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Dr. Deirdre Connolly

Associate Professor (Occupational Therapy)
TRINITY CENTRE, S J H


Dr. Connolly is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy. Her current research focuses primarily on designing and evaluating occupation-focused self-management interventions for individuals with chronic diseases in primary care settings. Her research in this area has led to the development of individual and group-based self-management interventions (OPTiMaL; FAME and FAME-W) for individuals with rheumatic diseases, cancer and multi-morbidity. A further strand of Dr. Connolly's research programme is focused on evaluating the impact of community-based health and well-being programmes on occupational participation of community dwelling older adults. Her educational research has investigated the impact of inquiry and problem-based learning on development of students' knowledge and skills in undergraduate education, and the impact of inter-professional learning on development of professional identity of health science students. Dr. Connolly has published and presented her research nationally and internationally. Dr. Connolly has teaching responsibilities across the Discipline's undergraduate and post-graduate curricula in Dublin and Singapore. She is currently Course Director of the Discipline's taught MSc in Occupational Therapy. She has supervised MSc and PhD students to completion.
  ACTIVITY PREFERENCES   AGE-RELATED IMPAIRMENT   Arts and health   Cancer Survivorship   Chronic Illness self-management   Continuing Professional Development   Education and Work   FALLS   Health attitudes and behaviour   Health outcomes   Higher Education   PARKINSON'S DISEASE   Primary care
 Examining the impact of a social prescribing service on health and well-being of individuals living with and beyond cancer
 The OPTIMAL study: A randomized controlled trial and process evaluation of an OccuPaTIonal therapy led self MAnagement support programme for patients with muLtimorbidity in primary care
 The impact of fatigue on workability of people with connective tissue disorders.
 OPTIMAL, a personalised self-management intervention for cancer survivors
 Examination of the impact of a falls prevention programme through dance.

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Details Date
Editorial Board Member:Annals of International Occupational Therapy 2017
Editorial Board Member: Occupational Therapy International 2009
Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland. 1996
Occupational Therapy Primary Care Advisory Group 2009
Facilitate: All Ireland network of Enquiry and Problem-Based Learning. 2008
AISHE: All Ireland Society of Higher Education 2007
Connolly D, Fitzpatrick C, O'Shea F., Disease Activity, Occupational Participation, and Quality of Life for Individuals with and without Severe Fatigue in Ankylosing Spondylitis, Occupational Therapy International, 2019, p10 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Boland L, Bennett K, Cuff S, Gleeson N, Grant C, Kennedy J, Connolly D., Cancer survivors' experience of OptiMal, a 6-week, occupation-based, self-management intervention, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82, (2), 2019, p90 - 100, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Kiely B, Croke A, O'Shea E, Connolly D, Smith S., Effectiveness of link workers providing social prescribing on health outcomes and costs for adult patients in primary care and community settings. A protocol for a systematic review of the literature, HRB Open Research, 2, (21), 2019, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Usher R, Connolly D., Primary care in Singapore: an occupational therapy perspective, Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare, 2019, p141 - 142, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Connolly D, Anderson M, Colgan M, Montgomery J, Clarke J, Kinsella M., The impact of a primary care stress management and well-being programme (RENEW) on occupational participation: A pilot study, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82, (2), 2019, p112 - 121, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
McCormack R, Doran M, O'Shea F, Connolly D., Impact of a Fatigue Management in work programme on meeting work demands of individuals with Rheumatic Diseases: A pilot study, Musculoskeletal Care, 16, (3), 2018, p398 - 404, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Boland L, Bennett K, Connolly D., Self-management interventions for cancer survivors: a systematic review, Supportive Care in Cancer, 26, (5), 2018, p1585 - 1595, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Bennett, A.E., O'Neill, L., Connolly, D., Guinan, E.M., Boland, L., Doyle, S.L., O'Sullivan, J., Reynolds, J.V., & Hussey, J., Patient experiences of a physiotherapy-led multidisciplinary rehabilitative intervention after successful treatment for oesophago-gastric cancer, Supportive Care in Cancer, 26, (8), 2018, p2615 - 2623, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Fatigue in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in, editor(s)Irvine, David , Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): Risk factors, treatment options and clinical aspects, New York, Nova Biomedical, 2017, pp23 - 48, [Connolly, Deirdre], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  Handle
Annals of International occupational Therapy, Thorofare New Jersey, SLACK , [eds.], 2017-2020, Editorial Board, PUBLISHED
  

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Connolly D., Optmising physical and psychological health during and after cancer treatment, Oesophageal Cancer Fund Patient Education day, Dublin, Ireland, 6.10.2018, 2018, Oesophageal Cancer Fund, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Connolly D., Managing physical and psychological health during and after cancer treatment, OVARIAN CANCER PATIENT DAY , Ireland, 26th May, 2018, OvaCare, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Connolly D, O'Toole L, Boland L, Cooney C, , Impact of Well-Dance on physical and mental health of older adults in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown borough, 2016, p1 - 15, Report, PRODUCED
Connolly D., Troy M., Mannion L., Reilly E., Ryder R., Review of the Rialto Community Health Project, Dublin, 2013, 40, Notes: [The Dolphin and Fatima Community Health Projects were established in 2003, as part of the Social Regeneration Plan (Whyte, 2005) with support from the HSE Health Promotion Department and Combat Poverty Agency 'Building Healthy Communities' programme. The health projects aim to 'tackle the high rates of ill-health within the Fatima Mansions and Dolphin House estates and improve the holistic wellbeing and spirit of the community'. This project align with core goals of the Healthy Ireland National Strategy to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.], Report, COMPLETED

  

Award Date
Provost Teaching Excellence Award 2009
As occupational therapy focuses on how chronic diseases interfere with people's abilities to perform everyday activities, Dr Connolly's research programme is focused on developing and testing the impact of primary care-based occupational therapy interventions for people with single chronic conditions and multimorbidity. To this end, she has developed OPTIMAL, a self-management, group-based intervention aimed at increasing activity participation for people with physical and mental health-related chronic conditions. OPTIMAL, has been tested in different healthcare contexts using different methodologies, including RCT, and has shown significant changes in activity participation and symptoms of illness burden including quality of life and depression. She is now evaluating OPTIMAL for cancer survivors using an RCT design. This research is carried in an inter-institutional, cross-disciplinary capacity with national and international collaborators. Dr Connolly has also designed, delivered and evaluated FAME (Fatigue and Activity Management), a six-week programme for people with chronic inflammatory/autoimmune diseases who experience significant fatigue. FAME has been delivered and evaluated with people with rheumatic diseases with positive outcomes. Dr. Connolly's research on self-management for chronic diseases and multimorbidity is internationally relevant and highly sustainable given the rising ageing demographic and the increasing incidence of chronic disease and multimorbidity globally. Developing evidence-based interventions for chronic diseases and multimorbidity is a priority for all health services. She has presented her research at occupational therapy-specific, multidisciplinary, national and international conferences, including invited key note addresses. She supervises PhD and MSc students.