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Catherine Comiskey
Professor, School of Nursing & Midwifery


Professor Comiskey holds a B.A.(Mod) degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin University, Ireland and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in biomathematics with statistics and epidemiology from Dublin City University, Ireland. In 2007 she was appointed by Minister of Education and Science to serve on the board of The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, (IRCSET). Prof. Comiskey has over 20 years research experience in statistics and mathematics applied to healthcare. As former Director of Research, inaugural Director of the Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation (CPHI) and Professor of Healthcare Statistics at the School of Nursing and Midwifery she has had responsibility for developing and implementing the Schools strategic plan for research and is currently leading on directing and promoting innovation and research in healthcare practice. Professor Comiskey's personal research interests are in implementation, modelling of treatment and intervention outcomes with a special interest in substance misuse, infectious diseases and children.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Carew, Anne Marie and Comiskey, Catherine , Treatment for opioid use and outcomes in older adults: A systematic literature review, Drug and Alcohol Dependence , 182, (1), 2018, p48 - 57 Journal Article, 2018 TARA - Full Text URL

Gabrielle McKee, Margaret Codd, Orla Dempsey, Paul Gallagher, Catherine Comiskey, Describing the implementation of an innovative intervention and evaluating its effectiveness in increasing research capacity of advanced clinical nurses: Using the consolidated framework for implementation research, BMC Nursing, 16, (1), 2017, p21- Journal Article, 2017 DOI TARA - Full Text

Waldron C, Macgiolla Phadraig C, Nunn J, Comiskey C, Donnelly-Swift E, Guerin S, Clarke M.J, Oral hygiene programmes for people with intellectual disabilities, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2017, (4), 2017, pCD012628- Journal Article, 2017 DOI URL

Wiessing, L., Ferri, M., Běláčková, V., Carrieri P, Friedman S.R, Folch C, Dolan K, Galvin B, Vickerman P, Lazarus J.V, MravÄ Ã­k V, Kretzschmar M, Sypsa V, Sarasa-Renedo A, UuskÃ"la A, Paraskevis D, Mendão L, Rossi D, van Gelder N, Mitcheson L, Paoli L, Gomez C.D, Milhet M, Dascalu N, Knight J, Hay G, Kalamara E, Simon R, Comiskey C, Rossi C, Griffiths P, Molinaro S, Franchini M, Siciliano V, Benedetti E, Perduca M, Ylli A, Anta G.B, Bravo Portela M.J, Indave I, Rácz J, Zábranskỳ T, Å tefunková M, Dávila P.F, Salekesin M, Vorobjov S, Dan M, Fierbinteanu C, Popescu D, Verdes L, Abagiu A.-O, Hatzakis A, Moudatsou M, Antypas T, Cadet-Tairou A, Collins A.M, Liddell D, Monitoring quality and coverage of harm reduction services for people who use drugs: A consensus study, Harm Reduction Journal, 14, (1), 2017, p19- Journal Article, 2017 URL DOI

Emma Atkin-Brenninkmeyer, Fiona Larkan and Catherine Comiskey , Factors concerning access to a potential drug consumption room in Dublin, Ireland , Cogent Social Sciences, 3, (1), 2017, p1398207- Journal Article, 2017 URL

Comiskey, C. M., Milnes, J and Daly, M, Parents who use drugs: the wellbeing of parent and child dyads among people receiving harm reduction interventions for opiate use. , Journal of Substance Use, 22, (2), 2017, p206-210 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Using Implementation Science to Guide Leadership and Determine Readiness for Change in Healthcare in, editor(s)Curtis E. and Cullen, J. , Leadership and Change for the Health Profession, UK, Open University Press, 2017, ppChapter 17 , [Comiskey, C.M and Sheehan, A. ] Book Chapter, 2017

Hanway A, Comiskey C.M, Tobin K, O'Toole R.F, Relating annual migration from high tuberculosis burden country of origin to changes in foreign-born tuberculosis notification rates in low-medium incidence European countries, Tuberculosis, 101, 2016, p67 - 74 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Hyland, J. M., Hyland, P. K., & Comiskey, C. M., Victimisation in urban primary schools of high poverty areas: Associations with health-related quality of life, depression and social support., Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2016, p1- Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Curtis E, Comiskey C, Dempsey O, Importance and use of correlational research, Nurse Researcher, 23, (6), 2016, p20 - 25 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Comiskey C.M, Hyland J, Hyland P, Parenthood, Child Care, and Heroin Use: Outcomes After Three Years, Substance Use and Misuse, 51, (12), 2016, p1600 - 1609 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL

