within an infrastructure that supports research using data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the form of research identifiable files (RIF) as well as limited datasets (LDS) that combine survey with administrative data. The infrastructure is certified by the CMS Data Privacy Safety Program. The certification demonstrates RU-SSW-IT’s compliance and preparedness with CMS security and privacy requirements, enabling the team to work with datasets that include HIPAA identifiers. The RU-SSW is one of the three centers at Rutgers with the certification from the CMS.

In addition to administrative datasets from Medicare and Medicaid, Hub for Aging Collaboration researchers use multiple publicly available and limited datasets in their research. These include the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), the National Vital Statistics Mortality data (NVSS), the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), LTC Focus data from Brown School of Public Health, Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) data, and Dartmouth Atlas data. 

Students and other research scholars interested in collaborating with the Hub on research projects, please get in touch with Dr. Ayse Akincigil at

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Learn More About Our Work

Browse each card to learn more about findings from this project. For a full list of publications, click here.

Key Publications

Psychological Determinants of Physician Variation in End-of-Life Treatment Intensity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis. 

Physicians treating similar patients in similar care-delivery contexts vary in the intensity of life-extending care provided to their patients at the end-of-life. Physician psychological propensities are an important potential determinant of this variability, but the pertinent literature has yet to be synthesized. This paper conducts a review of qualitative studies to explicate whether and how psychological propensities could result in some physicians providing more intensive treatment than others.

Classifying End-of-Life Patterns: Evidence from the National Health and Aging Trends Study. 

End-of-Life (EOL) care quality encompasses multiple domains, which are typically studied in silos. This paper explores interrelationships across domains and how they simultaneously shape patterns of EOL care quality.

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: The Role of Information Sources. 

This study examines the prevalence and predictors of vaccine hesitancy among older adults living in the community. Relative to those relying on regular news, those depending on health care providers, social media, other internet/webpages, and family/friends as the primary information source on COVID-19 expressed higher negative vaccine intent during the period before the vaccine rollout.

Addressing racial inequality and its effects on vaccination rate: A trial comparing a pharmacist and peer educational program (MOTIVATE) in diverse older adults. 

Vaccination rates, especially among racial minorities, remain below official benchmarks despite it being the most cost-effective strategy to prevent common infectious diseases in older adults. This paper compared the effectiveness and costs of two community-based educational interventions aimed at improving knowledge and trust in vaccination. These interventions include a pharmacist-led didactic session (PHARM) and a peer-led educational workshop (PEER).

Contact the Aging & Health Services Research Team

Reach out to the Aging & Health Services Research Team if you are interested in learning more about our work or collaborating on future projects.