Health Promotion

Mary Callaghan (
PhD. Topic: 
Exploring bullying and victimisation among post-primary school students in Ireland.
PhD. Supervisors: 
Dr Michal Molcho and Prof. Colette Kelly

The aim of this study is to investigate the determinants of bullying among post-primary school students in Ireland.  Differences between traditional bullying and cyber bullying will also be explored.  This study will provide insight into factors influencing bullying and victimisation at the individual and school level in Ireland.

Lauren Connell (
PhD. Topic: 
 Developing Health Professionals Health Literacy competencies to support patient’s self-management of Diabetic Foot Disease.
PhD. Supervisors:  
Dr Jane Sixsmith and Dr Yvonne Finn

This PhD project is part of the Diabetic Foot Disease (DFT) from prevention to improved patient outcomes (Primo) CDA scholarship, in conjunction with HRB, within the topic of Health Literacy.  The project is entitled 'Developing Health Professionals health literacy competencies to support patient's in diabetes self-management'.  This programme aims to develop and assess the feasibility of an education intervention to empower patients, at risk of diabetic foot ulceration occurrence or recurrence, to self-manage.

Ann Marie Crosse (
PhD. TopicEco Health Literacy: Repositioning health and environment sectors towards integrated, proactive and sustainable eco health policies and practice.
PhD. Supervisors: Prof. Margaret Barry and Dr Mary Jo Lavelle 

This study aims to develop a place based model of Eco Health literacy, it will support the development of healthy, resilient and sustainable communities. It will provide a common language based on the interconnections between ecosystems services, health and sustainable development and will help create a negotiated space for synergistic working between communities, science and decision makers.

Anne Marie Frizzell ( 
PhD. Topic:
A Whole Systems Approach to Promoting a Healthy Workplace – Insights and Experiences from Irish Universities - A Case Study 
PhD. Supervisors:  Prof. Margaret Hodgins and Dr Victoria Fallon-Hogan 

The purpose of this exploratory case study is to gain an insight to, and an understanding of how Irish universities conceptualise and operationalise a whole systems approach as it applies to promoting a healthy workplace for employees. The study will explore the strengths of current approaches, factors that enable or inhibit the implementation of a whole systems approach to promoting a healthy workplace and a healthy workplace experience for employees, and opportunities for improvement to current approaches from multiple internal university stakeholder perspectives.

Ruchika Tara Mathur (
PhD Topic: Coming of age: Adolescent Participation in Adolescent Health Service Evaluation
PhD Supervisors: Prof. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn / Prof. Colette Kelly

This PhD seeks to demonstrate carrying out processes of adolescent participation in the evaluation of health services through Public and Patient Involvement in research (PPI) partnerships. This PhD will provide a greater understanding of how adolescents view service provision and service needs, which could be translated to other sectors and/or contexts by providing high quality evidence from an adolescent perspective, and which can be further taken up via knowledge transfer by advocacy groups to argue for service improvements. The research will also contribute toward the methodological literature on participation itself, by documenting the PPI journey with adolescents and sharing insights from the process, which can inform future research and practice. 

Margaret McLoone ( 
PhD. Topic:  An examination of the attitudes, perceptions and awareness of infant feeding practices amongst young people in Ireland.
PhD. Supervisors:  Prof. Colette Kelly and Prof. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn

Breastfeeding can make a significant contribution to population health by improving health outcomes for both infant/child and mother. According to the Irish Maternity Indicator System (IMIS) breastfeeding was initiated with 63.8 per cent of infants born in Irish Maternity hospitals (IMIS, 2020).  Breastfeeding rates decline rapidly and the Healthcare Pricing Office (2020) report that only 48.3 per cent of babies were still being breastfed at discharge from hospital. These breastfeeding rates lag significantly behind rates of breastfeeding globally.  Promoting breastfeeding to young people is a challenging issue in our society where formula-feeding is an accepted norm.  This study is examining the attitudes, perceptions and awareness of infant feeding practices amongst young people in Ireland.  

Teresa Meaney (
PhD. Topic: Irish mothers experience of persisting with breastfeeding.
PhD. Supervisor: Prof. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn

Despite the accepted social, emotional and health benefits associated with breastfeeding the incidence of breastfeeding in Ireland is at an alarmingly low level (56% ERSI 2012) with Ireland having one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe. The aim of this study is to use a qualitative phenomenological longitudinal research approach to understand and gain insight into Irish mother’s experience of breastfeeding. It is anticipated that this study will provide a meaningful understanding of mother’s experience of persisting with breastfeeding. Knowledge may be generated to inform policy makers and health professionals on necessary areas for development in the promotion and support of breastfeeding.

