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Professor Cecily Begley

Chair of Nursing & Midwifery (School of Nursing & Midwifery)

Prof. Cecily Begley holds the Chair of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin. She was awarded MA, MSc and PhD degrees from Trinity College, and the Fellowship of the Faculty of Nursing from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She was a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and is an elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. Following four years' experience in general nursing, and 12 years in midwifery, she spent 8 years as a lecturer/senior lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. In 1996, she took up the post of Director of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College, charged with the task of developing the new School. Twenty years later, this School now runs 18 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with 1400 students and over 100 staff, and has a strong research programme. Prof. Begley is active in developing educational initiatives at undergraduate, postgraduate and post-registration level in Ireland. She was appointed a member of the Nursing Education Forum set up by the Minister for Health and Children to plan and implement the 4-year BSc Nursing degree programme. She subsequently served on the National Implementation Committee that oversaw the introduction of the degree throughout Ireland in October 2002. She also served as a member of the Expert Group on Midwifery and Children's Nurse Education set up to plan the two direct-entry degree programmes, and on the National Implementation Group that ensured their commencement nation-wide in October 2006. Prof Begley was a member of the National Council for Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland for the first five years of its existence, and worked on the sub-group for Educational Standards for Advanced Nurse and Advanced Midwife Practitioners. In terms of educational development overseas, Prof Begley led a team from the School, in collaboration with Queen's University, Belfast, in providing academic consultancy services to Jordan University of Science and Technology to assist them in developing and modernising their MScs in Adult Health Nursing and Critical Care Nursing, and in developing a new MSc in Maternal and Child Health. This partnership was awarded €487,000 from the EU TEMPUS project to support the initiative. Prof. Begley has led many research teams to successful completion of diverse projects, focusing mainly on physiological childbirth, women-centred maternity care, care of women with disabilities, advanced and specialist practice and self-esteem and assertiveness in student nurses and midwives. Her research-based commitments include the supervision of 6 PhD students at present, 23 PhD and 4 MSc by research students to successful completion in the past 8 years, and external examining of 15 research MSc/PhD theses from diverse countries. She has been successful in obtaining over €7,000,000 in research funding, as PI or collaborator, and holds/has held a total of 26 grants from the HRB, NDA, HSE Western Area, HSE North-Eastern Area, National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland, the European Science Foundation and the EU Commission (FP7 Framework). She is a member of the Meath Foundation Research Review Committee, previously served for 8 years on a research review committee for the Health Research Board, is an invited member of the International Confederation of Midwives' Research Advisory Network and is a member of the ESF Pool of Reviewers for the period of 01 May 2010 to date. She is a Section Editor for the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal, has editorial and/or reviewing commitments for 4 other medical, nursing, or midwifery journals and has published widely on nursing and midwifery clinical and education issues.
  Assertiveness   Child/Maternal Health   Choice in Childbirth   Emotional/Mental Health--Women   Foetal, maternal and neonatal physiology   Lactation   LEARNING   Maternity Care   Midwife led care Midwifery in Primary Care Home Birth   Midwifery.   Midwifery-led care   Normal Childbirth   Nurse Practitioner   NURSING EDUCATION   NURSING RESEARCH   Perinatal Disorders   Perinatal Health   Physiological Childbirth   Physiological/Development Process   Pregnancy   Reproductive Disorders   Research Methods   Self-esteem   Stillbirth   Systems of childbirth organisation   TEACHING/METHODS   Women and disability   Women's Health
 Reducing caesarean section rates in Ireland: a feasibility study and pilot randomised trial of an evidence-based intervention designed to reduce unnecessary caesarean section (REDUCE)
 MAMMI-SIM study: Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland - Second baby survey, Intervention for urinary incontinence, Measurement of costs
 A Review of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in Ireland
 Respectful and disrespectful care in the Czech Republic: an online survey
