AIIHPC Clinical Research Fellowships for Health and Social Care Professionals 2015
As part of its drive to develop research capacity in palliative and end of life care, AIIHPC launched a second wave of Clinical Research Fellowships worth €10,000 each in July 2015. The Fellowships are targeted at health and social care professionals involved in clinical practice in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland who are currently conducting or intend to undertake small-scale research-related projects relevant to palliative care (e.g. symptom management, psychosocial interventions, health services research).
Applicants were shortlisted in September 2015 by the following Evaluation Review Panel:
- Dr Regina McQuillan, Palliative Medicine Consultant, Beaumont Hospital & St. Francis Hospice, Dublin
- Dr Paul D’Alton, Head & Clinical Lead of the Psycho-Oncology Department, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin
- Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research, Irish Cancer Society, Dublin
- Professor Sonja McIlfatrick, Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Jordanstown
- Professor Peter Hudson, Director of the Centre for Palliative Care (St Vincent’s Hospital and Collaborative Centre of The University of Melbourne, Australia), Professor (Hon.) at The University of Melbourne and Professor of Palliative Care at Queen’s University, Belfast (UK).
AIIHPC is delighted to announce the awarding of three of these Fellowships to the following individuals:
Clinical Research Fellows 2015
- ‘Quality of Life assessment in palliative care day services’ led by Dr Mary Armstrong, Physiotherapist, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Belfast.
- ‘Neonatal palliative care: a systematic literature review to support the development of integrated care pathways for neonates with life limiting conditions’ led by Denise McGuinness, Clinical Midwife Specialist (Lactation), National Maternity Hospital, Dublin / Clinical Tutor Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.
- ‘High CRP as a predictor of specialist palliative care needs: a pilot study’ led by Dr Cliona Lorton, SpR Palliative Medicine/ Clinical Lecturer, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services.
Commenting on the Fellowships, Dr Suzanne Guerin, Interim AIIHPC Head of Research, said:
“The Clinical Research Fellowships offer individuals a valuable opportunity to undertake clinically relevant and innovative research within their area of expertise. We are delighted to award this second wave of Fellowships to three excellent individuals who represent a broad range of disciplines. It is truly positive to see such a wonderful breath of palliative care research taking place on the island of Ireland. We wish the Fellows well with their research and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes.”
The following section provides a brief overview of the Clinical Fellows and their research projects which will be undertaken over the next 10 months.
‘High C-reactive protein (CRP) as a predictor of specialist palliative care needs: a pilot study.’
Dr Cliona Lorton, SpR Palliative Medicine
Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services
Dr Lorton’s research, which she is undertaking as part of her PhD, aims to assess if inflammation, as defined by high C-Reactive Protein (CRP), predicts symptoms and quality of life in cancer and could be used as a prompt for detailed holistic assessment and SPC referral. This will be a prospective observational pilot study. Some anticipated outcomes include (i) establishing a basis for studies of immune-modulatory agents to improve symptoms, quality of life and survival in advanced cancer; (ii) improving understanding of the inflammatory process; and (iii) promoting the development of personalised cancer care. Click here for further information including a short bio for Cliona.
‘Neonatal Palliative Care: A systematic literature review to support the development of integrated care pathways for neonates with life limiting conditions.’
The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin.
Similar to other countries, Ireland has a national policy for palliative care provision requiring that palliative care be provided at different levels of expertise from specialist to basic, embedded in clinical practice. Perinatal palliative care is defined here as the planning and provision of supportive care during life and end-of-life care for a fetus, newborn infant or infant and their family in the management of an appropriate candidate condition. This proposal seeks to systematically review the literature to support the development of integrated care pathways for neonates with life limiting conditions in an Irish setting. It is anticipated that the review will inform a doctoral study. Click here for further information including a short bio for Denise.
‘Quality of Life Assessment in Palliative Care Day Services.’
Dr Mary Armstrong, Physiotherapist
Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast.
There is inconsistent research evidence on the impact of Palliative Care Day Services (PCDS) on attendees’ Quality of Life (QoL). The aim of this project is, primarily, to compare the sensitivity to change of three individualised QoL instruments among patients receiving PCDS. A secondary aim is to compare information on reliability, validity and acceptability to patients. The proposed research will be valuable to researchers engaged in designing assessments of QoL in palliative care. In palliative care research there is a dearth of good quality intervention studies and the proposed research will help ensure that rigorous evaluations are conducted in this area. Click here for further information including a short bio for Mary.