Pauline Dunne

Pauline Dunne

PhD Trainee
University College Dublin

Project title: AFTER-GDM: evaluating the feasibility of a type2 diabetes prevention pathway, for women with prior gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)

Pauline is a CORÚ registered dietitian who began her career in 2002 in the HSE, gaining experience across acute and primary care services where she contributed to the development and delivery of a range of dietetic services including structured education for type 2 diabetes (X-PERT), and residential care services for both older persons and disabilities. In 2013, Pauline joined the NGO sector, taking up a Development Officer post with Diabetes Ireland. This multifaceted role included delivery and evaluation of structured patient education (CODE) to people with type 2 and pre- diabetes, development, and delivery of education service providers for older persons and intellectual disability, and leading health promotion initiatives for Workplace Wellness within the organisation. Pauline holds a Diploma in Health Service Management from University of Limerick, an MSc in Human Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of Ulster, and a BSc (Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Pauline was a member of Council for the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI) for 4 years, supporting development of the dietetic profession. She has a keen interest in exploring ways to offer effective and accessible self-management supports to those with long term health conditions.

Primary supervisor: Dr Sharleen O’Reilly (UCD); Co-supervisors: Prof Andrew Murphy & Prof Molly Byrne (NUI Galway)

Project aims: GDM is a common pregnancy complication, with up to 50% of these women developing type 2 diabetes, usually much earlier than the general population. Early lifestyle intervention is a successful tool in managing this diabetes risk, however engaging younger women in lifestyle interventions and screening is a global challenge. This research will create and evaluate a diabetes prevention pathway that goes across three distinct health system levels: maternity services, general practice, and community health services. The woman and her family will be at the centre of this prevention pathway.

Breakdown of research studies:

The PhD research will consist of three studies located within the EPIS framework for implementation. A mixed methods approach will be used for data collection, analyses, and reporting.

Study 1 aims to codesign the prevention pathway with stakeholders through needs assessment, consultation, and contextual mapping.

Study 2 aims to implement the prevention pathway within a Community Healthcare Area (CHO).

Study 3 aims to evaluate sustainment 6 months after the active intervention period, synthesizing data from studies 1 and 2 to assess factors driving normalization of the intervention into routine practice.

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