NUI Galway Conference on Mobile Technologies in Teacher Education

NUI Galway Conference on Mobile Technologies in Teacher Education-image

Monday, 11 January 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Education will host the Second International Conference on Mobile Technology in Teacher Education (MiTE) on 15 and 16 January in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway. On Friday, 15 January, the conference will provide an academic platform for emerging research, and on Saturday, 16 January, the focus will be on the practitioner application of mobile technology in the classroom, in the form of hands-on workshops and showcases on mobile apps for teaching, learning and assessment. NUI Galway’s School of Education is aware of the potential that mobile technology has for improving the teaching and learning experiences of pupils in the classroom. This two-day conference will celebrate the possibilities and explore the challenges of integrating mobile technology in teacher education and in the broader field of education in order to promote best practice by teachers, students and schools. Contributors include experts in the field of mobile technology, including representatives from mainland Europe, the US, Nordic countries and Asia. Seán Ó Grádaigh, NUI Galway’s School of Education, and Co-Chair of the MiTE 2016 Conference, said: “Mobile Technology has the ability to change how we Teach, Learn and Assess. Students can now learn when, where and how suits them best and Teacher Education can play a central role in the integration of this technology in the classroom.” Keynote Speaker Stephen Heppell is a Professor at Bournemouth University, Chair in New Media Environments, Emeritus Professor Anglia Ruskin University, and Visiting Professor of the University of Wales, Newport. Professor Heppell is best known for his work at Ultralab, part of Anglia Polytechnic University. There, he worked on education projects such as ‘Learning in the New Millennium’, ‘Schools OnLine’, development of ‘Think.com’ and ‘Talking Heads’. In 2003, he left UltraLab and is now CEO of the education consultancy firm, Heppell.net, a global and flourishing policy and learning consultancy, which now has an enviable portfolio of international projects all around the world. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of School of Education at NUI Galway, said: “My colleagues and I are delighted to be involved in this conference again this year. Mobile Technology is a significant and growing area of educational research and we welcome this opportunity to build on the School of Education’s engagement with new teaching and learning practices and approaches in the classroom.” MiTE 2016 is open to parents, teachers and students who are interested in seeing and hearing how mobile technologies, for example, smartphones/tablets, can contribute positively to the learning processes within our classrooms today. To find out more see http://www.gratek.ie/mite2016/index.php -Ends-   

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NUI Galway to Hold CAO Parents’ Information Evening

NUI Galway to Hold CAO Parents’ Information Evening-image

Monday, 11 January 2016

With the CAO deadline fast approaching on 1 February, NUI Galway will host a CAO Parents’ Information Evening for parents and Leaving Certificate students. The event will take place in Aras Moyola on campus on Tuesday, 19 January from 7–9pm. NUI Galway recognises the key role that parents play in supporting students as they take this important next step, and the CAO Information Evening will ensure that parents have access to all of the information needed in supporting their child through their University career. With over 50 degree courses on offer by NUI Galway, the evening will begin with an exhibition where lecturers and staff will be available to answer any questions. This will be then followed by College specific talks on Arts, Business, Law, Engineering and Informatics, Science, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. NUI Galway’s Student Recruitment Officer, Celine O’Donovan, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to talk to representatives from all NUI Galway’s Colleges about the subjects your son or daughter is interested in and to find out about practical issues and the wide range of support services available to our students.” If you would like to find out more about the CAO Parents’ Information Evening contact Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or email celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie -Ends-   

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NUI Galway Medical Students Celebrate Eleven Years of Teddy Bear Hospital