Comiskey, C.M., Hyland, J. and Cummins, P. , Longer term treatment outcomes for parents and non-parents who use drugs and have children in their care , Substance Use and Misuse , 51, (12), 2016, p1600 - 1609 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Comiskey C.M, Snel A, Using client's routine urinalysis records from multiple treatment systems to model five-year opioid substitution treatment outcomes, Substance Use and Misuse, 51, (4), 2016, p498 - 507 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Yvonne Leckey, Lynda Hyland, Gráinne Hickey, Anne Lodge, Paul Kelly,Tracey Bywater, Catherine Comiskey, Michael Donnelly & Sinéad McGilloway , A mixed-methods evaluation of the longer-term implementation and utility of a teacher classroom management training programme in Irish primary schools, Irish Educational Studies, 35, (1), 2016, p35 - 55 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Coyne I, Comiskey C, Lalor J, Higgins A, Elliott N, Begley C., An exploration of clinical practice in sites with and without clinical nurse or midwife specialists or advanced nurse practitioners, in Ireland, BMC Health Services Research, 16, (1), 2016, p151- Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text DOI

Smith, E, Comiskey, C.M and Carroll A, Prevalence and risk factors for osteoporosis in adults with acquired brain injury., Irish Journal of Medical Science, 185, (2), 2016, p473 - 481 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Sheehan A, Comiskey C, Williamson C, Mgutshini T., Evaluation of the implementation of a PhD capacity-building programme for nurses in South Africa., Nursing Research, 64, (1), 2015, p13-23 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text DOI

Elizabeth A. Curtis, Catherine Comiskey and Orla Dempsey, Correlational Research: Importance and Use in Nursing and Health Research, Nurse Researcher, 23, (6), 2015, p20 - 25 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text

Prof. Catherine Maria Comiskey, Scaling up nurse education: An evaluation of a national PhD capacity development programme in South Africa, in the context of the global shortage of nursing graduates, Nurse Education Today, 35, (5), 2015, p647-652 Journal Article, 2015 DOI TARA - Full Text

Comiskey, C., O'Sullivan, K., Quirke, M., Wynne, C., Hollywood, E., McGilloway, S, An analysis of the first implementation and impact of the World Health Organisation's health promoting school model within disadvantaged city schools in Ireland, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 10, (4), 2015, p281 - 293 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

O'Toole RF, Jackson S, Hanway A, O'Donnell J, Comiskey CM, Rogers TR, O'Flanagan D, Tuberculosis incidence in the Irish Traveller population in Ireland from 2002 to 2013., Epidemiology and infection, 2015, p1-7 Journal Article, 2015 DOI TARA - Full Text

Comiskey, C.M., The Australian Treatment Outcome Study - implications for treatment philosophies, policy, political processes and practice. Invited commentary on Teesson et al (2015). , Addiction, (110), 2015, p994-995 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Wynne C, Comiskey C, McGilloway S. , The role of body mass index, weight change desires and depressive symptoms in the health-related quality of life of children living in urban disadvantage: testing mediation models. , Psychology and Health , 2015, p147 - 165 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Murphy, E & Comiskey, C.M. , Modelling the Impact of Place on Individual Methadone Treatment Outcomes in a National Longitudinal Cohort Study, Substance Use & Misuse, 50, (1 ), 2015, p99-105 Journal Article, 2015

Smith, E., Brosnan, M., Comiskey, C., Synnott, K. , Road collisions as a cause of traumatic spinal cord injury in Ireland, 2001-2010, Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, 20, (2), 2014, p158-165 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Dempsey, O. & Comiskey, C.M., Estimating the prevalence of problem drug use, Mathematical Population Studies: An International Journal of Mathematical Demography, 21, (2), 2014, p65 - 77 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

Comiskey C, Coyne I, Lalor J, Begley C., A national cross sectional study measuring predictors for improved service user outcomes across clinical nurse or midwife specialist, advanced nurse practitioner and control sites, Journal of Advanced Nursing , 70, (5), 2014, p1128-37 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Farrell, G, Comiskey, C, Dualities of Living With HIV/HCV Co-Infection: Patients' Perspectives From Those who are Ineligible for or Nonresponsive to Treatment, JANAC-JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF NURSES IN AIDS CARE, 25, (1), 2014, p9-22 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

McGilloway, S., Ni Mhaille, G., Bywater, T., Leckey, Y., Kelly, P., Furlong, M., Comiskey, C., O'Neill, D. and Donnelly, M. , Reducing child conduct disordered behaviour and improving parent mental health in disadvantaged families: A 12-month follow-up and cost analysis of a parenting intervention. , European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , (1), 2014, p783-794 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

Wynne C., Comiskey CM, McGilloway S, Quirke MB, O'Sullivan K, Hollywood E. , The relationship between body mass index and health related quality of life in urban disadvantaged children, Quality of Life Research, 2014, p1895-1905 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

Quirke,M.B., McGilloway, S., Comiskey, C., Wynne, C., O'Sullivan, K., Hollywood, E. , Bicycle Helmet Wearing in a Sample of Urban Disadvantaged Primary School Children., Irish Medical Journal, 106, (4), 2013, p102-4 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Comiskey, C., Dempsey, O., Simic, D. & Baros, S., Injecting drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men: a national cross-sectional study to develop a framework and prevalence estimates for national HIV/AIDS programmes in the Republic of Serbia, BMJ Open, 3, (5), 2013 Journal Article, 2013 TARA - Full Text DOI

