Health research produced by staff and affiliates of the University of Galway.

Recent Submissions

  • Analysing complaints about primary care with the healthcare complaints analysis tool (General Practice): A user’s guide

    O'Dowd, Emily; Lydon, Sinead; Reader, Tom; Gillespie, Alex; O'Connor, Paul (University of Galway, 2022-01)
  • Pharmacists' perceived role in supporting diabetes education and self-management in Ireland: a qualitative study.

    Cooney, Eva; O'Riordan, David; McSharry, Jennifer (2022-04-11)
    Background: Support for people with diabetes is necessary for optimal self-management. Structured diabetes education programmes fulfil this need, but attendance rates are consistently low. The role of pharmacists has expanded but the profession remains underutilised in chronic disease management. The objective of this study is to explore pharmacists' perceived role in the support of diabetes education and self-management behaviours. Methods: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews of community pharmacists in Ireland was conducted. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Ten pharmacists were interviewed. The four themes identified illustrate the juxtaposition of pharmacists' potential in diabetes care with the realities of current pharmaceutical practice. One theme outlined the relationship between the person with diabetes and the pharmacist, 'Patient or customer: the nature of the pharmacist relationship'. Two themes described the pharmacists' role in supporting diabetes education and self-management, 'Beyond medication: pharmacists' current and potential role in diabetes management' and 'Need for diabetes education'. The final theme highlighted the barriers to a more engaged role in patient care, 'Barriers: "all the stuff that gets in the way"'. Conclusion: The relationship between pharmacists and people with diabetes could facilitate pharmacists in supporting diabetes self-management. However, variability across pharmacists' level of involvement and consistent resource barriers were noted. Pharmacists were poorly informed about structured diabetes education programmes. Further research is needed to explore this variability but there may be potential to enhance the pharmacist role in promoting attendance at structured diabetes education programmes.
  • Paediatric major trauma in the setting of the Irish trauma network.

    McAleese, Timothy; Brent, Louise; O'Toole, Patrick; Synnott, Keith; Quinn, Nuala; Deasy, Conor; Sheehan, Eoin (2021-05-21)
  • Exploring nurses' online perspectives and social networks during a global pandemic COVID-19.

    O'Leary, Lisa; Erikainen, Sonja; Peltonen, Laura-Maria; Ahmed, Wasim; Thelwall, Mike; O'Connor, Siobhan (2021-10-22)
  • Factors Influencing Fidelity to a Calorie Posting Policy in Public Hospitals: A Mixed Methods Study.

    Kerins, Claire; Kelly, Colette; Reardon, Caitlin M; Houghton, Catherine; Toomey, Elaine; Hayes, Catherine B; Geaney, Fiona; Perry, Ivan J; McSharry, Jenny; McHugh, Sheena (2021-08-13)
    Background: Labelling menus with nutrition information has increasingly become an important obesity policy option. While much research to-date has focused on determining its effectiveness, few studies report the extent to which menu labelling is implemented as designed. The aim of this study was to explore factors influencing fidelity to a calorie posting policy in Irish acute public hospitals. Methods: A mixed methods sequential explanatory study design was employed, with a nested case study for the qualitative component. Quantitative data on implementation fidelity at hospitals were analysed first and informed case sampling in the follow-on qualitative phase. Maximum variation sampling was used to select four hospitals with high and low levels of implementation and variation in terms of geographic location, hospital size, complexity of care provided and hospital type. Data were collected using structured observations, unstructured non-participant observations and in-depth semi-structured interviews. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research guided qualitative data collection and analysis. Using framework analysis, factors influencing implementation were identified. A triangulation protocol was used to integrate fidelity findings from multiple sources. Data on influencing factors and fidelity were then combined using joint displays for within and cross-case analysis. Results: Quantitative fidelity data showed seven hospitals were categorised as low implementers and 28 hospitals were high implementers of the policy. Across the four hospitals selected as cases, qualitative analysis revealed factors influencing implementation and fidelity were multiple, and operated independently and in combination. Factors were related to the internal hospital environment (e.g., leadership support, access to knowledge and information, perceived importance of calorie posting implementation), external hospital environment (e.g., national policy, monitoring), features of the calorie posting policy (e.g., availability of supporting materials), and the implementation process (e.g., engaging relevant stakeholders). Integrated analysis of fidelity indicated a pattern of partial adherence to the calorie posting policy across the four hospitals. Across all hospitals, there was a consistent pattern of low adherence to calorie posting across all menu items on sale, low adherence to calorie information displayed per standard portion or per meal, low adherence to standardised recipes/portions, and inaccurate calorie information. Conclusion: Efforts to maximise fidelity require multi-level, multi-component strategies in order to reduce or mitigate barriers and to leverage facilitators. Future research should examine the relative importance of calorie posting determinants and the association between implementation strategies and shifts in fidelity to intervention core components.
  • Analysing Complaints about Primary Care with the Healthcare Complaints Analysis Tool (General Practice): A User's guide

    O'Dowd, Emily; Lydon, Sinéad; Reader, Tom; Gillespie, Alex; O'Connor, Paul (NUI Galway, 2022-01)
  • An MLST approach to support tracking of plasmids carrying OXA-48-like carbapenemase.