NUI Galway Medical Students Celebrate Eleven Years of Teddy Bear Hospital-image

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The 11th annual Teddy Bear Hospital at NUI Galway will take place Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 January. The event will see over 1,200 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their minders, 1,200 primary school children. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, and up to 200 medical and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help children, ranging in age from 3-8 years, feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. Over the years, children have come along with teddy bears suffering from an imaginative range of sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of other weird and wonderful ailments. Hannah Kielty, a second year medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of Sláinte Society, said: “This year we are celebrating the 11th year of Teddy Bear Hospital. Each year it gets bigger and better with more and more schools applying to attend. We will have a total of 1,200 children attending over the two mornings. We hope to create a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere for both the children and our volunteers, and are looking forward to a busy couple of days!” This year, 30 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the ‘waiting room’, which contains jugglers and face painters. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them. The students will have specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them.  Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Burkes Fruit and Veg, along with medical supplies sponsored by Matt O’Flaherty Chemist. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and entertainment from the juggling society in the college. Further sponsorship for these came from Electric Garden and Theatre, MPS, and Childsplay Creche Riverside. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “The Teddy Bear hospital is a magical opportunity for the society to invite the children and their teddies to campus and provide a valuable learning experience for all. It is one of the NUI Galway societies’ most colourful and endearing community outreach programme and we are thrilled with its success. Congratulations to Sláinte Society who engage such a large number of our students in this event for such a positive purpose and we look forward to a rewarding few days for all involved.” -ends- Déanann Mic Léinn Leighis OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh ar aon bhliain déag d'Ospidéal na mBéiríní Den aonú bliain déag as a chéile, beidh Otharlann na mBéiríní, ar oscailt in OÉ Gaillimh, Déardaoin, an 21 agus Dé hAoine, an 22 Eanáir. Tiocfaidh breis agus 1,200 béirín tinn chun na hotharlainne lena bhfeighlithe, 1,200 páiste bunscoile. Is é an Cumann Sláinte, craobh OÉ Gaillimh de Chónaidhm Idirnáisiúnta Chumann na Mac Léinn Leighis, agus suas le 200 mac léinn leighis agus eolaíochta a bheidh ar láimh le scrúdú leighis a dhéanamh ar na béiríní agus le cóir leighis a chur orthu. Tá súil acu go gcuideoidh an ócáid le páistí, idir 3-8 mbliana d’aois, a bheith ar a suaimhneas nuair a bheidh siad ag an dochtúir nó san otharlann. Thar na blianta, thug páistí béiríní chuig an otharlann agus iad ag samhlú go raibh réimse leathan tinnis ag gabháil dóibh cosúil le cluasa tinne, boilg bhreoite agus gach cineál gearán eile faoin spéir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Hannah Kielty, mac léinn leighis sa dara bliain in OÉ Gaillimh agus comh-iniúchóir an Chumainn Sláinte: “I mbliana táimid ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar aon bhliain déag d'Ospidéal na mBéiríní. Tá sé ag méadú bliain i ndiaidh bliana agus tá tuilleadh scoileanna ag déanamh iarratais le freastal ar an ócáid. Beidh breis is 1,200 páiste san iomlán ag freastal thar dhá mhaidin. Tá súil againn atmaisféar spraíúil, cairdiúil agus réchúiseach a chruthú do na páistí agus do na hoibrithe deonacha araon, agus táimid ag tnúth le dhá lá ghnóthacha!” I mbliana, tá 30 bunscoil áitiúil páirteach san ócáid. Nuair a thagann na páistí chuig Otharlann na mBéiríní ar an gcampas, rachaidh siad chuig an 'seomra feithimh', áit a mbeidh lámhchleasaithe agus maisitheoirí aghaidheanna ag fanacht orthu. Ansin buailfidh na páistí agus na béiríní le foireann de Dhochtúirí Béiríní agus d’Altraí Béiríní a chuirfidh scrúdú leighis orthu. Beidh meaisíní speisialta X-gha agus MRI ag na mic léinn ar fhaitíos go mbeidís ag teastáil ó na béiríní.  Beidh Cógaslann Béiríní ann chomh maith, agus beidh torthaí sláintiúla ó Burkes Fruit and Veg ann mar aon le soláthairtí leighis urraithe ag Cógaslann Matt O’Flaherty le cóir leighis a chur ar na béiríní. Nuair a bheidh an méid sin curtha díobh acu féadfaidh na gasúir am a chaitheamh ar phreabchaisleán agus beidh cumann lámhchleasaíochta an choláiste i mbun siamsaíochta. Fuarthas urraíocht bhreise ó Electric Garden and Theatre, MPS, agus Childsplay Creche Riverside. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Ríona Hughes, Oifigeach na gCumann in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is deis iontach é Ospidéal na mBéiríní don chumann chun cuireadh a thabhairt do pháistí agus a mbéiríní chuig an gcampas agus chun taithí luachmhar foghlama a thabhairt do chách. Tá sé ar cheann de na cláir for-rochtana pobail is deise agus is spraíúla atá idir lámha ag cumainn OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid an-bhródúil as chomh maith agus a éiríonn leis an ócáid. Comhghairdeas leis an gCumann Sláinte a thugann deis do líon chomh mór dár gcuid mac léinn a bheith rannpháirteach san ócáid seo do chúis chomh dearfach agus tá súil againn go mbainfidh gach a mbeidh páirteach an-sult as an gcúpla lá seo.” -críoch-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Clonmel