 Maternal health and maternal morbidity in Ireland - caesarean section strand

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Details Date
Member of the Maternity Strategy Steering Group (representing the Irish Council of Professors, Deans and Heads of Nursing and Midwifery) 1st May 2015 to January 2016
Member of the Board of Guardians and Directors, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital 1st May 2013 to October 2016
Member of the Maternity Services Taskforce for the North Eastern Health Board January 2002 to April 2010
Member of Epidemiology, Health of the Population and Primary Care Committee of the Health Research Board April 2001 to March 2009
Reviewer for Cochrane protocols and reviews 2007 to date
Editorial Advisor for BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2017 - to date) Section Editor for BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2011 - 2017) Associate Editor for BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2009-2011) 2009 to date
International Editorial Panel Member for Evidence-based Midwifery (2003 - 2012).... Reviewer for Journal of Advanced Nursing, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology...... 2003 to date
Member of the National Implementation Group set up by the Minister for Health and Children to monitor the implementation of the Expert group in Midwifery and Paediatric Education Jan 06 to May 07
Member of the Editorial Committee of the "All-Ireland Nursing and Midwifery" Journal Feb 2000 to 2005
Member of the Editorial Committee of "Nursing Review" Journal 1992 to 2000
Member of Review Panel for Research Awards, St. Luke's Institute for Cancer Research. Chair of panel 2003 to 2006 1998 to 2006
Member of Review Panel for Cancer-Related Nursing Research, Irish Cancer Society May 2001 to 2007
Member of the Meath Foundation (Tallaght Hospital) Review Panel for Health Research Review 3 application per year Feb 2002 to date
Member of the Nursing Education Forum. Elected chairperson of two sub-committees Jan 1999 to Oct 2001
Member of the National Implementation Committee set up by the Minister for Health and Children to monitor the implementation of the Nursing Education Forum's Report Feb. 2001 to Dec 2002
Member of the Expert group in Midwifery and Paediatric Education set up by the Minister for Health and Children Sept 04-Jan 05
Member of An Bord Altranais' Continuing Education Committee. Member of the Research Steering Committee that undertook the study of continuing education in nursing in Ireland 1994 to 1997
Member of the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland Jan 2000 to March 2005
Member of the Steering Committee for the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, St. James' Hospital 1998 to October 2005
Member of the Midwifery Sub-Committee of An Bord Altranais 1998 to 2001
Member of the National Midwifery Advisory Forum set up by the Department of Health and Children Sept 2000 Jan 2002
Member of the Joint North-South Forum for Planning the Public Health Nursing Services 1998 to 2003
Member of the Cancer Consortium Nurses' Working group, formed between the Department of Health and Children, Ireland, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland and the National Cancer Institute, Washington Jan 2001 to Oct 2005
Member of the Medical Committee of the Irish Cancer Society. February 2002 to October 2005
Member of the Prescribing Project for Nurses and Midwives and to Member of the Education Sub-Committee of that group April 2002 to 2005
Member of the Dept. of Health Steering Committee for the Research Study into Manpower Planning 1998 to 2001
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Appointed Member of the International Confederation of Midwives' Research Advisory Network November 2001 to date
Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science March 06 Jan 2010
Member of the Beta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (Nurses' Honor Society). March 2002 September 2007
Begley C, Dixon L, Guilllard K, McCann C, Keegan C, Reilly M, Smith V. , Irish and New Zealand A qualitative exploration of techniques used by expert midwives to preserve the perineum intact., Women and Birth, 32, (1), 2019, p87 - 97, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Healy P, Smith V, Savage G, Clarke M, Devane D, Gross MM, Morano S, Daly D, Grylka-Baeschlin S, Nicoletti J, Sinclair M, Maguire R, Carroll M, Begley C, Process Evaluation for OptiBIRTH, a Randomised Controlled Trial of a Complex Intervention designed to increase rates of vaginal birth after caesarean section, Trials, 19, (9), 2018, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Daly D, Clarke M, Begley C. , Urinary incontinence in nulliparous women before and during pregnancy: prevalence, incidence, type, and risk factors , International Urogynecology Journal , 29, 2018, p353 - 362 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Nilsson C, Hessman E, Sjöblom H, Dencker A, Jangsten E, Mollberg M, Patel H, Sparud-Lundin C, Wigert H, Begley C. , Definitions, measurements and prevalence of Fear of Childbirth: A systematic review. , BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18, (1), 2018, p28 - 42, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Fobelets M, Beeckman K, Faron G, Daly D, Begley C, Putman K. , Vaginal birth after caesarean versus elective repeat caesarean delivery after one previous caesarean section: a cost-effectiveness analysis in four European countries., BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , 18 , (1), 2018, p92 - 101, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