    Brehony, Carina; McGrath, Elaine; Brennan, Wendy; Tuohy, Alma; Whyte, Thomas; Brisse, Sylvain; Maiden, Martin; Jolley, Keith; Morris, Dearbháile; Cormican, Martin (2019-07)
  • Beta-Amyloid (Aβ) Increases the Expression of NKCC1 in the Mouse Hippocampus.

    Lam, Patricia; Vinnakota, Chitra; Guzmán, Beatriz Calvo-Flores; Newland, Julia; Peppercorn, Katie; Tate, Warren P; Waldvogel, Henry J; Faull, Richard L M; Kwakowsky, Andrea (2022-04-10)
    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with an increasing need for developing disease-modifying treatments as current therapies only provide marginal symptomatic relief. Recent evidence suggests the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system undergoes remodeling in AD, disrupting the excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance in the brain. Altered expression levels of K-Cl-2 (KCC2) and N-K-Cl-1 (NKCC1), which are cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs), have been implicated in disrupting GABAergic activity by regulating GABAA receptor signaling polarity in several neurological disorders, but these have not yet been explored in AD. NKCC1 and KCC2 regulate intracellular chloride [Cl-]i by accumulating and extruding Cl-, respectively. Increased NKCC1 expression in mature neurons has been reported in these disease conditions, and bumetanide, an NKCC1 inhibitor, is suggested to show potential therapeutic benefits. This study used primary mouse hippocampal neurons to explore if KCC2 and NKCC1 expression levels are altered following beta-amyloid (Aβ1-42) treatment and the potential neuroprotective effects of bumetanide. KCC2 and NKCC1 expression levels were also examined in 18-months-old male C57BL/6 mice following bilateral hippocampal Aβ1-42 stereotaxic injection. No change in KCC2 and NKCC1 expression levels were observed in mouse hippocampal neurons treated with 1 nM Aβ1-42, but NKCC1 expression increased 30-days post-Aβ1-42-injection in the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. Primary mouse hippocampal cultures were treated with 1 nM Aβ1-42 alone or with various concentrations of bumetanide (1 µM, 10 µM, 100 µM, 1 mM) to investigate the effect of the drug on cell viability. Aβ1-42 produced 53.1 ± 1.4% cell death after 5 days, and the addition of bumetanide did not reduce this. However, the drug at all concentrations significantly reduced cell viability, suggesting bumetanide is highly neurotoxic. In summary, these results suggest that chronic exposure to Aβ1-42 alters the balance of KCC2 and NKCC1 expression in a region-and layer-specific manner in mouse hippocampal tissue; therefore, this process most likely contributes to altered hippocampal E/I balance in this model. Furthermore, bumetanide induces hippocampal neurotoxicity, thus questioning its suitability for AD therapy. Further investigations are required to examine the effects of Aβ1-42 on KCC2 and NKCC1 expression and whether targeting CCCs might offer a therapeutic approach for AD.
  • Differences in Coformer Interactions of the 2,4-Diaminopyrimidines Pyrimethamine and Trimethoprim.

    Alaa Eldin Refat, Lamis; O'Malley, Ciaran; Simmie, John M; McArdle, Patrick; Erxleben, Andrea (2022-04-08)
    The identification and study of supramolecular synthons is a fundamental task in the design of pharmaceutical cocrystals. The malaria drug pyrimethamine (pyr) and the antibiotic trimethoprim (tmp) are both 2,4-diaminopyrimidine derivatives, providing the same C-NH2/N=C/C-NH2 and C-NH2/N=C interaction sites. In this article, we analyze and compare the synthons observed in the crystal structures of tmp and pyr cocrystals and molecular salts with sulfamethazine (smz), α-ketoglutaric acid (keto), oxalic acid (ox), sebacic acid (seb), and azeliac acid (az). We show that the same coformer interacts with different binding sites of the 2,4-diaminopyrimidine ring in the respective tmp and pyr cocrystals or binds at the same site but gives H bonding patterns with different graph set notions. Pyr·smz·CH3OH is the first crystal structure in which the interaction of the sulfa drug at the C-NH2/N=C/C-NH2 site with three parallel NH2···N, N···NHsulfonamide, and NH2···O=S H bonds is observed. The main synthon in (tmp+)(keto-).0.5H2O and (tmp+)2(ox2-)·2CH3OH is the motif of fused R 2 1(6) and R 1 2(5) rings instead of the R 2 2(8) motif typically observed in tmp+ and pyr+ carboxylates. Tmp/az is a rare example of cocrystal-salt polymorphism where the two solid-state forms have the same composition, stoichiometry, and main synthon. Theoretical calculations were performed to understand the order of stability, which is tmp·az cocrystal > (tmp+)(az-) salt. Finally, two three-component tmp/sulfa drug/carboxylate cocrystals with a unique ternary synthon are described.
  • Aggresome assembly at the centrosome is driven by CP110-CEP97-CEP290 and centriolar satellites.