Comiskey, C.M. , A 3 year national longitudinal study comparing drug treatment outcomes for opioid users with and without children in their custodial care at intake. , Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment , 44, (1), 2013, p90 - 96 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Lalor, J Casey, D Elliott, N Coyne, I Comiskey, C Higgins, A Coyne I, Murphy K, Devane D, Begley C, Using case study within a sequential explanatory design to evaluate the impact of specialist and advanced practice roles on clinical outcomes: The SCAPE Study, BMC Medical Research Methodology , 2013, p13:55- Journal Article, 2013 DOI URL TARA - Full Text

Emma L. Murphy, Catherine M. Comiskey , Using chi-Squared Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) modelling to identify groups of methadone treatment clients experiencing significantly poorer treatment outcomes., Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment , 45, (4), 2013, p343 - 349 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Begley C., Elliott N., Lalor J., Coyne I., Higgins A. & Comiskey C.M. , Differences between clinical specialist and advanced practitioner clinical practice, leadership, and research roles, responsibilities, and perceived outcomes (the SCAPE study), Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69, (6), 2013, p1323 - 1337 Journal Article, 2013 URL DOI

Dempsey O, Comiskey, C., McKee, G., Gallagher, P., Codd M., Deegan, C., O'Grady, J., Nestor, G. & Roche, M, Developing and evaluating an innovation to enhance nurse led practice based research, 32nd Annual International Nursing and Midwifery Research and Education: Nursing in times of Austerity, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, 20th-21st Feb, 2013 Oral Presentation, 2013

Tobin, K. and Comiskey, C.M. , A novel application of a classical method for calculating the basic reproductive number, R0 for a gender and risk structured transmission dynamic model of Human Papilloma virus infection., International Journal of Biomathematics, 6, (6), 2013, p1350046- Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Hollywood, E., Comiskey, C., Begley, T., Snel, A., O'Sullivan, K., Quirke, M. And Wynne, C. , Measuring and modelling body mass index among a cohort of urban children living with disadvantage. , Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69, (4), 2013, p851 - 861 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Analysing Data from Small and large samples and Non-normal and normal distributions in, editor(s)Elizabeth A. Curtis & Jonathan Drennan , Quantitative Health Research: Issues and Methods, UK, Open University Press, 2013, [Catherine Comiskey & Orla Dempsey] Book Chapter, 2013

Gabrielle McKee, Catherine Comiskey,Orla Dempsey, Paul Gallagher , Margaret Codd, Lucy Kielty, Catherine Deegan , Evaluating an initiative to develop and enhanse the research capacity of nurses in practice , CARN/IPDC Conference 2012: Towards Creative Action : Transformations and Collaborations in Practice, AShton , Kent., 23-25 November 2012, 2012 Meeting Abstract, 2012

Comiskey, CM, O'Sullivan, K, Milnes, J, Regional Drug User Services in Times of Scarce Financial Resources: Using a Rapid Assessment Response Approach to Evaluate, Plan, and Prioritize Essential Services, SUBSTANCE USE & MISUSE, 47, (3), 2012, p254-264 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

O'Rourke M., Comiskey C., Nicholl H., Elliot N.& Sheehan M., The challenges of undertaking family focused research , 31st Annual International Nursing& Midwifery Research & education Conference , RCSI Dublin, 22/23 February , 2012, pp69- Meeting Abstract, 2012

Catherine M. Comiskey, Robert Stapleton and Paul A. Kelly , Ongoing cocaine and benzodiazepine use: Effects on acquisitive crime committal rates amongst opiate users in treatment ., Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 19, (5), 2012, p406-414 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Coyne I, Dempsey O & Comiskey C, Life as a child and young person in Ireland: Report of a National Consultation. , Dublin , Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Government Publications,, November, 2012, p1 - 98 Report, 2012 URL TARA - Full Text URL

Comiskey, C.M., O'Sullivan, K., Quirke, M.B., Wynne, C., Kelly, P. and McGilloway, S, Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Childhood Development Initiative's Healthy Schools Programme, Dublin, Ireland, Childhood Development Initiative (CDI). , 2012, 1, 166 Report, 2012 TARA - Full Text URL

McGilloway, Sinead; Mhaille, Grainne Ni; Bywater, Tracey; Furlong, Mairead; Leckey, Yvonne; Kelly, Paul; Comiskey, Catherine; Donnelly, Michael, A parenting intervention for childhood behavioral problems: A randomized controlled trial in disadvantaged community-based settings., Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, (1), 2012, p116 - 127 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text DOI

