Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    Designing a Digital Research Accelerator Programme for the Social Sciences at UCD: Preliminary results of a faculty-library collaboration
    Alongside calls in the literature for research skills development for undergraduates, University College Dublin’s College of Social Sciences and Law (CoSSL) has identified a need for research skills education for its new Bachelor of Social Sciences programme. In collaboration, academics and the library have created a new course, the Social Sciences Research Accelerator, designed to provide foundational learning of research skills for students transitioning to conduct research projects in their final year. Preliminary testing of the course, which included a small user-testing group of undergraduates who engaged with course activities and then completed a survey evaluation, has been positive. This paper details the partnership between academics and library staff toward a common scholarship goal, including the creation of learning materials, early testing of content, and future work.
  • Publication
    Mapping Existing Research Output Focused on Higher Education Teaching and Learning in Ireland 1990-2015
    The purpose of this six-month 'snapshot' project was to map the extent and characteristics of research on teaching and learning in the Irish higher education field. This is the first such study focused on Ireland, and the first systematic study of teaching and learning research at a national level. The project set out to capture the nature and key characteristics of such research in Ireland between 1990 and early 2015, including the main fields of interest the types of publication and historical development. The two main benefits of such a study are that it provides; i) an evidence base for the enhancement and development of teaching and learning at a time of major change in Irish higher education; ii) direction for further research, and coordination of research. The first phase of the study involved a systematic review of published research, comprising a wide range of sources, and involving electronic and hand searches. This was followed by a review of conference papers (Phase 2) and of research by identified experts (Phase 3), resulting in the identification of a total of 2275 records. The first stage of analysis in the study consisted of a review of abstracts for key themes. The thematic approach followed that of Malcolm Tight's (2012) analysis of higher education research in the English language outside US and Canada. In the second stage, full papers will be sourced for full text analysis. 
  • Publication
    A systematic review mapping twenty five years of Irish SoTL research (1990-2015)
    This six-month 'snapshot' project, commissioned by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (, outlines the extent and characteristics of research on teaching and learning in the Irish higher education field. The project is the first systematic study of research focused on teaching and learning at a national level and brings together a considerable corpus of Irish SoTL research. It takes a wide lens, or 'big tent' approach (Huber and Hutchings 2005), including research made public via publication in peer-reviewed and other journals, working papers and presentations at conferences and other fora. The systematic review protocol and the findings will be presented.  Systematic reviews are becoming common in higher education research (Bearman et al 2012). However outside of the medical and nursing fields (e.g. Cant and Cooper 2010), to date they have not been used to map other SoTL domains. A critical assessment of using this method to map SoTL research will be presented.A wide range of electronic academic databases, proprietary journal packages, institutional repositories and one search engine (Google Scholar) were searched. Hand searches were also used to locate studies not included in electronic databases and/or where the keywords used by the authors did not match the ones used in the search. In total 6, 851  records  were screened by two of the project steering group for inclusion/ exclusion. Two additional methods were used to complement the systematic review: 1. A search of the programmes of seventy national and international educational and disciplinary conferences, meetings and symposia where Irish academics present teaching and learning research (2013-2014). 2. A search of one hundred Irish higher education teaching and learning experts' publications and presentations. All material located in these searches was also screened. The analysis draws on Tight's (2012) framework for higher education research. For each study located, themes or issues, methods or methodologies, engagement with theory and level of analysis were identified. This systematic review establishes in a scholarly way the current state of research in the Irish higher education teaching and learning field, tracing aspects of its development, investigating its strengths and limitations, and offering suggestions as to future directions required. We conclude by arguing that any national level vision of future pedagogies and learning paradigms in Irish higher education should be evidence based. In a time of major change in Irish higher education, the findings will provide an important resource for teachers, policy makers, the National Forum and others seeking to enhance and develop teaching and learning Irish higher education.
