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About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a range of key areas of expertise.
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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Psycho oncology Research Group
Psycho oncology Research Group
Professor Ruth Curtis
School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Dr. AnnMarie Groarke
School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Dr AnnMarie Groarke, is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and is currently Head of School. Her main research interests focus on adjustment to illness. She has conducted longitudinal investigations of the role of illness beliefs, coping and perceived stress in women with rheumatoid arthritis. Over the last 8 years she developed a programme of collaborative research on the psychological impact of cancer with Professor Ruth Curtis and they set up the psycho-oncology group in the School in recent years. They published an RCT testing the efficacy of a stress management programme for women with breast cancer, the largest trial to date in Ireland on this topic and they are currently examining the predictors and outcomes of post traumatic growth in this group over time. They also study the role of stress, self efficacy and disposition in predicting variability in adjustment of men with prostate cancer. Research collaborators include Professor Michael Kerin, School of Medicine and Breast Symptomatic Centre UHG and Prof Frank Sullivan Prostate Cancer Institute NUIG. This research has been funded by NBCRI, CCW and Millennium funds NUIG . In 2014 AnnMarie held a visiting scholar appointment at the Dept of Psychology, University of Miami, USA, a leading centre of psycho-oncology research.
Dr Jane Walsh
School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Jane’s research has focused mainly on developing health behaviour interventions in both the public health domain and in health care settings, with a particular focus on preventive health behaviours (e.g. exercise, diet, cancer screening, vaccination).
Jane has worked in several multidisciplinary teams to develop theory-based interventions in applied settings and has obtained funding for her research from the HRB, IRC, HSE and the Millennium Fund and published her research internationally in high quality journals.
View: Staff Profile
Dr. Brian McGuire
Dr. Brian McGuire is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. He worked initially as a research psychologist in brain injury rehabilitation in London. He then moved to Sydney where he spent the next 10 years lecturing in psychology and working as a clinical psychologist. He joined NUIG in 2003 and is the former Director of the Doctor of Psychological Science programme in Clinical Psychology and Joint Director of the Centre for Pain Research. His clinical work is primarily in behavioural medicine, such as pain management and diabetes care. His research interests are in pain management, diabetes, and adjustment to chronic physical illness. He was recently awarded a HRB Research Leader award in the area of E-Health.
Dr. Jim Duggan, Senior Lecturer
Vice-Dean of Research and Graduate Studies,
College of Engineering and Informatics.
Jim’s main research interests are the application of informatics, modelling and simulation to support public health policy formulation and targeted interventions. He is Project Leader for Ireland’s first participatory surveillance system for influenza monitoring, and is part of an EU-wide initiative to track – in real time - the spread of seasonal flu. He is collaborating on a number of public health initiatives, including: the design of mHealth applications to support wellbeing, long-term capacity analysis of Ireland’s health system, and the use of exploratory data analysis to diagnose diabetes self-management strategies.
Dr. Susie Kola-Palmer CPsychol, CSci, AFBPsS, FHEA
Susie is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and the Associate Director of the Quantitative Research Methods Training Unit (QRM-TU) at the School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield.
Her research relates to psychosocial factors in cancer, with particular expertise in cervical cancer screening. Susie has published extensively in high impact international journals. Ongoing research projects include assessing HPV knowledge in women, psychosocial consequences of long-term cancer survivorship, and experiences of diagnostic testing in cervical cancer screening.
Ms Teresa Corbett, PhD student, Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Teresa Corbett graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.A. in Psychology in 2011 and obtained a MSc. in Health Psychology from NUI, Galway in 2012. She is currently a PhD student in the Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, at NUI Galway. Her research is funded by the Cancer Care West Hardiman Scholarship. Teresa’s research relates to the potential for psychological therapies to be used to help cancer survivors suffering with cancer-related fatigue, with a focus on e-Health interventions.
Ms Leonor Rodriguez, PhD Student, Structured PhD in Child and Youth Research. School of Psychology and Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway
Leonor’s research examines the relationship between perceived social support and adjustment of adolescent children of mothers who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. It also explores if this relationship is moderated and mediated by coping styles, perceived stress levels, self-efficacy and the mother-adolescent relationship. The study will also pilot test the efficacy of a web based intervention to improve perceived social support and the process of adjustment in adolescents providing adolescents with skills like stress management, assertive communication, social skills, social support, help seeking and anger management.