O'Malley D, Higgins A, Begley C, Daly D, Smith V., Prevalence of and risk factors associated with sexual health issues in primiparous women at 6 and 12 months postpartum; a longitudinal prospective cohort study (the MAMMI study). , BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , 18, 2018, p196 - 208, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Dencker A, Nilsson C, Begley C, Jangsten E, Mollberg M, Patel H, Wigert H, Hessman E, Sjöblom H, Sparud Lundin C, Causes and outcomes in studies of fear of childbirth: a systematic review , Women and Birth, Aug 14, 2018, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Panda S, Begley C, Daly D. , Clinicians' views of factors influencing decision-making for caesarean section: a systematic review and metasynthesis of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies, PLoS ONE , 13, (7), 2018, pe0200941-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Higgins, A., Downes, C., Varley, J., Doherty, C. P., Begley, C., & Elliott, N., Rising to the challenge: Epilepsy specialist nurses as leaders of service improvements and change (SENsE study)., Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, 63, 2018, p40 - 47, Notes: [ DOI:], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Wuytack F, Daly D, Curtis E, Begley C, Prognostic factor for pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, a systematic review, Midwifery, 66, 2018, p70 - 78, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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Begley C, VBAC: exploding the myths with the OptiBIRTH study, INMO/RCM Midwives' COnference, Armagh, Northern Ireland, 12th October, 2017, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Royal College of Midwives, UK, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Begley C, Implementing Advanced Practice Nursing in Ireland, Future of nursing: improving health and driving change, The Egg, Brussels, Belgium, 30th Nov-1st Dec, 2017, Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, Belgium, Notes: [], Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Higgins, A., Begley, C., Timmins F., McGonagle, I., Nevin M. et al, 'Nurse and Midwife Clinical Competency Determination and Competency Development Planning Toolkit.', Dublin, National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery, 2010, - 1-92, Protocol or guideline, PUBLISHED
Higgins, A; Begley CM; Nevin M; et al , The development and testing of a toolkit to support nursing and midwifery competency development: Research report, Dublin , NCNM, 2010, Notes: [Published Research Report ], Report, PUBLISHED
Begley,C.,Higgins,A.,Sheerin,F.,Alexander,J., NICHOLL,H., Lawler,D., Keenan,P., Tuohy,T and Kavanagh,R., The Strengths and Weaknesses of Publicly-funded Irish Health Services Provided to Women with Disabilities in Relation to Pregnancy,Childbirth and Early Motherhood, NDA Dublin, NDA, May, 2010, Report, PUBLISHED
Begley, C., Higgins, A., Lalor, J., Alexander, J., Nicholl, H., Lawler, D., Keenan, P., Tuohy, T., Kavanagh, R. , Women with disabilities: policies governing procedure and practice in service provision in Ireland during pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. , Dublin, National Disability Authority, 2009, Report, PUBLISHED
Begley CM, Byrne G, Macgregor C, Brady A-M, Horan P, Griffiths C, Measuring the Workload of the Public Health Nursing Service in the, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, School of Nursing and Midwifery , August, 2005, Report, PUBLISHED
Begley C. M., Brady A-M, Byrne G, Macgregor C, Griffiths C, Horan P, A Study of the Role and Workload of the Public Health Nurse in the Galway Community Care Area , Dublin, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Trinity College, Dublin , 2004, Report, PUBLISHED
Begley, C., Brady, A-M. Byrne, Macgregor, C., G, Griffiths, C.& Horan, P. , A Study of the Role and Workload of the Public Health Nurse in the Galway Community Care Area, Dublin, Trinity College:, 2004, Report, PUBLISHED
Carroll M., Begley C. M., Diploma in Midwifery (Direct Entry) Midwife Registration Education Programme: Final Report of the Evaluation , Dublin, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Trinity College, 2003, Report, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Fellowship, Trinity College Dublin May 2005
MA July 2005
Normal childbirth; midwifery-led care; woman-centred care; maternal morbidity, vaginal birth after Caesarean section; research methods; assertiveness; self-esteem; teaching and learning