  • Publication
    A controlled trial of group cognitive behaviour therapy for Irish breast cancer patients
    (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2010-02) ; ; ;
    The aim of this study was to evaluate a manualized cognitive behavioral group intervention for early-stage breast cancer patients. Sixty-nine women were recruited at an Irish specialist oncology hospital and assigned to a 6-week cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) program or an educational control group. Participants were assessed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6-month follow-up. Groups × Time (2 × 3) ANOVAs showed that the program did not lead to greater improvement on standardized measures of coping, quality of life, or mood compared with the control group. Regression analyses showed that maladaptive coping and distress at baseline were predictive of psychological adjustment at follow-up. Level of distress was also predictive of quality of life at follow-up. Repeated measures ANOVAs of data from cases in the intervention group showed that patients who completed the program showed significant improvement in problem severity, impact of problems, coping ability, and goal attainment from pre- to posttreatment, and these gains were maintained at follow-up for problem severity and impact of problems, but not for coping ability or goal attainment. Participation in the program did not lead to less health service usage during the period from baseline to follow-up, compared with the educational control group. A controlled trial provided limited evidence for the effectiveness of brief cognitive behavior intervention in enhancing psychological adjustment of early-stage breast cancer patients with nonclinically significant levels of psychological distress. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of the program for patients with elevated levels of psychological distress and limited coping resources.
      445Scopus© Citations 15
  • Publication
    Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Readiness during a Global Pandemic: A Survey of the Experience of one hospital group in the Republic of Ireland
    Aim: To explore the mobilisation of nurses/midwives in a designated hospital group in Ireland during a global pandemic.Background: The recent global pandemic has resulted in the large-scale worldwide mobilisation of Registered Nurses and Midwives working in the acute care sector. There is a dearth of literature reporting the mobilisation of this professional workforce.Method: Mixed-methods design using an electronic survey and facilitated discussion across one Irish hospital group.Results: Eight of 11 hospitals responded to the survey. There was a 2% vacancy rate prior to the pandemic. Mobilisation included reconfiguration of clinical areas and redeployment of 9% of the nursing/midwifery workforce within two weeks of the pandemic. A total of 11% (n=343) of nurses/midwives were redeployed in three months. Nurses/midwives required re-skilling in infection prevention control, enhancement of critical care skills and documentation.Conclusions: Three key areas were identified to enable the nursing workforce readiness. These are referred to as the three ‘R’s’: Reconfiguration of specific resources; Redeployment of nurses to dedicated specialist areas and Re-skilling of nurses to safely care for the patients during the pandemic.Implications for Nursing Management: A centralised approach to Reconfiguration of clinical areas. Redeployment is enabled by closing non-essential departments. Hands-on re-skilling and reorientating staff are essential.
      522Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating a theory-driven group-based complex intervention versus usual physiotherapy to support self-management of osteoarthritis and low back pain (SOLAS)
    Background: The self-management of osteoarthritis (OA) and low back pain (LBP) through activity and skills (SOLAS) theory-driven group-based complex intervention was developed primarily for the evaluation of its acceptability to patients and physiotherapists and the feasibility of trial procedures, to inform the potential for a definitive trial. Methods: This assessor-blinded multicentre two-arm parallel cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial compared the SOLAS intervention to usual individual physiotherapy (UP; pragmatic control group). Patients with OA of the hip, knee, lumbar spine and/or chronic LBP were recruited in primary care physiotherapy clinics (i.e. clusters) in Dublin, Ireland, between September 2014 and November 2015. The primary feasibility objectives were evaluated using quantitative methods and individual telephone interviews with purposive samples of participants and physiotherapists. A range of secondary outcomes were collected at baseline, 6 weeks (behaviour change only), 2 months and 6 months to explore the preliminary effects of the intervention. Analysis was by intention-to-treat according to participants' cluster allocation and involved descriptive analysis of the quantitative data and inductive thematic analysis of the qualitative interviews. A linear mixed model was used to contrast change over time in participant secondary outcomes between treatment arms, while adjusting for study waves and clusters. Results: Fourteen clusters were recruited (7 per trial arm), each cluster participated in two waves of recruitment, with the average cluster size below the target of six participants (intervention: mean (SD) = 4.92 (1.31), range 2-7; UP: mean (SD) = 5.08 (2.43), range 1-9). One hundred twenty participants (83.3% of n = 144 expected) were recruited (intervention n = 59; UP n = 61), with follow-up data obtained from 80.8% (n = 97) at 6 weeks, 84.2% (n = 101) at 2 months and 71.7% (n = 86) at 6 months. Most participants received treatment as allocated (intervention n = 49; UP n = 54). The qualitative interviews (12 participants; 10 physiotherapists (PTs) found the intervention and trial procedures acceptable and appropriate, with minimal feasible adaptations required. Linear mixed methods showed improvements in most secondary outcomes at 2 and 6 months with small between-group effects. Conclusions: While the SOLAS intervention and trial procedures were acceptable to participants and PTs, the recruitment of enough participants is the biggest obstacle to a definitive trial.
