Research Focus

PillsThe particular focus of this area of research which is led by Dr Gerry Molloy is on medication and treatment adherence across the lifespan. Adherence refers to the extent to which a person’s behaviour e.g. taking medication or taking part in rehabilitation, corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider. Non-adherence has been recognised as a major global public health problem by the World Health Organization (2003). The research conducted by the MEDAL group includes both aspects of self-management of chronic illness in older adulthood e.g. adherence to cardiovascular medications and the use of preventive medications in early adulthood e.g. adherence to the oral contraceptive pill. Self-regulation models from behavioural sciences are used to improve our understanding of the psychological and social processes in health, illness and healthcare.

Main research collaborators

The main collaborators of the MEDAL group include academic and clinical colleagues in psychology, medicine, nursing and several other allied health professionals mainly in Ireland and the UK. 

Psychology

  • Dr Molly Byrne is a Health Research Board research leader based in the School of Psychology. Molly is a co-investigator on a Crisis Pregnancy Programme funded study on adherence and uptake of hormonal and long-acting reversible contraceptives in Ireland.
  • Dr Karen Morgan is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Karen is a co-investigator on a Crisis Pregnancy Programme funded study on adherence and uptake of hormonal and long-acting reversible contraceptives in Ireland.
  •  Professor Ronan O’Carroll collaborates on a number of studies looking at adherence to medication. Ronan is a clinical and health psychologist based at the University of Stirling in Scotland.
  • Professor Andrew Steptoe is the principal investigator in the British Heart Foundation Tracking Recovery after Coronary Events (TRACE) study based in the Psychobiology Group at University College London. Dr Gerry Molloy collaborates on the analysis of the medication adherence data in the TRACE study.

Medicine

Professor Andrew Murphy is a General Practitioner and Head of the Discipline of General Practice at NUIG. Andrew is a co-investigator on a Crisis Pregnancy Programme funded study on adherence and uptake of hormonal and long-acting reversible contraceptives in Ireland.

Professor Marion McMurdo is Head of Ageing and Health at the University of Dundee and a consultant geriatrician. Marion collaborates on a series of studies looking at adherence to medications among older adults with heart failure.

Dr Miles Witham is Clinical Reader in Ageing and Health at the University of Dundee and a consultant geriatrician. Miles collaborates on a series of studies looking at adherence to medications among older adults with heart failure.

Nursing

Ms Bobbie Fulton is a research nurse based at the University of Dundee currently holding a Chief Scientists Office funded doctoral fellowship entitled: ’Improving Adherence to medication in older heart failure patients – a mixed methods study’. Gerry Molloy is part of the supervisory team for this project.

Pharmacy

Professor Carmel Hughes is a Professor in Primary Care Pharmacy at Queens University Belfast. Carmel is a member of the steering committee on the Crisis Pregnancy Programme funded study on adherence and uptake of hormonal and long-acting reversible contraceptives in Ireland. We are also developing a project with Carmel and Dr Cris Ryan who is also a pharmacist on medications management in people with dementia.

Current MEDAL group activity via Twitter

 Tweets bygerry_molloy

Current projects

 Irish Research Council PhD Scholarship (2014-2018)

 Title of study: Can m-health interventions enhance medication adherence and increase walking in at risk populations?

  •  PhD student: Eimear Morrissey
  • Supervisors: Dr Gerry Molloy and Dr Jane Walsh
  • Funding amount: Approximately €80,000
  • Programme aim: This PhD studentship aims to (1) appraise, select and synthesise all high quality research evidence in the area of m-health adherence interventions through a systematic review (2) identify/design a m-health adherence intervention using theories of self-regulation and behaviour change suitable for clinical populations  (3) conduct an exploratory randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the efficacy of a m-health based adherence intervention to enhance adherence to walking and medication

Health Research Board Project Grant (2014-2017)

 Title of study: Resistant hypertension in general practice: prevalence, prognosis, description and development of platform cohort for future research

  •  Chief Investigator: Professor Andrew Murphy
  • Co-investigators: Dr Gerry Molloy, Professor Martin O'Donnell, Dr John Newell, Professor Declan Devane, Dr Eamon Dolan
  • Funding amount: Approximately €320,000
  • Programme aim: This project will include a PhD scholarship on adherence to medication in those with resistant hypertension which will examine the role of habits in adherence to blood pressure medication.

 Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland Dementia Care Research Project Grant (2014-2017)

 Title of study: The development of a comprehensive medicines management approach for persons with dementia in primary care

  •  Chief Investigator: Professor Carmel Hughes
  • Co-investigators: Dr Cristín Ryan, QUB; Dr Gerry Molloy, NUIG et al.,
  • Funding amount: £292,925stg
  • Programme aim: This 3 year study aims to develop a comprehensive medicines management approach for persons with dementia in primary care.

 European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes  Research Grant (2014-2016)

  • Title of study: Process and outcome evaluation of the goal-setting component of a type 2 diabetes group self-management programme
  •  Chief Investigator: Dr Sean Dinneen
  • Co-investigator: Dr Molly Byrne and Professor Melanie Davies
  • Collaborator: Dr Gerry Molloy
  • Funding amount: €199,849
  • Programme aim: This study aims to better understand and assess the effectiveness of the goal setting component of DESMOND in helping people set and achieve behavioural change self-management goals. We will also explore factors that may impact on the effectiveness of goal-setting and goal attainment.
Irish Research Council  / Crisis Pregnancy Programme Research Project Award (2014 - 2015) 

 Title of study:  Adherence and uptake of hormonal and long acting reversible contraceptives in Ireland: Barriers and facilitators 

  •  Principal investigator: Dr Gerry Molloy 
  • Co-applicants: Dr Molly Byrne, NUI Galway; Professor Andrew Murphy, NUI Galway; Dr Karen Morgan, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 
  • Funding amount: €96,466 
  • Programme aim: In the proposed work we aim to answer two important questions about OCP and LARCs. First, what are the determinants of OCP use and adherence to the OCP in Irish women? Second, what are the determinants of LARCS uptake in Irish women?

 

Chief Scientist Office Doctoral Fellowship in Health Services and Health of the Public Research (2014-2017) 

  •  Title of study:  Improving Adherence to medication in older heart failure patients – a mixed methods study 
  • Principal investigator: Ms. Roberta Fulton 
  • Supervisors: Professor Marion McMurdo, Dr Miles Witham and Dr Thilo Kroll all University of Dundee; Dr Gerry Molloy, NUI Galway
  • Funding amount: £130,000 stg 
  • Programme aim: This doctoral training fellowship aims to develop a series of studies on medication adherence in heart failure (HF) and culminate in the development of a tailored intervention to enhance medication adherence in older HF patients. 
 NUI Galway Millennium Fund Small Project Grant (2013-2015)
  • Title: Augmenting medication adherence across the lifespan. Role: Principal Investigator 
  • Principal invetigator: Dr Gerry Molloy
  • Funding amount: £18,000
  • Programme aim: This small project grant aims to develop research in the area of medication adherence.

Main methodologies

A range of mostly quantitative methodologies are used in this research, however current work on contraceptives involves qualitative methods. Treatment adherence is measured using self-report, serum assays, health care records and automatic electronic monitoring. Research designs mainly include both prospective observational cohort studies and randomized controlled trials.

Current grant funding and agencies

This work is currently funded by the Irish Research Council, the Crisis Pregnancy Programme, NUI Galway Millennium Fund and the Chief Scientist Office, Scotland.

Recent key outputs

Molloy GJ, Messerli-Burgy N, Hutton G, Wikman A, Perkins-Porras L, Steptoe A (2014). Intentional and unintentional non-adherence to medications following an acute coronary syndrome: A longitudinal study.  Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 76, 420-432

Molloy GJ, O'Carroll RE, Ferguson E (2014). Conscientiousness and medication adherence: A meta-analysis. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 47, 92-101

Molloy GJ, Graham H & McGuinness H (2012). Adherence to the oral contraceptive pill: a cross-sectional survey of modifiable behavioural determinants. BMC Public Health, 838.

Molloy GJ, O’Carroll RE, Witham MD & McMurdo ME (2012). Interventions to enhance adherence to medications in patients with heart failure: A systematic review. Circulation: Heart Failure, 5, 126-33.

Molloy GJ, Randall G, Wikman A, Perkins-Porras L, Messerli-Burgy N, Steptoe A (2012). Type D Personality, self-efficacy, and medication adherence following an acute coronary syndrome. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74, 100-106.

Current postgraduate supervisees in the MEDAL group

  • Mr David Leahy (DPsychSc trainee 2011-2014)
  • Mr Kevin Treacy (DPsych trainee 2011-2014)
  • Ms. Kate Fitzpatrick MSc in Health Psychology (2013-2014)
  • Ms. Kayleigh Clarke MSc in Health Psychology (2013-2014)