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Clonmel-image

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Secondary school students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Clonmel on Thursday, 28 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Cahir Road Roundabout, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a suite of Arts degree programmes including Drama, Creative Writing and Human Rights, an Energy Systems Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers, and a Marine Science degree. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience), Bachelor in Children’s Studies and the new Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours). Celine O’Donovan, Student Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Clonmel is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Clonmel, contact NUI Galway’s Student Recruitment Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or email celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-      

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‘Lectures in the Library’ to Commemorate 1916 Rising

‘Lectures in the Library’ to Commemorate 1916 Rising-image

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

As part of its programme of commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies will present a series of public lectures in Galway City Library. ‘Lectures in the Library/Léachtaí sa Leabharlann’ will explore the lives of individuals who were involved in the Irish revolution, including Peadar Kearney who wrote the ‘Soldier’s Song’, the anarchist Captain Jack White, Éamonn Ceannt, and Fr Richard Henebry, who is best known for his pioneering work on Irish traditional music. The first lecture in the series will take place on Tuesday, 26 January and will focus on Liam S Gógan (1891-1979), who coined the term ‘poblacht’, the first word in the proclamation of the Irish republic. Gógan was directly involved in the revolutionary politics that led to the Easter Rising and remained an unregenerate Irish republican throughout his life. He was also the most significant poet writing in Irish between 1916 and 1945. ‘Liam S Gógan: The poet, the pedant, and the revolutionary’, will be delivered by Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the University’s Centre for Irish Studies, and will explore the life and work of one of the most accomplished and unusual Irish poets of the twentieth century. The lectures will run each Tuesday for six weeks from 6.30-8.30pm at the Galway City Library in Augustine Street. For more details on each of the lectures visit the Centre for Irish Studies Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NUIGalwayCentreforIrishStudies. -Ends-

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What Lies Beneath - Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in our Sewers

What Lies Beneath - Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in our Sewers-image

Thursday, 14 January 2016

NUI Galway study highlights the discharge of antibiotic resistant bacteria from inadequately treated sewage to the environment in Ireland, Europe and the wider world is a serious risk to health Scientists at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway together with colleagues in UCD have carried out a study on whether antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria are present in hospital sewage, and city sewage. The results found high levels of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics in urban sewage from hospitals and from general city sewage, but that risk can be reduced greatly by an effective wastewater treatment. Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health. Bacteria are becoming resistant to more and more antibiotics and infections are more and more difficult to treat. Hospitals today are fighting the problem of infections caused by bacteria resistant to so many antibiotics that patients with these infections are very difficult to treat. Antibiotic resistance is driven by contact between bacteria and antibiotics. When we take antibiotics to treat an infection the antibiotic impacts on all the bacteria in the body not just the one causing the infection. This can drive many bacteria in the gut and skin towards antibiotic resistance. In the past we have paid much less attention to contact between antibiotics and bacteria outside the body. However a lot of the antibiotics we swallow come out in urine or faeces. Bacteria are also shed in faeces and become mixed with water and soil bacteria in sewers and treatment plants. In recent years there has been growing interest in the way in which this melting pot of bacteria and antibiotics might also contribute to this major problem of antibiotic resistance. Hospitals use a lot of antibiotics. About 1 in 3 patients in hospital are on antibiotics at any one time. Hospitals tend to use high doses or the newest and most broadly acting antibiotics because of the nature of the infections in hospitalised patients. Scientists at the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and colleagues at UCD, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, looked at whether antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria are present in hospital sewage, and city sewage. They tested to see if the antibiotic resistant bacteria can survive wastewater treatment processes and examined what is the possible risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria that are discharged into seawater from treatment plants getting back into people. The research team found high levels of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics in urban sewage from hospitals and from the general city sewage. Hospital sewage was different in that there were high levels of bacteria resistant to a number of “newer” antibiotics. The number of antibiotic resistant bacteria present were reduced greatly by effective wastewater treatment but some antibiotic resistant bacteria survive and are discharged to seawater. The team consider that the chance that people will pick up antibiotic resistant bacteria from swimming in seawater receiving properly treated sewage is very low. The team found that the predicted discharges of antibiotics into the environment from hospitals is substantial. There is evidence that some antibiotics may persist in the water and soil for long periods. Because of the effects of dilution and other factors, it is unlikely that people are exposed to sufficient antibiotics to cause direct harmful effects. However the persistence of antibiotics at low levels in soil and water may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Dr Dearbhaile Morris, Bacteriologist from the School of Medicine at NUI Galway said: “This study highlights a part of the problem of antibiotic resistance that does not receive very much attention. Our work shows that there is a risk related to antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria in sewage but that a high standard of sewage treatment goes a long way to reduce that risk. This is one more reason why the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage to the environment in Ireland or indeed anywhere in Europe or the wider world is an unacceptable risk to our health.” For a link to the study visit: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/research/health/researchreport162.html#.VpaBUFLXsSk ENDS