Ms Emma Carr, MSc Health Psychology Student,School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Emma completed her Higher Diploma in Psychology at NUIG. For her H.Dip research Emma investigated whether a smartphone app using the mechanisms of goal-setting and social support can improve participant’s perceived behavioural control and intentions thereby increasing their fruit and vegetable intake.
Emma’s MSc research is an investigation into the efficacy of a smartphone application promoting breast awareness protective behavioursin women.
Ms Deirdre Walsh, PhD Graduand, Structured PhD in Psychology and Health, School of Psychology, NUI Galway
Deirdre Walsh graduated from NUI Maynooth with a B.A. in Psychology in 2010 and obtained a MSc. in Applied Positive Psychology from University of East London in 2011. Deirdre has recently completed here Strucutred PhD in Psychology and Health, at NUI Galway under the supervision of Dr. AnnMarie Groarke. Her research was funded by the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies fellowship. Deirdre’s research explores positive changes that individuals may experience as a result of a physical trauma known as ‘physical post traumatic growth’ (e.g., improved lifestyle behaviours following cancer). Her research has developed the first psychometric measure of physical post traumatic growth in prostate cancer. It also examines its role in predicting emotional adjustment, quality of life and health behaviour in men treated for prostate cancer within the previous ten years.
Dr Andrea Gibbons
Graduate of Psychology and Health structured PhD programme NUI Galway
Currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow Health Psychology Research Unit, Royal Holloway, University of London
Andrea completed her PhD at NUI, Galway in 2013. Her PhD was funded by a Lady Gregory Doctoral Research Fellowship from the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies, and the Irish Research Council. It examined the role of the Self-Regulatory model, and specifically illness perceptions, in determining breast cancer-related distress in both healthy women and women with breast cancer. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Royal Holloway University of London, and is working on an NIHR-funded project Access to Transplantation and Transplant Outcomes Measures (ATTOM) which aims to improve equity of access to kidney and pancreas transplantation across the UK.
Prior to her PhD studies Andrea completed her M.Psych.Sc. in Health Psychology in NUI, Galway in 2006. She then worked as a research assistant in the School of Psychology in NUI from 2006 to 2008 on a HRB/HSE West funded project that examined GPs’ clinical judgements and decisions in people with chronic low back pain.
Cancer Care West Hardiman Scholarship (2012-2016) http://www.cancercarewest.ie/research/our-hardiman-scholars/
Title of study: A Web-based Tailored Program for Disease-free Cancer Survivors with Cancer-related Fatigue: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Principal investigator: Ms. Teresa Corbett
Co-applicants: Dr. Jane Walsh, Dr. Brian McGuire, Dr. AnnMarie Groarke.
Funding amount: €85,000
Programme aim: This study aims to answer the following questions:
- What is the current state of the literature relating to interventions for cancer related fatigue in post-treatment cancer survivors?
- What are the illness perceptions of cancer survivors with persistent fatigue? (Focus groups)
- Is an online cognitive behavioural intervention more effective than a usual care control condition in reducing fatigue as measured by the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI)? (Pilot RCT)
The goal of this research is to create achievable solutions that can be incorporated into the daily life of survivors, leading to more successful long-term implementation.This project will add to our existing knowledge of the area in several ways:
- Providing an extensive interdisciplinary analysis of the potential psychological correlates of CRF.
- A study of the psychosocial mechanisms involved in the experience of cancer patients.
- Evaluating an intervention that could greatly improve quality of life in cancer survivors
It is hypothesised that an online cognitive behavioural intervention- based on previous research- will reduce fatigue in survivors of cancer
Title of study: An M-Health Intervention to Increase Breast Self Awareness Behaviour in Women at Risk of Breast Cancer.
Researchers: Emma Carr, Jane C. Walsh, AnnMarie Groarke, Jim Duggan.
Aim of study: To investigate if a smartphone app using the mechanisms of goal-setting can improve participant’s perceived behavioural control (PBC) and intentions thereby increasing breast awareness behaviours (FVI).
Title of Study: Adolescent adjustment to maternal cancer (AMC Study)
Researchers: Leonor Rodriguez, Dr. AnnMarie Groarke, Professor Pat Dolan.
The AMC stands for ‘Adolescent Adjustment to Maternal Cancer’. This study seeks to understand the experience of adolescents between 14 and 19 years of age who have a mother diagnosed with cancer in the past 24 months. It focuses on identifying adolescent support needs and the coping strategies that helps their adjustment.