    Prosser, Suzanna L; Tkach, Johnny; Gheiratmand, Ladan; Kim, Jaeyoun; Raught, Brian; Morrison, Ciaran G; Pelletier, Laurence (2022-04-11)
  • Identifying Blood Biomarkers for Dementia Using Machine Learning Methods in the Framingham Heart Study.

    Lin, Honghuang; Himali, Jayandra J; Satizabal, Claudia L; Beiser, Alexa S; Levy, Daniel; Benjamin, Emelia J; Gonzales, Mitzi M; Ghosh, Saptaparni; Vasan, Ramachandran S; Seshadri, Sudha; et al. (2022-04-30)
  • Major Depressive Disorder: Existing Hypotheses about Pathophysiological Mechanisms and New Genetic Findings.

    Kamran, Muhammad; Bibi, Farhana; Ur Rehman, Asim; Morris, Derek W (2022-04-06)
  • Gender differences in screening for glucose perturbations, cardiovascular risk factor management and prognosis in patients with dysglycaemia and coronary artery disease: results from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE surveys.

    Ferrannini, Giulia; De Bacquer, Dirk; Vynckier, Pieter; De Backer, Guy; Gyberg, Viveca; Kotseva, Kornelia; Mellbin, Linda; Norhammar, Anna; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Wood, David; et al. (2021-02-11)
  • A concept analysis of using the hybrid model.

    Delaney, Hannah; Devane, Declan; Hunter, Andrew; Treweek, Shaun; Mills, Nicola; Gamble, Carrol; Smith, Valerie (2022-04-01)
    Background: The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requires trials submitted for publication to be registered before recruitment of the first participant; however, there is ambiguity around the definition of recruitment and in anchoring the trial start date, end date, and recruitment, or as often interchangeably referred to, enrolment, temporally to trial processes. There is potential for variation in how recruitment is reported and understood in trial protocols and trial reports. We report on a concept analysis of 'trial recruitment' and develop an operational definition of 'trial recruitment'. Methods: A concept analysis using the hybrid model. In Phase 1 we examined  randomised and non-randomised trial reports (n=150) published between January 2018 and June 2019 to conceptually explore how recruitment was temporally aligned to the four time-points of screening/eligibility, consent, randomisation and allocation. A preliminary operational definition of 'trial recruitment' was determined. This definition was further explored, refined and finalised in Phase 2 (field work), through an interactive, discussion-focused workshop with trial recruiters and trial participants. Results: Of the 150 trial reports analysed, over half did not identify a clear time point of when recruitment took place and varying terminology is used when reporting on trial recruitment. In Phase 2, the workshop attendees agreed that the proposed definition of 'trial recruitment' offers an acceptable definition that provides a standardised approach of how trial recruitment may be temporally understood as part of overall trial processes. Conclusion: There is ambiguity around temporal descriptions of 'trial recruitment' in health care journals. Informed by the findings of this concept analysis we propose a temporal operational definition of trial recruitment based on i) trial recruitment of an individual or cluster and ii) the trial recruitment period.
  • A robust platform for high-throughput screening of therapeutic strategies for acute and chronic spinal cord injury.

    Patil, Vaibhav; O'Connell, Enda; Quinlan, Leo R; Fearnhead, Howard; McMahon, Siobhan; Pandit, Abhay (2021-02-12)
    Astrocytes and microglia are critical regulators of inflammatory cascade after spinal cord injury (SCI). Existing glial in vitro studies do not replicate inflammatory phases associated with SCI. Here, we report an in vitro model of mixed glial culture where inflammation is induced by the administration of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6) to promote pathologically relevant "acute" and "chronic" inflammatory phases. We observed SCI relevant differential modulation of inflammatory pathways, cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors over 21 days. Mitochondrial dysfunction was associated with a cytokine combination treatment. Highly expressed cytokine induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC-3) chemokine was used as a biomarker to establish an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based high-throughput screening (HTS) platform. We screened a 786-compound drug library to demonstrate the efficacy of the HTS platform. The developed model is robust and will facilitate in vitro screening of anti-reactive glial therapeutics for the treatment of SCI.
  • Variant analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes in the Middle East.

    Bindayna, Khalid Mubarak; Crinion, Shane (2021-02-13)

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