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NUI Galway Moves to Top 200 List of Most International Universities 2016

NUI Galway Moves to Top 200 List of Most International Universities 2016-image

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Times Higher Education World University Rankings includes NUI Galway in Top 200 List of Most International Universities in the World NUI Galway has moved to the Top 200 list of the most international universities in the world 2016, announced today, 14 January in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. Times Higher Education used the ‘international outlook’ indicator of the World University Rankings to create this list where all institutions in the top 800 of the ranking have been considered. This makes the inclusion of NUI Galway in the list of the top 200 most international universities a significant achievement. This ‘international outlook’ acknowledges that NUI Galway continues to attract the very highest calibre of staff and students. THE look at both the diversity of a university’s student body and the extent to which its academics collaborate with international colleagues, which indicate how global an institution really is, and these factors were among the 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that allowed Times Higher Education to produce the most comprehensive global university rankings in the world. This ranking further cements NUI Galway’s reputation as a top destination for International Students, having recently been awarded the Excellent International Student Satisfaction Award 2015 and also ranked 2nd in Ireland for the International Student Experience 2014-2015, with Ireland being ranked number 1 in Europe. The awards, which recognises and rewards the universities that give their international students their best study experience, are based on reviews submitted by 17,000 international students studying across Europe, who are surveyed by StudyPortals, a Netherlands-based university course site. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “This is a significant achievement for NUI Galway and reflects a sustained upward trend in these very competitive global rankings. This consistent improvement in NUI Galway’s THE World University Rankings is an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing our international reputation. As part of the University’s ambitious vision for the future we are committed to becoming a top 200 ranked university by 2020, attracting the best students, teachers and researchers, and creating a network of relationships of substance that span the globe. Today’s inclusion of NUI Galway in the THE ranking of the top 200 most international universities in the world is a tremendous reflection on our ambitious internationalisation agenda.” Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs at NUI Galway, added: “NUI Galway continues to cement its place as an internationally vibrant university, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and global reach of Galway city. One-in-five of our full-time students come here from outside Ireland to study, representing over 110 countries around the world. One-in-five of our staff are international too, bringing a huge wealth of intellectual capital and global experience to our campus, city, and region. Universities are global places, and we are proud that NUI Galway is at the forefront of this tradition.” Mr Phil Baty from Times Higher Education said: “An institution’s global outlook is one of the key markers of a prestigious university. The top institutions hire faculty from all over the world, attract students from a global market of top talent and collaborate with leading departments wherever they happen to be based. It is great news for all the institutions in the list of the most international universities in the world. It is a sign of great potential, competitiveness and dynamism.” View THE Top 200 Most International Universities 2016 World Rankings here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/200-most-international-universities-world-2016 NUI Galway World University Rankings: http://nuigalway.ie/rankings ENDS

