The Quadrangle, NUI Galway.
May 02 2017 Posted: 10:42 IST

New research projects to start in the areas of dementia care, cardiac care, and type 1 diabetes

Three new research projects are to begin at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, in the areas of dementia care, cardiac care, and type 1 diabetes. A total of €1.8 million has been allocated, with each project focused on improving patient care and outcomes.

Dr Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway has been funded under the ‘Definitive Interventions and Feasibility Award’ programme for research on Community Risk-based monitoring for an Atrial Fibrillation Trial. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Professor Sean Dinneen, Professor of Diabetic Medicine has secured a ‘Definitive Intervention and Feasibility Award’ for research aimed at improving outcomes for young adults living with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The study team based across the NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital campuses will work with national and international collaborators including a public and patient involvement panel (consisting of 10 young adult service users living with type 1 diabetes) to test and pilot the feasibility of a new intervention, called D1 Now.

Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, received an ‘Applied Partnership Award’ for resource allocation, priority-setting and consensus in dementia care in Ireland. The aim of this study is to address key questions regarding optimal service and support mix for people with dementia and to facilitate a more efficient and equitable resource allocation process that includes the delivery of personalised, community-based supports for people with dementia. Professor Eamon O'Shea will be working with the National Dementia Office through the Health Service Executive to develop Dementia care plans to address optimal resource allocation for different dementia case types.

The Definitive Intervention and Feasibility Award scheme is designed to boost research activity in clinical trials and interventions, whereas the Applied Partnership Award scheme aims to encourage a partnership-based, co-funding approach to nationally relevant research topics.

According to NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi: “The focus of these projects is to improve outcomes for patients with heart disease and diabetes, and to improve the provision of health services to people with dementia. We welcome the support provided by the Health Research Board for this patient-centred research which will impact on diverse patient communities.”

Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, said: “Findings from these projects have the potential to make a big impact on patient care and patient outcomes, in a relatively short space of time. Through these awards, the HRB is delivering on two key goals in our strategy. Firstly, to boost clinical trial activity in Ireland and secondly, to encourage partner driven research that addresses research questions which are directly relevant to the needs of our health service.”

Commenting on the D1 Now Study, Mary Clare O’Hara, Programme Manager of the study at Galway University Hospital, said: “Living with type 1 diabetes is demanding whatever your age. Individuals with diabetes must self-inject insulin several times a day for their entire life and monitor its effects through frequent (and painful) self-monitoring of blood glucose levels to manage this challenging condition. Even in motivated patients it can be difficult to avoid day-to-day fluctuations in blood glucose levels. This is particularly true of for young adults who have busy social, work, family and student lives. Since 2014 we have been working with our panel of young adult service users to re-imagine the way we deliver care to this population and to co-design the D1 Now intervention that we will now trial in diabetes centres in Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

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