Breda O'Mahony (
PhD. Topic: Investigation into the implementation of the Nutrition Standards for School Meals.
PhD. Supervisor: Prof. Colette Kelly

With the recent introduction of the Nutrition Standards of School Meals in Delivering Equality of Opportunity (DEIS) schools and the potential introduction of these standards across all post primary schools, the aim of this research is to investigate the internal school factors that influence the implementation of these standards in post primary schools.  The research plan is organised into three interlinked work streams.  The direction of work streams two and three are subject to adaptation as work stream one has the potential to amend the areas of enquiry.  Work stream one consists of a mixed methods systematic review of the barriers and facilitators to implementing Food and Nutrition Standards in School Meals.  Factors (barriers and facilitators) reported to influence implementation will be synthesized using the theoretical domain framework.  

Divya Ravikumar (
PhD. Topic:  Food provision and the homeless population: working together to enable solutions.
PhD. Supervisor:  Prof. Colette Kelly and Prof Saoirse Nic Gabhainn

The study will address research gaps in the literature that were highlighted during a research project for the MA Health Promotion course.  The first phase of this study is a systematic review examining food sources and donations in the homeless sector.  The second phase of this PhD involves the co-production of food and nutrition guidelines with and for service providers that work with the homeless population.  The third phase will assess the feasibility of these guidelines.  Study outcomes will add to the evidence base and aim to improve policy and healthcare provision and further progress towards the goal of achieving health equity in this population.  

Occupational Therapy

Badr Al-Duqsi ( 
PhD. Topic: 
The effectiveness of Kinesio taping in comparison to a long thumb spica in the treatment of DeQuervain's tenosynovitis.
PhD. Supervisors:  
Professor Agnes Shiel and Dr Sinéad Hynes

The aim of my research project is to compare two interventions: Kinesio Tape and long thumb spica splint for treating DeQuervain Tenosynovitis and to identify which one is more effective in reducing pain, and improving functional outcomes.  By conducting this study, the results will support in evidencing the most effective treatment of DeQuervain's tenosynovitis.  Additionally, it will guide the practitioners in setting up the gold standard treatment and protocol for DeQuervain's tenosynovitis. 

Abiola De Mojeed (
PhD. Topic:  The use of baseline profiles to inform cognitive and functional skills training to address deficits in occupational performance in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
PhD. Supervisor:  Professor Agnes Shiel

Aisling Hill  (
PhD. Topic:  Exploring the Effect of Mirror Therapy versus Constraint Induced Movement Therapy in an Older Adult Post Stroke Population - A control trial.
PhD. Supervisor:  Professor Agnes Shiel

The overall aim of the study is to evaluate the interventions of CIMT and Mirror Therapy within a group of post stroke participants with an upper limb deficit, up to 12 months post stroke. The study is carried out in a controlled environment using quantitative standardised evaluation measures and qualitative feedback forms along with analysis of participant home programme diaries to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions, both face to face and virtually delivered. 

Umarasri Jitprapasnan (
PhD. Topic:  Occupational Therapy Leisure Evaluation and Treatment Software: an OT Hobbies App
PhD. Supervisors:  Professor Agnes Shiel and Dr Ruth McMenamin

Qiuxia Li (
PhD. Topic:  Developing an online intervention for caregivers of people with dementia.
PhD. Supervisors:  Dr Sinéad Hynes and Prof Kieran Walsh

The aim of this PhD project is to develop an online psychosocial intervention for informal caregivers of people with dementia. Informal caregivers of people with dementia experience both subjective and objective burden, emotional distress, and poor quality of life. There are needs for information, psychological, and social support. In this project, a systematic review is conducted to examine the effectiveness of existing research. Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is integrated to interpret the systematic review and co-produce the intervention program. A feasibility trial will be carried out to assess the intervention program. The findings of this project will better support people caring for those with dementia, with implications for caregivers of other chronic neurodegenerative conditions.

Yanlin Liu (
PhD. Topic:  The impact of the ‘F-Words for Child Development’ on service providers, and school-age children with disabilities and their families in Ireland and China.
PhD. Supervisors:  Dr Hazel Killeen and Professor Agnes Shiel

This PhD project will be embedded in the F-Words Ireland Research Team’s overall vision. It will provide critical information on the current status of the ‘F-Words’ in Ireland including service providers, children with disabilities and their families' knowledge and understanding of these concepts, and their openness and need for further training in this area. In addition, the cross-cultural design of this study is a key and innovative aspect of this project and will allow for initial exploration of the ‘F-Words’ in Chinese culture and provide the foundation for further research in this area in China.