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New Study On Antibiotic Prescribing and Consumption for Urinary Tract Infections

New Study On Antibiotic Prescribing and Consumption for Urinary Tract Infections-image

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

NUI Galway researchers study the culture of antibiotic prescribing and consumption for Urinary Tract Infections and find the need for more dialogue among GPs and Patients Researchers from NUI Galway’s School of Medicine have carried out a study to explore the culture of antibiotic prescribing and consumption in the community for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), from the perspective of the General Practitioners (GPs) and community members. Their results were published in the medical journal BMJ Open. This research provides insight into the decision-making processes contributing to the continued prescription and consumption of antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections. An antibiotic is not a satisfactory outcome from every UTI GP consultation. As a result of this qualitative research, behavioural interventions should focus on: Improving the quality of antibiotic prescribing for UTI by encouraging GPs to reflect on their current antibiotic-prescribing practices, including when they prescribe and what antibiotics they choose. Supporting a dialogue between the GP and the patient within the consultation about the positive and negative aspects of antibiotic treatment for UTI particularly when symptoms are non-specific. Building changes into routine care without elongating the consultation. As part of the study the NUI Galway researchers carried out in depth interviews with 15 GPs practicing in rural and urban locations in Ireland, and six focus groups were held with community members who had direct or indirect experiences with urinary tract infection. The study found that decisions made to prescribe or consume an antibiotic for a UTI is a set of complex processes. It includes recognising that you are unwell (need recognition), seeking advice from various sources like the web and family members prior to visiting the GP (information search), and deciding whether to go to the GP (evaluation process). All of these processes are governed by the relationship and interactions between the GP and the patient. Different GP and patient decision-making profiles emerged, emphasising the diversity and variety of general practice in real-life settings. The GP findings showed a requirement for more microbiological information on antibiotic resistance patterns to inform prescribing decisions. Focus group participants (patients) wanted a conversation with the GP about their illness and the treatment options available. Dr Sinead Duane from the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and co-author of the study said: “Many patients are open to delaying antibiotic treatment if the GP takes time to explain the reasons why and provides advice on which symptoms they should look out for. This research highlights that patients visiting their GP often only want reassurance and advice on how to manage their symptom, and not necessarily an antibiotic.” Collectively, this research identified the consultation as a priority intervention environment for stimulating change in relation to antibiotics. The BMJ Open paper demonstrates how qualitative research can identify the interacting processes which are instrumental to the decision to prescribe or consume an antibiotic for a suspected UTI. Qualitative research empowers researchers to investigate the what, how and why of interventions in a real-life setting. Qualitative research can play a critical and instrumental role in designing behavioural change strategies with high impact on practice. The results of this research were used to design a complex intervention informed by social marketing. To view the full BMJ Open paper visit: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e008894.full.pdf+html ENDS

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NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants for Online Pain Management Programme

NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants for Online Pain Management Programme-image