The AMC study also includes a general life skills programme to assist with adolescent adjustment. The programme consists of 8 sessions covering themes like social skills, social support, communication, stress management and cancer.
Aims of the study:
- Asses the level of perceived social support (.a sources b. types and c. qualities) and the level of adjustment in a sample of adolescents of mothers with cancer.
- Identify the contribution of individual differences in perceived social support, perceived stress, coping self-efficacy and the mother -adolescent relationship in the level of adolescent adjustment (mood and well-being) within a year since diagnosis.
- Determine the mediating and moderating effects of coping, perceived stress, mother- adolescent relationship and self-efficacy in the relationship between perceived social support and adjustment (mood and wellbeing) to maternal cancer.
- Having identified important social support needs of adolescents adjusting to maternal cancer, design and pilot test the effectiveness of a web based intervention to enhance perceived social support and adjustment of these adolescents
Funded by the Irish Research Council.
- Kola-Palmer, S. & Walsh, J.C. (in press) Correlates of psychological distress immediately following colposcopy. Psycho-Oncology.
- Gibbons, A., & Groarke, A., (in press). Can risk and illness perceptions predict breast cancer worry in healthy women? Journal of Health Psychology.
- Curtis, R. Groarke, A. & Sullivan, F. (2014). Stress and self-efficacy predict psychological adjustment at diagnosis of prostate cancer. Sci.Rep 4, 5569; DOI:10.1038/srep05569.
- Curtis, R., Groarke, A., McSharry, J. & Kerin, M. (2014). Experience of Breast Cancer: Burden, Benefit or Both? CancerNursing. 3, PE21-E30 DOI:10.1097/NCC.06013
- Groarke, A., Curtis, R. & Kerin, M. (2013). Cognitive-behavioural stress management enhances adjustment in women with breast cancer. British Journal of Health Psychology. 18, 623-641
- Groarke, A., Curtis, R. & Kerin, M. (2013) Global stress predicts both positive and negative emotional adjustment at diagnosis and post surgery in women with breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology 22, 177-183.
- Kola, S., Walsh, J.C., Hughes, B.M. & Howard, S. (2012). Matching intra-procedural information with coping styles reduces psychophysiological arousal in women undergoing colposcopy. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 36 (4). pp. 401-412. ISSN 0160-7715
- Kola, S & Walsh, J.C. (2012) Determinants of pre-procedural state anxiety and negative affect in first-time colposcopy patients: implications for intervention. European Journal of Cancer Care. 21 (4). pp. 469-476. ISSN 0961-5423
- Kola, S., Walsh, J.C., Hughes, B.M. & Howard, S. (2012). Attention focus, trait anxiety and pain perception in patients undergoing colpscopy. European Journal of Pain, 16 (6), pp. 890-900. ISSN 1532-2149
- Kola, S & Walsh, J.C. (2012). Dysplasia severity, but not experiences during colposcopy predict adherence to follow up colposcopy. Psycho-Oncology, 21 (3), pp. 291-296. ISSN 1057-9249
- Kola, S. & Walsh, J. (2009). Patients psychological reactions to colposcopy and LLETZ treatment for further evaluation of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology, 146, 96-99.
- Walsh JC. (2006). The impact of knowledge, perceived barriers and perceptions of risk on attendance for a routine cervical smear. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, vol 11(4): pp 291-296.
- Walsh JC (2005). Increasing screening uptake for a cervical smear test: Predictors of attendance and the use of action plans in prior non-attenders. Irish Journal of Psychology, vol 26 (1-2), pp. 65-73.
- Walsh JC, Curtis R, Mylotte M. (2004). Anxiety levels in women attending a colposcopy clinic: A randomised trial of an educational intervention using video colposcopy. Patient Education and Counseling, vol 55(2): pp 247-251.
- Groarke, A, Curtis R., Hogan, M, Gibbons, A., & Groarke, J . Predictors of mood and benefit finding in breast cancer patients over 18 months post-diagnosis. 28th European Health Psychology Society Conference, Innsbruck, Austria, September 2014.
