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Dr. Valerie Smith

Professor in Midwifery (School of Nursing & Midwifery)

Valerie Smith is a Professor in Midwifery at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, and a registered General Nurse, Midwife and Clinical Nurse Teacher. Valerie's research interests extend to all areas of maternity care and healthcare research methods, with specific topic expertise in the areas of antenatal and intrapartum fetal wellbeing (fetal heart rate monitoring and fetal movements), intrapartum care (mode of birth, perineal care) and postnatal morbidity. Valerie's areas of methodological research expertise include systematic reviews (of randomised and non-randomised studies, qualitative evidence syntheses and rapid reviews), randomised trial research, survey research, and qualitative research methods. Valerie is a Cochrane Ireland and UK Senior systematic review trainer, a member of the Executive Board of the Health Research Board Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) and an Executive Committee member of Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI). Valerie is additionally a member of the international collaborative Trials Methodology Research Partnership (Outcomes Working Group), an invited member of the Expert Advisory Group for the National Maternity and Gynaecology Clinical Guideline Programme, and was a member of a previous EU COST Action (ISO907) Childbirth Cultures, Concerns and Consequences, Creating a Dynamic EU Framework for Optimal Maternity Care). In addition to PhD supervision, Valerie has previously mentored two HRB Cochrane Fellows and one ESI Fellow to project completion and is currently mentoring two ESI Fellows. As a practitioner, teacher and researcher, Valerie is passionate about advancing healthcare knowledge and methods for enhancing practice and research, and in capacity building for excellence in these areas.
  ADVERSE PREGNANCY OUTCOMES   Childbirth/Labour/Intrapartum   Maternity Care   maternity care research   NORMAL-PREGNANCY   Physiological Childbirth   PREGNANCY   Risk in Maternity Care   systematic reviews   Systematic reviews and meta analyses
 The impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women's clinical and experiential outcomes - a before and after study with an alongside qualitative design
 Evidence Synthesis Ireland
 Development of a core outcome set for Pelvic Girdle Pain; A systematic review, qualitative interviews and Delphi consensus study
 Towards Recovery After Childbirth Through Knowledge - On TRACK
 Pathway to Birth

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Details Date From Date To
Member of the Executive Committee, Evidence Synthesis Ireland Dec 2018 Date
Member of the Executive Board of the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network Sept 2014 Date
Member of the HRB-Mother and Baby Clinical Trials Network Sept 2014 Sept 2021
Member of Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland Oct 1998 Date
Member of the Health Research Board Irish Primary Care Trials Network Sept 2014 Date
Member of the Research Advisory Network (RAN) of the International Confederation of Midwives Jan 2013 Date
Member of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth, Wounds, Consumer and Communications, and Methodology Review Groups Sept 2010 Date
O Malley D, Smith V, Higgins A, Sexual health issues postpartum: A mixed methods study of women's help-seeking behaviour after the birth of their first baby, Midwifery , 2022, Notes: [doi:10.1016/j.midw.2021.103196], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Dado M, Smith V, Barry P, Women's experiences of water immersion during labour and childbirth in a hospital setting in Ireland: A qualitative study, Midwifery, 103278, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Matvienko-Sikar K, Avery K, Devane D, Dodd S, Egan AM, Gorst SL, Hughes K, Jacobsen P, Kirkham JJ, Kottner J, Mellor K, Millward CP, Patel S, Quirke F, Saldanha IJ, Smith V, Terwee CB, Young AE, Williamson PR, Use of Core Outcome Sets was low in clinical trials published in major medical journals, J Clinical Epidemiology, 142, 2022, p19 - 28, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Corrigan S., Howard V., Gallagher L., Smith V., Hannon K., Carroll M., Begley C., Midwives' views of an evidence-based intervention to reduce caesarean section rates in Ireland, Women and Birth, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Davies-Tuck M, Middleton P, Weller ME, Gordon A, Smith V, Walker SP, Flenady V, Interventions relating to fetal movements for improving pregnancy outcomes, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7), 2021, p1 - 20, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Valerie Smith, Sarah Jane Flaherty, Karen Matvienko-Sikar, Hannah Delaney, Maternity care during COVID-19: a protocol for a qualitative evidence synthesis of women's and maternity care providers' views and experiences, HRB Open Research, 4, (21), 2021, p1 - 7, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
O'Connor, L., Smyth, E., Bennett, A.E.. Smith, V., O'Neill, L., Reynolds, J.V.,. Hussey, J., Guinan, E.M., Identifying outcomes reported in exercise interventions in oesophagogastric cancer survivors: a systematic review, BMC Cancer, 21, (586), 2021, p1-9 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Begley K, Begley C, Smith V, Shared decision-making and maternity care in the deep learning age: Acknowledging and overcoming inherited defeaters., Journal of Clinical Evaluation in Practice, 27, (3), 2021, p497 - 503, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Dermody S, Hughes M, Smith V., The effectiveness of pictorial discharge advice versus standard advice following discharge from the emergency department: A systematic review and meta-analysis, J Emergency Nursing, 2021, p66 - 75, Notes: [ ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Matvienko-Sikar K, Avery K, Blazeby J, Hughes K, Jacobson P, Kirkham J, Kottner J, Mellor K, Saldanha I, Smith V, Terwee CB, Williamson P, Uptake of core outcome sets by clinical trialists publishing in major medical journals: Protocol [version 2; peer review: 2 approved], HRB Open Research, 3, (53), 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL

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Valerie Smith, Rapid evidence synthesis for COVID-19 international guidance: an exemplar case of a World Health Organization commissioned Cochrane rapid scoping review, ESI Webinar , Online, 21 October, 2021, Evidence Synthesis Ireland, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Smith V, COVID-19 Caesarean section and other interventions, IME conference Maternity Services after COVID-19 Recovery, Resilience. Sustainability and Rights. , Online, 9-11 Sept, 2020, IME, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Smith V, Cates C., Advanced Meta-analysis, ESI Cochrane Training , Online, 9 and 20 Nov, 2020, ESI, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Smith V, Childbirth Risk, litigation and midwifery practice - shades of grey, The Risky Miracle of Childbirth Seminar, Galmont Hotel, Galway, 8 March, 2019, Callen and Tansey Solicitors, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Smith V, Every trial should begin and end with a systematic review - but what about qualitative research? , Welcome Trust Clinical Doctorate Fellows Research Day, Clinical Research Facility, St. James Hospital, Dublin, 15 April, 2019, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Smith V, Cochrane Reviews , Writing a Cochrane Review, Ashling Hotel, Dublin, 20-21 June, 2019, Evidence Synthesis Ireland , Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Begley C, Daly D, Smith V, Clarke M, Devane D, Gross MM, Morano S, Lundgren I, Sinclair M, Putman K, Lawrence Beech B, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K, Nieuwenhuijze M, Wiseman H, Savage G, Newell J, Grylka-Baeschlin S, Healy P, Nicoletti J, Lalor J, Carroll M, van Limbeek E, Nilsson C, Stockdale J, Fobelets M, A cluster randomised trial of an intervention to increase vaginal birth after caesarean section (OptiBIRTH): ISRCTN10612254, From Birth to Health - Towards Sustainable Childbirth Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 17-18 Sept 2018, 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Smith V, Writing for publication: Journal choice and structuring your paper, Annual Research School, