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An evaluation of the Barnardo’s Ballybeg Playground Service

Dr. Eleanor Hollywood

Assistant Prof In Children’s Nursing

Dr. Hollywood, Dr Sonam Banka Cullen, Ms. Maryanne Murphy and Professor Catherine Comiskey have secured funding to conduct an evaluation of the Barnardo’s Ballybeg Playground service which serves the community of Ballybeg in Waterford. This evaluation will explore children’s experiences of their involvement in the service, what the service means to children and how it has impacted on their lives.

Barnardo’s was established by an Irish man, Dr Thomas Barnardo who was born in Dublin in 1845. The first Barnardo’s home was set up in London in 1870 for homeless boys however, the tradition expanded and in 1962 Barnardo’s established roots in Ireland. Since then, Barnardo’s has grown and evolved and today it delivers services and works with families, communities, and partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are experiencing adverse childhood experiences. One such service provided by Barnardo’s is the Ballybeg Playground service which has served the community of Ballybeg in Waterford since it opened in 1999. This supervised playground service caters for a variety of children aged between 4 and 12 years who may be experiencing adversity and trauma, may be a member of 7 the ethnic minority community, may have special educational needs, neurodiversity/sensory or processing needs. All children have the right to play as set out in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC 1989). Furthermore, play is a very important activity for children since play helps children to make sense of the world around them, it provides children with a means of expressing their feelings and also helps children to make sense of the relationships in their lives


Dr Sonam Prakashini Banka-Cullen and Professor Catherine Comiskey received first runner up award for best research poster at the Sigma Ireland Conference.

Dr. Sonam Banka

The research poster highlighted findings from the scoping review on nurse prescribing practices across the globe for Medication Assisted Treatment of the Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD). The study was undertaken by Dr Banka-Cullen and Prof. Comiskey, alongside colleagues from the University of South Florida and The Florida Department of Health.

The aim of this scoping review is to explore nurse prescribing practices for MOUD internationally.

The preliminary findings from this scoping review suggest that Nurse Prescriber (NP) waiver uptake has a significant impact on the number of patients treated. Autonomy in practice and more providers per capita lead to increased NP waiver uptake. More MOUD provision per capita also lead to increased waiver uptake. However, there are also barriers such as stigma, patients with complex needs, lack of support services, lack of confidence, and lack of NP education and support.

A special thank you to PhD candidate Sadie Lavelle Cafferkey for presenting this research project on behalf of the team.

New Article in Phlebology

Bernie Hannon, St James’s Hospital and colleagues from the Vascular Unit in St James’s Hospital, with Dr. Sharon O’Donnell (School of Nursing and Midwifery) and Geraldine Prizeman (TCPHI, School of Nursing and Midwifery) have published a paper which aimed to ascertain patients’ experience of the out-patient venous service being provided by the Unit. Overall, study findings indicate high satisfaction levels and support the management of ambulatory outpatient varicose vein endovenous ablation procedures as a feasible alternative to day surgery theatre settings.  These procedures should be the blueprint for future management of varicose vein surgery in Ireland. Please click here for futher details.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, launched the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Framework for the Care and Support of Adolescent and Young Adults (AYA) with Cancer in Ireland on 19th May 2022.

Prof. Imelda Coyne

Head of Discipline and Professor in Children’s Nursing

Tel: +353 1 896 4071

In 2019 the NCCP established a CAYA Clinical Leads group chaired by Professor Owen Smith and which included Professor Imelda Coyne, healthcare professionals, patient and advocacy groups, and survivors of childhood cancer. This group met over 2 years and young people, and families’ experience and advice were invaluable in shaping this Framework.  

This Framework will see a state of the art AYA cancer care network delivered locally where possible, but centralised when necessary, by providing separate facilities and specialist care teams in the new Children’s Hospital and three of the eight adult designated cancer centres around the country.  The three new National AYA Cancer Units will be based at St James’s Hospital, University Hospital Galway and Cork University Hospital. Please visit this link for additional information.


A qualitative evidence synthesis of women’s and maternity care providers’ views and experiences of maternity care during COVID-19

Prof. Valerie Smith

Professor in Midwifery

Tel: +353 1 896 4031

Synthesising the findings from 48 international studies, Prof Valerie Smith and colleagues report on women and maternity care providers’ experiences and views of maternity care during COVID-19. Eight themes representing the findings were identified. Five of these reflected women’s experiences: Altered maternity care (women), COVID-related restrictions, Infection prevention and risk, "the lived reality" – navigating support systems, and Interactions with maternity services. Three themes reflected maternity care providers’ experiences: Altered maternity care (providers), Professional and personal impact, and Broader structural impact. The full publication can be accessed here.


Get Wise about your health.

Dr. Eilish Burke

Ussher Assistant Professor

Tel: +353 1 896 1749

Research shows that people with intellectual disability face greater health challenges as they age, compared to people without intellectual disability (IDS-TILDA, 2017). These health challenges often present co-morbidly, and include obesity, dementia, osteoporosis, and epilepsy among other health conditions. Serious health conditions such as these require medical intervention and self-management, yet it has also been shown by studies such as IDS-TILDA, that health materials and resources are often not accessible to people with an intellectual disability as they do not meet easy read and reasonable adjustment requirements for accessibility. This makes it harder for people with an intellectual disability to manage their health care needs.

Get Wise is a recently launched health education course for people with an intellectual disability who would like to learn more about keeping healthy. The Get Wise team, led by Professor Eilish Burke, Trinity Centre for Ageing and Disability, co-created the course with people with intellectual disability to ensure it reflected their lived experience and is accessible to all. The Get Wise course consists of two modules, Get Wise about visiting the doctor and Get Wise about your bone health, and is delivered in an accessible easy-read manner. It is available in English and Dutch. Each participant will receive a certificate of achievement for completion of the course.

The course is free to join at and we hope to empower leaners with skills and knowledge to manage their own health. For more information about the project, visit or


Davina Project Report Launch

On May 18th the School of Nursing and Midwifery and a team led by Prof Catherine Comiskey and Dr Sonam Banka-Cullen launched the report ‘In Plain Sight: A Rapid Review of the International Literature and a National Estimate of the Prevalence of Women Who Use Substances and Experience Domestic Violence in Ireland.’ The work was commissioned by the SAOL Project who support women who use substances in Dublin. They received funding from Rethink Ireland Equality Fund to run a three-year pilot programme, DAVINA (Domestic Abuse/Violence Is Never Acceptable). This is the first project of its kind, with the aim to address the dual issue of substance use and domestic violence.

In Plain Sight: A Rapid Review of the International Literature and a National Estimate of the Prevalence of Women Who Use Substances and Experience Domestic Violence in Ireland.

Insights into domestic violence and substance use: report


The Irish Cancer Society Research Networking Award has offered Vanessa Boland, cancer researcher and PhD Candidate in our School, the opportunity to establish and strengthen collaborations and relationships with national and international cancer researchers

Dr. Vanessa Boland

This award enables a rich opportunity to attend the European Oncology Nursing Society and the wider European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Paris this coming September. Vanessa is motivated to build capacity in the cancer research community and this networking initiative supports the presentation of her PhD work on the needs of lymphoma survivors and for in-person networking with peers and experts in the field of cancer survivorship research across Europe.

Congratulations Vanessa!

A case study of Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services (MWRSS) children’s programme

Dr. Eleanor Hollywood

Assistant Prof In Children’s Nursing

Tel: +353 1 896 3101

Dr. Eleanor Hollywood, Dr Sonam Banka Cullen and Professor Catherine Comiskey have secured funding to conduct a case study of the children’s programme offered to children at MWRSS when they enter into refuge with their mothers. This case study will explore how children’s voice and participation is facilitated within the children’s programme at MWRSS and enquire about the challenges associated with the children’s programme from the perspectives of women, children and organisational staff.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of coercive, threatening or controlling behaviour used by one person against another within a close or intimidate relationship. Domestic abuse can often include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse and it has significant consequences for large numbers of, mostly female victims, across the globe. In Ireland, research by the National Crime Council found that 1 in 7 women have experienced abuse behaviour of a physical, emotional, or sexual nature, at the hands of a partner at some-stage during their lives. Children can be direct or indirect victims of domestic abuse meaning that they can experience abuse themselves at the hands of the perpetrator or that they can be witnesses of the abuse. Living in a home where there is domestic abuse can have a profound negative impact on a child’s development. Although a parent might try to shield a child from abuse within the home, research has shown that children have a much higher awareness of abuse than their parents realise.