      84Scopus© Citations 7
  • Publication
    Doping in elite sport: linking behaviour, attitudes and psychological theory
    Recent years have witnessed an upsurge of research interest in the psychosocial factors associated with competitive athletes’ propensity to use prohibited performance-enhancing drugs. This practice is commonly known as "doping" and typically refers to athletes’ proclivity to use "illegitimate performance enhancement substances and methods" . Although the problem of doping in sport may appear to be a relatively new phenomenon, it has a surprisingly long history. For example, prohibited substances such as caffeine and cocaine were used by cyclists in a bid to enhance competitive performance as far back as the 1890s. Unfortunately, studies on doping in elite athletes are afflicted by at least two unresolved issues. First, the links between doping attitudes and doping behavior have not received sufficient research attention to date. Second, the role of psychological theory in elucidating these links has not been addressed adequately. Therefore, the purpose of the present chapter is to address these two issues.
  • Publication
    Differential outcomes to a pain management programme based on coping style
    The study objectives were to investigate whether a heterogeneous sample of Irish chronic pain patients could be classified into subgroups using the Multidimensional Pain Inventory to profile the subgroups’ experiences of pain and distress, and to compare their responses to a multidisciplinary pain management programme. Ninety chronic pain patients completed the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) before and after a multidisciplinary pain management programme and at 6–23 months follow-up. Eighty-eight percent of patients were classified as Dysfunctional (DYS), Interpersonally Distressed (ID), or Adaptive Coper (AC) on the basis of their responses to the MPI. The proportions of patients classified into the three MPI groups were similar to those found in previous studies: 21% were AC, 20% were ID, and 47% were DYS. The three groups differed significantly in their levels of pre-treatment pain and distress. Compared with the AC group, the DYS group had greater pain and both the DYS and ID groups had greater distress. For measures of pain intensity and interference, from pre- to post-treatment, the DYS group improved significantly more than the AC group, but for pain intensity, the DYS group had relapsed at follow-up and the AC group’s interference scores had significantly improved. All patients who participated in the programme showed significant improvement in depression and the sense of control they had over their lives; this improvement was partially maintained at follow-up; and participants expressed a high level of satisfaction with all aspects of the programme. In conclusion, Irish chronic pain patients are not a homogeneous group and may be classified into subgroups based on psychological factors. Treatment response may be related to subgroup membership. Future research should evaluate whether tailoring treatments to patient characteristics will improve treatment outcome.
      462Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Family and marital profiles of couples in which one partner has depression or anxiety
    Twenty-nine couples in which one partner was depressed, 21 couples in which one partner had an anxiety disorder, and 26 nondistressed control couples were compared on measures of (1) quality of life, stress, and social support; (2) family functioning; (3) marital functioning; and (4) relationship attributions. The depressed group had significant difficulties in all four domains. In contrast, the control group showed minimal difficulties. The profile of the anxious group occupied an intermediate position between those of the other two groups, with some difficulties in all four domains, although these were less severe and pervasive than those of the depressed group..
      544Scopus© Citations 18