Comiskey, C., O'Sullivan, K., Quirke, M., Wynne, C., & Hollywood, E., Baseline results of the first healthy schools evaluation among a community of young, Irish, urban disadvantaged children and a comparison of outcomes with international norms., Journal of School Health, 82, (11), 2012, p508 - 513 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Cox, Gemma, M. and Comiskey, C.M., Does Concurrent Cocaine Use Compromise 1-Year Treatment Outcomes for Opiate Users. , Substance Use and Misuse, 46, (9), 2011, p1206 - 1216 Journal Article, 2011 DOI

Dempsey, O. and Comiskey, C.M. , Estimating the incidence of hidden untreated opiate use, Mathematical Population Studies: An International Journal of Mathematical Demography , 18, (3), 2011, p172 - 188 Journal Article, 2011 DOI

Smith, E., Comiskey, C.M, Carroll, A and Ryall N, A study of bone mineral density in lower limb amputees at a National Prosthetics Centre, Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics., 23, (1), 2011, p14 - 20 Journal Article, 2011 DOI

Professor Catherine M. Comiskey, Dr Orla Dempsey and Ms Anne Snel , The National Prevalence of Most at Risk Populations (MARP) for HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Serbia 2010, The Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Health, the Republic of Serbia, August, 2011 Report, 2011

Stapleton, R. and Comiskey, C.M., Anxiety and depression among opiate users who misuse substances during treatment. , Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 28, (1), 2011, p6 - 12 Journal Article, 2011 URL

Begley C, Murphy K, Higgins A, Elliott N, LALOR J, Sheerin F, Coyne I, Comiskey C, Normand C, Casey C, Dowling M, Devane D, Cooney A, Farrelly F, Brennan M, Meskell P, MacNeela P, An Evaluation of Clinical Nurse and Midwife Specialist and Advanced Nurse and Midwife Practitioner Roles in Ireland (SCAPE), Dublin, National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery, 2010, 1-497 Report, 2010 URL

O'Sullivan, K., Comiskey, C., McGilloway, S., Quirke, M., Hollywood, E., & Wynne, C. , Process Evaluation in Primary Based Longitudinal Research, The 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference: Transforming Healthcare through Research and Education, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 4th & 5th November, , 2010, pp98- Meeting Abstract, 2010

Comiskey, C.M. and Stapleton, R, Longitudinal Outcomes for Treated Opiate Use and the Use of Ancillary Medical and Social Services, Substance Use and Misuse, 45, (4), 2010, p628 - 641 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

Comiskey, C.M. and Stapleton, R., Treatment pathways and longitudinal outcomes for opiate users: Implications for treatment policy and planning, Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 17, (6), 2010, p707 - 717 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

Begley C, Murphy K, Higgins A, Elliott N, Lalor J, Sheerin F, Coyne I, Comiskey C, Normand C, Casey C, Dowling M, Devane D, Cooney A, Farrelly F, Brennan M, Meskell P, MacNeela P. , An Evaluation of Clinical Nurse and Midwife Specialist and Advanced Nurse and Midwife Practitioner Roles in Ireland (SCAPE), Dublin, National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland, December, 2010, 1-467 Report, 2010 TARA - Full Text

Hollywood, E., Comiskey, C., McGilloway, S., O'Sullivan, K., Quirke, M., & Wynne, C. , BMI Measurement in Primary School Based Longitudinal Research, The 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference: Transforming Healthcare through Research and Education, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 4th & 5th November, , 2010, pp61- Meeting Abstract, 2010

Quirke, M., McGilloway, S., Comiskey, C., Wynne, C., O'Sullivan, K., and Hollywood, E. , A framework for Navigating the Ethical considerations Involved in Primary School based Longitudinal Research., 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference: Transforming Healthcare through Research & Education., School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Nov 2011, edited by School of Nursing and Midwifery , School of Nursing and Midwifery, 2010 Meeting Abstract, 2010

Sinéad McGilloway, Lynda Hyland, Gráinne Ní Mháille, Anne Lodge, Donal O'Neill, Paul Kelly, Yvonne Leckey, Tracey Bywater, Catherine Comiskey and Michael Donnelly , Positive classrooms, Positive Children: A Randomised Controlled Trial to investigate the effectiveness of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management programme in an Irish context (Short-Term Outcomes) , Dublin, Ireland, Archways, Ireland, 2010 Report, 2010 URL

Comiskey, C.M. and Cox, G., Analysis of the impact of treatment setting on outcomes from methadone treatment, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment,, 39, (3), 2010, p195 - 201 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

C. Comiskey, F. Larkan, A national cross-sectional survey of diagnosed sufferers of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: pathways to diagnosis, changes in quality of life and service priorities, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 179, 2010, p501 - 505 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

Comiskey, C., McGilloway, S., Quirke, M., Wynne, C., Hollywood, E., & O'Sullivan, K. , Primary School Based Longitudinal Research: baseline results from a study evaluating a healthy schools intervention among 500 children, The 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference: Transforming Healthcare through Research and Education, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 4th & 5th November, , 2010, pp33- Meeting Abstract, 2010

