Improving care for people with Diabetes: a population approach to prevention and control

The HRB Research Leader Award is part of a significant investment to ensure that the health research community in Ireland are in a position to provide strong research and evidence in relation to current, emerging and often complex challenges in healthcare that are of concern to decision makers, practitioners and policy makers. In 2013, Professor Patricia Kearney was one of six researchers to secure the award.

The focus of the NCPD is on the reorganization of services and it does not have the capacity to undertake research. The rationale of the partnership between the NCPD and UCC, led by Professor Patricia Kearney, is based on a shared vision to improve care for people with diabetes in Ireland and to reduce the preventable economic and societal burden of diabetes.

Data from existing studies will be used to determine the prevalence of diabetes and to provide a dynamic evidence base of trends in the incidence of diabetes and diabetes-related complications and associated healthcare utilization costs. A process evaluation of the implementation of the NCPD will be undertaken with the use of interviews and documentary analysis to determine barriers and facilitators to change in the Irish health system. A feasible lifestyle intervention will be developed to prevent diabetes.

The specific objectives of the 5 year programme of research are as follows:

  • To measure the public health burden of diabetes
  • To evaluate the implementation of the National Clinical Programme in Diabetes
  • To model current and future diabetes care costs
  • To develop, implement and assess a lifestyle intervention in women at risk of gestational diabetes

This partnership between the highest levels of academia and service provision in Public Health in Ireland is ideally positioned to ensure the research is undertaken with academic rigor and will translate directly into policy and service delivery. Ultimately the impact of the programme will be to reduce the clinical, financial and societal burden of diabetes.


Preventing falls in older people with diabetes: development and feasibility of a multifactorial intervention in primary care

In 2015, Dr Sheena McHugh, Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, was awarded a fellowship from the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI).

In total, four fellowships were awarded across the country (North and South of Ireland) and this is the first fellowship that has been awarded to a researcher in UCC.

The CARDI leadership programme is aimed at supporting and building capacity in ageing research across the island of Ireland and promoting the development of future leaders. Dr Mc Hugh’s programme of research focuses on the development of a falls prevention intervention for older people with diabetes.  Her mentors are Professor Patricia Kearney (Epidemiology & Public Health) and Dr Suzanne Timmons (Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation, UCC). Sheena will also be working with a number of national and international collaborators including the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA).




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