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Children who experience chronic pain are invited to take part in first online pain management programme of its kind in Ireland to be trialled at NUI Galway Researchers from the School of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway are currently recruiting children age 6-10 years with chronic pain and their parent(s) or care-giver(s) to take part in an online pain management programme for children. An online pain management programme called Feeling Better has been developed at NUI Galway to help children and parents to manage chronic pain for a better quality of life. This web-based programme is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, a psychological therapy which has shown to be effective in the management of chronic pain, in traditional face-to-face therapy and group treatment. The Feeling Better study is unique in that a trial of this nature has not been investigated to date in Ireland. The programme is currently the only, widely available, source of interactive, online therapeutic support for school age children with chronic pain in Ireland. The researchers would like to enlist families coping with chronic pain to aid in the testing of this online pain management programme. Chronic pain is pain which persists for a period of three months or more. It affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly prevalent in young people. Recent studies suggest up to 10% of 5-12 year old Irish children report chronic or persistent pain including abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and widespread pain. Chronic pain is often associated with psychological effects, which may include changes in mood and difficulty with focusing attention and performance at school. This can have a significant impact on day-to-day quality of life. The Feeling Better study is open to children with any type of chronic or persistent pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The study will take place over the coming months and children and their parent(s) from across Ireland are invited to take part. Pain support groups, parent-led networks, GPs and physiotherapists around the country are encouraged to get in touch and to refer suitable people with pain to the study. Benefits to participants include access to a free online pain management programme and training in cognitive and behavioural techniques tailored for chronic pain management and school age children. The online programme was developed by clinical psychologists and researchers at NUI Galway with input from families currently coping with chronic pain. School age children with chronic pain and their care-givers were involved in the design and development process. Evidence-based psychological strategies were selected to address areas of pain management children and parents identified as most challenging and important. This influence ensures Feeling Better is a fun and engaging form of online therapeutic support designed by children with pain for children with pain. The programme involves 9-weekly online sessions. Each session is designed to take approximately 30-minutes to complete and all participants are guided through the programme by a ‘Coach’ who is available to provide feedback and advice on a regular basis. Each week, this fun, pirate-themed, interactive programme will introduce children to new skills in the form of ‘Challenges’ and weekly ‘Missions’ (treatment sessions) which they must complete in order to progress in their training. Participating children will begin the programme as a ‘Powder Monkey’ and must earn a promotion with each Mission until they succeed to ‘Captain’ and claim their treasure. Parents are encouraged to take the role of ‘Coach’ and are separately guided through a complementary section of the programme where they are provided with information, tips for practice and tools to help with day-to-day pain management. Weekly sessions are tailored to participants goals, support needs and coping preferences. Children and parents will learn more about psychological strategies which focus on techniques such as relaxation training, activity pacing, attention management, communication skills and the influence of thoughts and emotions on the experience of pain. This programme is part of a research project being carried out at NUI Galway by PhD candidate and Hardiman scholar, Angeline Traynor and led by Professor Brian McGuire from NUI Galway’s School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research. Angeline Traynor has been researching chronic pain management and working with families to develop an effective and accessible pain management programme. Ms Traynor says: “Chronic pain is thought to be predictive of long term complaints and disability. Given the impact of chronic pain it is essential to provide a means of support for young children with respect to pain management. Learning coping strategies at an early age may have long term benefits for the child and the family as a whole. Our hope is that this online programme will overcome access and resource issues which may be preventing families from receiving psychological treatment to support pain management.” Participation is voluntary. Children and parents who take part will be helping researchers decide if web-based technology is an acceptable means of treatment delivery. The researchers are looking for volunteers to help them trial the programme and determine what works and what doesn’t work. To participate in the study or for further information, please contact Angeline Traynor at team@feelingbetter.ie and 086 0378562 or visit www.feelingbetter.ie The study is supported by Galway University Foundation and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. ENDS

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NUI Galway becomes Ireland’s First Partially Smoke-free University

NUI Galway becomes Ireland’s First Partially Smoke-free University-image

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Two new smoke-free zones are launched outside some of the University’s busiest buildings NUI Galway has introduced two smoke-free zones on campus. The new smoke-free zones are centred around two designated smoking shelters in the north and south campus, and cover some of the most popular buildings on campus, including the James Hardiman Library, the Arts Millennium Building, the Engineering Building, Áras Moyola and the Cairnes Building. In 2013, a University-wide survey was carried out to gauge the campus community’s attitudes towards smoking at NUI Galway. While an outright ban on smoking was rejected, a majority of staff and students expressed their preference for restricting smoking to designated areas only. Since then, a working group of University staff and Students’ Union representatives has been working on designing and implementing the smoke-free zones. While it will take some time to build awareness about the new smoking restrictions, there is already a marked reduction in smoking at many building entrances. The new smoke-free zones are supported by both the University and the Students’ Union, and members of the Student Cancer Society are helping to grow awareness around the campaign. Like many public places, smoking creates second-hand smoke and litter on the campus, in particular at the entrances to buildings. The new smoke-free zones are aimed at making the University a cleaner and healthier place for everyone to work and study. Signage on the new designated smoking shelters includes information on supports to quit smoking. Commenting on the new smoke-free zones, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan said: “A healthy campus will deliver long-term benefits for all our community. One of the first steps is to establish smoke-free zones.  Students and staff are united in this particular initiative.” For more information on why and where NUI Galway is going smoke-free, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/smokefree. -Ends-

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