Quirke, M., McGilloway, S., O'Sullivan, K., Wynne, C., & Comiskey, C. , An evaluation of the impact of a whole school approach to health promotion on the psychological well being of primary school children living in a disadvantaged area of Ireland: Baseline findings. , Psychology and Health, Psychological Society of Ireland, Ireland, October 2010, 25, (6), 2010 Poster, 2010

Wynne, C., Comiskey, C., McGilloway, S., Hollywood, E., Quirke, M., & O'Sullivan, K. , The Practicalities of Surveying Children in Primary School Based Longitudinal Research. , The 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference: Transforming Healthcare through Research and Education, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 4th & 5th November, , 2010, pp135- Oral Presentation, 2010

Wynne, C. and Comiskey, C.M., The health outcomes of children living with parental substance use, Psychology and Health, Pyschological Society of Ireland, Ireland, October 2010, 25, (6), 2010 Poster, 2010

Stapleton, R. and Comiskey, C.M., Alcohol usage and associated treatment outcomes for opiate users entering treatment in Ireland., Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 107, (1), 2010, p56 - 61 Journal Article, 2010 URL

McGilloway, S., Bywater, T., Ni Mhaille, G., Furlong, M., O'Neill, D., Comiskey, C., Leckey, Y., Kelly, P., & Donnelly, M. , Proving the Power of Positive Parenting: A Randomised Controlled Trial to Investigate the Effectiveness of the Incredible Years BASIC Parenting training programme in an Irish Context (Short-term Outcomes), Dublin, Ireland, Archways, Aug, 2009 Report, 2009

Prof C.M. Comiskey, Mr P. Kelly, Mrs Y. Leckey, Mrs L. McCulloch, Mr B. O'Duill, Dr R.D. Stapleton & Dr E. White, The ROSIE Study Drug Treatment Outcomes in Ireland, Dublin, The Stationery Office, Government Publications., June, 2009 Report, 2009 URL TARA - Full Text

Barron, C., Comiskey, C.M. and Saris, J., Prevalence rates and comparisons of obesity levels in Ireland, British Journal of Nursing, 18, (13), 2009, p799 - 803 Journal Article, 2009

Smith E., Comiskey C. & Carroll, A., A Study of Bone Mineral Density in Adults With Disability., Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90, 2009, p1127 - 1135 Journal Article, 2009 DOI

Cox, G, Kelly, P. and Comiskey, C.M.(, ROSIE Findings 5. Gender similarities and differences in outcomes at 1-year., Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs, 2008 Report, 2008 URL TARA - Full Text

Aine Carroll, Mike Barnes, Catherine Comiskey, A prospective randomized controlled study of the role of botulinum toxin in whiplash-associated disorder., Clinical Rehabilitation, 22, (6), 2008, p513 - 519 Journal Article, 2008 DOI

Comiskey, C.M., Kelly, P., Stapleton, R. , ROSIE Findings 6. .A summary of 3-year outcomes. , Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs, 2008 Report, 2008 URL

E Smith, C Comiskey, N Ryall , Prevalence and patterns of back pain and residual limb pain in lower limb amputees at the National Rehabilitation Hospital., Irish Journal of Medical Science, 177, 2008, p53 - 57 Journal Article, 2008

Comiskey, C.M., Kelly, P., Stapleton, R. , ROSIE Findings 7.A summary of outcomes for the per-protocol population, , Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs, 2008 Report, 2008 URL

Cox, G. and Comiskey, C, Characteristics of opiate users presenting for a new treatment episode: Baseline data from the national treatment outcome study in Ireland (ROSIE) , Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 11, (3), 2007, p217 - 230 Journal Article, 2007 TARA - Full Text

White, E. and Comiskey, C.M, Modelling treatment pathways and the drug using career, Mathematical Biosciences, 208, (1), 2007, p312 - 324 Journal Article, 2007 URL

Cox, G., Comiskey, C. and Kelly, P., ROSIE Findings 3: Summary of 1-year outcomes: Abstinence Modality, Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs, 2007 Report, 2007 TARA - Full Text

Comiskey, C. M., and Cox, G. , ROSIE (Research Outcome Study, Evaluating Drug Treatment Effectiveness) Baseline Data Report . , Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs, Nov, 2007 Report, 2007 URL TARA - Full Text

Cox, G., Comiskey, C. and Kelly, P, ROSIE Findings 4: Summary of 1-year outcomes: Methadone Modality, Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs, 2007 Report, 2007 URL TARA - Full Text

Comiskey, C. M., Saris, A.J. and Pugh, J. , Estimating the prevalence of opiate use in Ireland and the implications for the criminal justice system., Probation Journal: The Journal of Community and Criminal Justice, 54, (1), 2007, p22 - 35 Journal Article, 2007 URL

Cox, G., Comiskey, C. and Kelly, P, ROSIE Findings 2: Summary of 1-year outcomes: Detoxification Modality., Dublin, National Advisory Committee on Drugs. , 2007 Report, 2007 TARA - Full Text URL