Mary-Rose Mulry  (
PhD. Topic:  An exploration into the effectiveness of an electronic device known as Fall Detector for the Elderly (FATE) in preventing and detecting falls amongst the older adult population. 
PhD. Supervisor:  Professor Agnes Shiel

This study sets out to explore the effectiveness of an electronic device known as Fall Detector for the Elderly (FATE) in preventing and detecting falls amongst the older adult population. The study aims to evaluate if an electronic fall detector like FATE has an impact on one’s occupational performance and occupational satisfaction in their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) furthermore investigating if it improves one’s quality of life. In addition to this the study will explore carer burden and whether or not this device has a positive or equally a negative effect on relieving carer burden. Falls or a fear of falling is a great source of anxiety for the older adult as a fall can lead to potentially fatal injuries, diminished self confidence resulting in the individual no longer participating in certain ADLs and a reduced quality of life. This study aims to explore and address such issues.

Éle Quinn (
PhD. Topic:  The Peoples Review
PhD. Supervisors:  Dr Sinéad Hynes (University of Galway) and Prof. David Moher (Ottawa Hosptial Research Institute / University of Ottawa) 

The Peoples Review aims to help the public learn about evidence synthesis and systematic reviews, to understand why they matter, and to be better equipped to think critically about health claims. The Peoples Review will also help researchers learn about how best to involve the public in different stages of a systematic review. This in turn will help influence other systematic reviews to be better designed and implemented in the future. 

Simone Ryan (
MPhil. Topic:  Cognitive stimulation in activities of daily living for individuals living with mild-to-moderate dementia (CS-ADL): a randomised controlled trial. 
PhD. Supervisors:  Dr Orla Brady and Professor Agnes Shiel

The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of CS-ADL, a multi-component group cognitive stimulation intervention that aims to enhance the performance of activities of daily living (ADL) of people living with mild-to-moderate dementia. This study will conduct a randomised controlled trial comparing CS-ADL to treatment-as-usual, evaluating the effect of the intervention on ADL performance, cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, quality of life and communication. This study will provide valuable evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of delivering CS-ADL to this population and will provide the foundation for future research of this intervention.

Speech and Language Therapy

Alhanouf Alhazimi  (
PhD. Topic:  What do drawings of children who stutter tell us about their perspective on talking. 
PhD. Supervisors:  Dr Mary Pat O'Malley-Keighran and Dr Clare Carroll

The overall aim of this study is to listen to the perspective of children who stutter about talking through drawing. Specifically, the researcher is interested in listening to children who stutter using both verbal and nonverbal assessments. This study will be conducted in the Arabic language in Saudi Arabia.

Sandra Brandon  (
PhD. Topic:  To investigate the effects of Expiratory Muscle Strength Training on Swallow Function in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
PhD. Supervisor:  Dr Ruth McMenamin and Dr Stanislava Antonijevic-Elliott

Yvonne Fitzmaurice  (
PhD. Topic:  Exploring the co-development of an online post stroke communication partner programme (PSCPP) for use with health care professionals in training (HCPiT) in Irish universities.
PhD. Supervisor:  Dr Ruth McMenamin

Saoirse Lally  (
PhD. Topic:  Language Assessment of Polish-English bilingual children in Ireland: towards developing diagnostic tools for Speech and Language Therapy Practice. 
PhD. Supervisors:  Dr Stanislava Antonijevic-Elliott, Dr Rena Lyons and Dr Ruth McMenamin 

The main aim of this study is to investigate whether the use of language assessment tasks including Sentence Repetition Tasks and Non-word Repetition Tasks can be used by monolingual Speech and Language Therapists in conjunction with children’s parents to assess bilingual Polish-English speaking children and differentiate between typically-developing children and children with a language disorder.  

Noha Maakafi  (
PhD. Topic:  Use of narrative in teaching English as second language.
PhD. Supervisor:  Dr Stanislava Antonijevic-Elliott

Podiatric Medicine

Sinead Flynn (
PhD. Topic:  
Investigating the care of Active Diabetic Foot Disease during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
PhD. Supervisor:  
Professor Caroline McIntosh and Professor Sean Dinneen

Amanda Walsh (
PhD. Topic:  
Pes Planus in Down Syndrome: Problem Pathology or Special Feet for Special Children.
PhD. Supervisor: 
Professor Caroline McIntosh