- Corbett, T., Walsh, J., Groarke A.M., Devane, D. and McGuire, B. (2014), Systematic review of Randomised Controlled Trials of Psychosocial Interventions for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Adult Post-treatment Cancer Survivors, Presented at PHM 11th Conference, Limerick (Poster)
- Corbett, T., Walsh, J., Groarke A.M., Devane, D. and McGuire, B. (2014), Systematic review of Randomised Controlled Trials of Psychosocial Interventions for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Adult Post-treatment Cancer Survivors, The 28th European Health Psychology Society (EHPS) Conference: “Beyond prevention and intervention: increasing well-being“, Innsbruck (Poster)
- Corbett, T., Walsh, J., Groarke A.M., and McGuire, B.(2014), "Exploring Irish individuals' perceptions of persistent cancer- related fatigue after treatment", Presented at 9th annual European Oncology Nursing Society Congress, Istanbul (Oral presentation)
- Groarke, A., Curtis, R. & Walsh, D. Predictors of adjustment in men diagnosed with prostate cancer and attending for biopsy.72nd Annual Scientific American Psychosomatic Society Conference, San Francisco, March 2014.
- Walsh, J.C., Leonard, S., Kola, S. & Birrane, J. Efficacy of an online intervention to promote uptake of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in women.27th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Bordeaux, France (July 2013).
- Groarke, A., & Curtis, R. Facing the threat of a diagnosis of prostate cancer: What predicts adjustment. 27th European Health Psychology Society Conference, Bordeaux, September 2013.
- Groarke, A., Gibbons, A.,& Curtis, R. The influence of perceptions of breast cancer on distress in healthy women. Innovations in Health Psychology, International Invited Conference, University of Auckland, New Zealand, April 2013
- Groarke, A., Curtis, R., Mc Sharry, J. Exploring the experience of stress through diary keeping in women with breast cancer. 26th European Health Psychology Society Conference, Prague, August 2012
- Groarke, A. Enhancing adjustment in women with breast cancer : Current status and future challenges. Invited keynote address Psychology Health and Medicine Conference, Queens University Belfast, April 2012
- Kola, S.,& Walsh, J.C. Biopsychosocial predictors of adherence to follow-up colposcopy in first-time patients. 25th International Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Crete. (August 2011).
- Groarke, A., Curtis, R. & Kerin. M. A Longitudinal Investigation of the Efficacy of a Psychological Intervention for Women with Breast Cancer. 25th European Health psychology Society Conference, Crete, September 2011
- Gibbons, A., & Groarke, A. (2013). Are illness perceptions and coping predictors of distress in breast cancer over time? Paper presented at the Annual European Health Psychology Society Conference, Bordeaux, France, July 2013.
- Gibbons, A., & Groarke, A. (2013). Disclosing a breast cancer diagnosis to women and their families: The role of both verbal and non-verbal communication. Paper presented at the Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, DublinCityUniversity, Dublin, Ireland, May 2013.
- Gibbons, A., Groarke, A., Curtis, R., & Keane, A.M. (2012). Coping with the consequences of chemotherapy: The qualitative experience of women with breast cancer. Paper presented at the Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork, November 2012.
- Walsh, J.C., Leonard, S., Kola, S., &. The efficacy of a web-based educational intervention in promoting the acceptability of the HPV vaccine. 25th International Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Crete. (August 2011).
- Gibbons, A., Groarke, A., Curtis, R., & Keane, A.M. (2011). How healthy women and those with the disease perceive breast cancer: Differences in illness beliefs. Paper presented at the Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, April 2011.
- Kola, S.,& Walsh, J. C. Trait anxiety and pain-related expectancy predict pre-procedural state anxiety and negative affect in first-time colposcopy patients. 31st International Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society, Galway. (August 2010).
- Kola, S.,Walsh, J. C., Hughes, B. M., & Howard, S. Attention focus, trait anxiety and pain perception in women undergoing colposcopy. 31st International Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society, Galway. (August 2010).
- Gibbons, A., Groarke, A., Curtis, R., & Keane, A.M. (2010). Perceived risk of developing breast cancer: how we phrase the question determines the answer. Paper presented at the Annual European Healthy Psychology Society Conference, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, September 2010.
- Gibbons, A., Groarke, A., Curtis, R., & Keane, A.M. (2010). Psychological determinants of breast cancer worry in healthy women. Paper presented at the Annual Stress Anxiety and Research Conference, Galway, Ireland, August 2010.
- Gibbons, A., Groarke, A., Curtis, R., & Keane, A.M. (2010). Risk perceptions, optimism and perceptions of illness: Their role in determining breast cancer worry. Paper presented at the Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, RCSI, Dublin, Ireland, March 2010.