White, E, Comiskey, C, Heroin epidemics, treatment and ODE modelling, Mathematical Biosciences, 208, (1), 2007, p312-324 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Pugh, Julian and Comiskey, Catherine, Drug treatment programmes in prison: longitudinal outcome evaluation, policy development and planning interventions., Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 23, (25), 2006, p63-67. Journal Article, 2006 TARA - Full Text URL

Choi, Y.H., Comiskey, C.M., Methods for providing the first prevalence estimates of opiate use in Western Australia , International Journal of Drug Policy, 14, (4), 2003, p297-305 Journal Article, 2003 DOI

Comiskey, C.M., Young people, drug use and early school leaving: Estimating the prevalence, assessing the impact and assisting policy and planning, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 10, (2), 2003, p159-168 Journal Article, 2003 DOI

Choi YH, Comiskey C, Lindsay MD, Cross JA, Anderson M, Modelling the transmission dynamics of Ross River virus in Southwestern Australia., IMA journal of mathematics applied in medicine and biology, 19, (1), 2002, p61-74 Journal Article, 2002

Comiskey, CM, Methods for estimating prevalence of opiate use as an aid to policy and planning, SUBSTANCE USE & MISUSE, 36, (1-2), 2001, p131-150 Journal Article, 2001

Comiskey CM, Barry JM, A capture-recapture study of the prevalence and implications of opiate use in Dublin., European journal of public health, 11, (2), 2001, p198-200 Journal Article, 2001 DOI

Comiskey, CM, Integral equations and estimating the incidence of HIV infection, ZEITSCHRIFT FUR ANGEWANDTE MATHEMATIK UND MECHANIK, 76, 1996, p505-506 Journal Article, 1996

Comiskey CM, Ruskin HJ, AIDS in Ireland: the reporting delay distribution and the implementation of integral equation models., Computer applications in the biosciences : CABIOS, 8, (6), 1992, p579-81 Journal Article, 1992

Comiskey CM, Measles vaccination--what percentage uptake must we aim for?, Irish medical journal, 83, (4), 1990, p155-7 Journal Article, 1990

Research Expertise


Professor Comiskey has a particular interest in the design, implementation and execution of evaluations of treatment and intervention programmes with a view to providing research based evidence for policy and service delivery decisions. She has an interest in using bio-mathematical and statistical models to identify key factors which improve the implementation and the outcomes from these treatments and interventions. Areas of application that Comiskey has worked in include substance misuse, treatment for heroin and opiate use, cocaine use, prevalence estimation of hidden phenomena, infectious diseases including HIV and AIDS, HepC, measles, HIB meningitis, HPV and cervical cancer, immunisations, physical and mental health outcomes for children from disadvantaged areas, obesity and randomised control trials.