School-aged children and the management of Type 1 Diabetes in the primary school environment: an investigation of how to support children, parents and schools

Dr. Eleanor Hollywood, Dr Sonam Banka Cullen, Professor Catherine Comiskey and Ms Helen Fitzgerald have secured funding to investigate how children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be supported in the primary school environment, from the perspective of the child with T1D.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a common chronic medical condition that affects many children around the world. The successful management of T1D requires close monitoring of blood glucose levels, the administration of insulin and a fine balancing of insulin requirements with food intake and physical activity. Young children with T1D rely on their parents to manage their condition, until they are old enough to understand how to self-care. There are potential life-threatening complications associated with having T1D such as the development of diabetic ketoacidosis or hypoglycaemia, both potentially life-threatening conditions which must be avoided. The reliance of young children on their parents for the management of their T1D poses challenges for parents of school-aged children. This research seeks to identify how school-aged children with T1D can be supported in the primary school setting. The study will be conducted from the perspective of the child with T1D, ensuring that the voice of the child is heard.


We are delighted to share two publications from the maternal mental health strand of the MAMMI (Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland) Study

Maternal mental health in the first year postpartum in a large Irish population cohort: the MAMMI study’ with Susan Hannon, Deirdre Gartland, Agnes Higgins, Stephanie J. Brown, Margaret Carroll, Cecily Begley & Déirdre Daly. Read more about this research here.

Resilience in the Perinatal Period and Early Motherhood: A Principle-Based Concept Analysis’ with Susan Hannon, Déirdre Daly, & Agnes Higgins. Read more about this analysis here.

Congratulations to Professor Imelda Coyne appointed as Editor-in-Chief International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health (IJAHM) Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin, Germany

Professor Imelda Coyne

Head of Discipline and Professor in Children’s Nursing

Tel: +353 1 896 4071

Imelda Coyne Professor in Children's Nursing & Co-Director of the Trinity Research in Childhood Centre (TRiCC), together with Maria Demma Cabral, Associate Professor in Adolescent Medicine & Division Chief of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, have just taken over as Co-Editors-in-Chief of International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health (IJAMH).

The International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health (IJAMH) provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the dissemination of new information in the field of adolescence. IJAMH is a peer-reviewed journal that covers all aspects of adolescence. Manuscripts will be reviewed from disciplines all over the world.

This change in leadership after 20 years is accompanied by broader changes in the journal's editorial team and a realignment of subject matter. For this reason, IJAMH will consider only Review Articles for the time being. Such articles, once accepted, will be published free of charge and immediately included in the next available issue.

Scaling EUROpean citizen driven transferrable and transformative digital health (SEURO)

Dr. John Dinsmore

Ussher Assistant Professor in Digital Health

Tel: +353 1 896 4155

A seminar and EU panel Q&A workshop will take place on ‘Innovation in User-Generated Digital Health: EU research perspectives’ on 26th April at 2pm in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.

Dr. John Dinsmore will be part of the Expert Panel and there are five speakers. Click here for more details.

Áine Teahan is the project manager and can be contacted on with any queries.

Places for this event are limited. If you would like to attend, please register here:

Congratulations to Prof Valerie Smith who has been successful in securing funding to support trial methodology activity in TCD.

Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB – TMRN)

Dr. Valerie Smith

Professor in Midwifery

Tel: +353 1 896 4031

The HRB-TMRN is a collaborative initiative involving five Irish higher education institutes NUIG, TCD, UCD, UL and UCC, as well as other national and international organisations and associated members. The mission of the HRB-TMRN is to strengthen the methodology and reporting of trials in health and social care in Ireland so that they become more relevant, accessible, and influential for all stakeholders, including policy makers and the public. The HRB-TMRN, in operation since 2014, has recently been awarded a further €3 million to support its activities over the next five years.

Professor Valerie Smith, at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, is the Partner representative for TCD, with an allocated budget of €225,000 to support local trial methodological activity, including basic trial training events, summer studentships, and trial methodology capacity building.

Further practical resources and support offered by the Network, overall, include:

  • The provision of training and education at venues nationally, increased institutional collaborations through the network, such as direct interface with the MRC-NIHR-Trials Methodology Partnership in the UK, and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN)
  • The opportunity to shape the trial methodology research agenda nationally through the inclusion of institutional and local needs
  • Greater involvement in grant proposals (including feasibility and definitive intervention applications) with local opportunities to collaborate on embedding primary methodology research work packages across grants nationally
  • Access to an experienced qualitative methods research team (QUESTS) for embedding qualitative research in your trials
  • Access to significant expertise in the development of core outcome datasets and studies within a trial (SWATs), and
  • The provision of support and advice on the challenging aspects of trial methodology with expertise across several areas including trial design and analysis, reporting and dissemination of findings and health economic evaluation.

Valerie, on behalf of the entire School Community and once again, congratulations on your fantastic achievement!