  • Title
    • Measuring the development and well-being longitudinal outcomes of children from birth to two years following public health nurse intervention.
  • Summary
    • This is an Irish study which was undertaken in two out of the four Health Service Executive (HSE) areas in the Republic of Ireland. This is a quantitative prospective cohort study design involving a random sample of 150 children followed from birth to two years. Participants were recruited in two Health Service Executive areas and followed up by the principal investigator using repeat measurements within 3-6 weeks of birth, 4-7.5 months, 9-14 months & 23-24 months.
  • Funding Agency
    • Non-Funded
  • Date From
    • March 2009
  • Date To
    • August 2015
  • Title
    • Mathematical modelling of the impact of host and environmental risk factors on the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) within a national cohort.
  • Summary
    • The research aims to develop, simulate, and analyse an empirically accurate mathematical model for the spread of Tuberculosis. The model will estimate the number of latent infectious individuals in the population and to simulate the impact a pre-screening program would have in reducing foreign born incidences within Ireland. The model will consider seasonality and immigration, along with having a latent infectious compartment. A range of scenarios will simulated via a computer program and parameters of the model will be estimated using actual population data.
  • Funding Agency
    • Trinity College Dublin Postgraduate Research Studentship (Code 1252)
  • Date From
    • 2013
  • Date To
    • 2016
  • Title
    • An evaluation of the Zoom Boom Kids Programme informed by the Healthy Schools Evaluation
  • Summary
    • The aim of this research is to provide an evaluation of the Zoom Boom Kids Programme and its implementation. The study is an expansion of the learnings from the Health Schools Programme evaluation with an innovative technical element unique to the Zoom Boom Kids product. The principal objective of this study is to evaluate the implementation and outcome of the programme using the exact same approach as was used in the Healthy Schools Programme.
  • Funding Agency
    • An Innovation Voucher from Enterprise Ireland
  • Date From
    • December 2014
  • Date To
    • December 2015
  • Title
    • An Ethnographic Exploration of the Conditions of Possibility for Parental Participation in Policy Processes in Primary Schools in working class communities
  • Summary
    • The 'participatory citizen' is at the core of policy processes in neoliberal economies requiring citizens to be responsible, individualised and active in the process of improving their own lives. The take up, by citizens, of 'opportunities' made available by Government is identified as a route towards better lives and ultimately greater equality across society. These 'opportunities' include citizen participation in decision making in policy processes at national, regional and local levels. Schools, as apparatuses of the state, are sites for the continuous development of child education, health and well-being made realisable through various policy initiatives. Parents are identified as one of a range of key stakeholders in the decisions taken in these initiatives. However, parents from low income communities are often identified in the literature as lacking interest in participation in these practices. This study uses an ethnographic approach to the exploration of parental participation in school based decision making in working class communities. At a wider level, the study is framed by an 'equality of condition' approach which is informed by contemporary feminist perspectives on power (Butler, 1999), its role in the production of culture and consequently the reproduction of inequality in society. It takes as its point of departure the view that society and cultural life is shaped in particular ways by and in order to suit dominant groups across society. A consequence of this imbalance of power is the reproduction of inequality where access to dominant forms of power is limited for groups lower down the social hierarchy, reflecting and reinforcing their social mobility. The research draws on Skeggs' (2004) theory of self and self-making. Selves in contemporary societies are responsible, individualised and activated individuals. Self-making occurs through various processes that are part of everyday social interaction. The process of becoming a self equates to being socially mobile. However, the processes that make becoming a self possible for middle class people, are the same processes that block access to self-making, or in other words social mobility, for others. Exploration of the nature of relations between parents in working class communities and their children's schools is being undertaken in this study to explore if and how parents have access to self-making processes in the context of relations with their children's schools. The ultimate aim is to learn of the conditions of possibility for parental participation in decision making in their children's schools in the context of power relations that underscore that potential.
  • Funding Agency
    • School of Nursing & Midwifery, TCD. Studentship
  • Date From
    • 2012
  • Date To
    • 2016
  • Title
    • The BREATHE Project
  • Summary
    • A study of the development and use of assisted living technology by informal care givers and people living with chronic health conditions.
  • Funding Agency
    • Enterprise Ireland and The European Union
  • Date From
    • June 2013
  • Date To
    • September 2016
  • Title
    • Evaluating a Healthy Schools Intervention
  • Summary
    • The aim of this research is to provide a longitudinal evaluation of the Healthy Schools Program and its implementation. The principal objective of this study is to evaluate the implementation and outcome of the Healthy Schools Program. The study will assess cause and effect whereby causal inference will be achieved through the measurement of key variables and comparisons of samples on the basis of pre- and post-outcome measures. Hence, we realise our objective by measuring improvements in outcomes. There are several levels at which these outcomes can be defined and measured. In other words, to what extent is the outcome positive for the child, their family and local community as well as for society at a more global or national level. We then examine these levels within a health, social and economic context. The various elements of the survey instrumentation described model, measure and assess improvements at all of these levels.
  • Funding Agency
    • CDI with Atlantic Philanthropies and The Office of the Minister for Children
  • Date From
    • October 2008
  • Date To
    • October 2012
  • Title
    • Health Outcomes of Opiate Users and Their Children
  • Summary
    • International evidence on treatment outcomes for opiate use demonstrates that treatment works (Simpson and Sells, 1990, Gossop et al, 2003, McKeganey et al (2006) and Teeson et al 2006). Within Ireland Cox, Comiskey and Kelly (2007, 2007a, 2007b) has demonstrated that while treatment improves outcomes for drug use, crime, and social functioning little change was observed among the physical and mental health outcomes of opiate users in treatment in Ireland. Comiskey and Stapleton (2010, 2010a) in their work on additional services accessed by opiate users in treatment have highlighted that further researcher encompassing a greater range of health measures is required. Furthermore Comiskey et al (2009) found that while substances are used by the individual, the effects of substance use on the family and in particular children are considerable. Cox and Comiskey (2007) found that many current opiate users are either caring for their child in the home or have children in foster care. Children living with substance using parents are exposed to an assortment of threats to their development (Keane, 2007). Studies have found that families with a member who used drugs, whether active or stable, had consistently lower levels of well-being than families that were drug free (McKeown and Fitzgerald, 2006). The aim of this study is to provide baseline 12 and 24 month assessment of the health and well being of 200 opiate users and their children. Participants were interviewed at treatment intake and one year and two years post treatment. For ethical reasons it was not possible to implement a randomised control design however a comparison group of opiate users not in treatment were recruited. Baseline results on physical and mental health outcomes using the MAP, SF12, BDI, BAI and Kidscreen 25 are now available for opiate users in Ireland and their children. To date funding for baselineonly has been obtained.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology and Trinity College Start-up Fund
  • Date From
    • September 2009
  • Date To
    • October 2014
  • Title
    • ROSIE, The Research Outcome Study in Ireland evaluating drug treatment effectiveness.
  • Summary
    • The Research Outcome Study in Ireland (ROSIE) is the first large-scale, prospective, multi-site, drug treatment outcome study in Ireland. Using a structured questionnaire, the substance use, health, crime and social problems of 404 opiate users were assessed at treatment intake (6-months, 1-year & 3-years later). (see
  • Funding Agency
    • National Advisory Committee on Drugs
  • Date From
    • 2002
  • Date To
    • 2009
  • Title
    • National Consultation with Children and Young People on a New National Children's Strategy, 2012 - 2017
  • Summary
    • In 2011, the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (now Department of Children and Youth Affairs, DYCA) commissioned a team from Trinity College Dublin to conduct a nationwide consultation with children and young people. The consultation was underpinned by Article 12 from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which meant respect for children's views and using a child centred perspective in our research methods. The purpose of the consultation was to ensure that the needs of children and young people would be heard and documented. The aim was to provide children and young people with an opportunity to contribute to the development of the new National Children's Strategy (2012-2017). The new National Children's Strategy will set out the key objectives to guide children's policy for the next five years. The Strategy aims to improve the lives of children and promote the enhancement and protection of their rights. This wide ranging consultation will target every Primary and Post-Primary school student in Ireland.
  • Funding Agency
    • OMCYA
  • Date From
    • 2011
  • Date To
    • 2012
  • Title
    • A longitudinal analysis of the Drugs and AIDS Information System (DAIS)
  • Summary
    • An analysis of longitudinal substance use treatment outcomes.
  • Funding Agency
    • Health Service Executive
  • Date From
    • 2009
  • Date To
    • 2012
  • Title
    • Modeling Health Outcomes For Children Living With Substance Use After A Healthy School Intervention
  • Summary
    • The proposed project will be undertaken as part of a larger longitutudinal project designed to assess the process and impact of a Healthy Schools Programme (HSP) intervention on the well being of children from disadvantaged areas of Dublin (Comiskey, C.M. Principal Investigator TCD & McGilloway, S. Senior Health Psychologist, NUIM). The objective of this research is to statistically model the physical and mental health outcomes of a cohort of children living with substance use and to predict if a HSP will improve these outcomes over time. Key factors predicting positive outcomes will be identified. The principal aim of this study is to inform, aid and assist in the design and implementation of Irish Health Policy that is aimed at improving physical and mental health for Irish children living in disadvantaged areas.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Date From
    • Oct 2009
  • Date To
    • October 2012
  • Title
    • Mathematical models of the transmission dynamics and impact of immunisation on the spread of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Ireland.
  • Summary
    • This research aims to: Develop and refine existing mathematical models for the spread of HPV within Ireland; Estimate the epidemiological and transmission dynamic parameters of the model from new and existing social and medical data. Possible parameters for the model may include survival rates, age dependent probabilities of disease transmission, age dependent mixing patterns, existing prevalence rates, vaccine efficacy rates and levels of immunisation achieved; Perform computer simulations of the spread of the disease based on the mathematical model, the current initial conditions of HPV and the epidemiological parameters; Provide a range of scenario analyses based on varying levels of immunisation and efficacy Provide predictions and recommendations of levels of immunisation required in order to eradicate the disease.
  • Funding Agency
    • School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Date From
    • April 2009
  • Date To
    • December 2012
  • Title
    • Developing research skills capacity in the clinical setting
  • Summary
    • The format of the initiative is the implementation of a needs based/menu based partnership research development programme with St James hospital to be carried out over 2 years. It comprise of five main elements: .Establishment of small research groups with members of both CNS/ANP clinical staff and academic School of Nursing and Midwifery Trinity College Dublin staff which build upon the existing expertise within the Hospital and the School of Nursing and Midwifery. .Research by the team utilising the skills of both of the partners involved to facilitate the understanding, development and application of research skills to produce demonstrable output for patient care and research, e.g. statistical analysis, study design, academic writing and publication of policy documents and reports. .Measurable research outputs from leading on to major outcomes for the program as a whole for example peer reviewed academic papers which advance evidenced based nursing practice. .Identification of opportunities for inclusion in major research projects, source funding for example, from EU and Irish projects. The development of a class room, blended and e learning based programme via Trinity College to build on and develop the research skills of clinically based nurses.
  • Date From
    • Oct 2010
  • Date To
    • Dec 2012


Addiction; Addiction and substance abuse; Biostatistical methods; Cervical cancer; Child centred research questions, study design, data analysis; Clinical research, trials; Drug Abuse; Epidemiology; Health outcomes; Infectious diseases; Mathematical modelling; Population Studies; Substance Abuse; Surveys & Survey Research



Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) 2013

Inaugurial Chairperson of the Children's Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland (CRNINI) 2010 to present

Member of board of The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, (IRCSET). 2007-2010

Invited external consultant and expert statistical reviewer for the Health Techology Assessment (HTA) funding programme of the National Health Service, UK 2008 to present


Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, Chartered Mathematician 1998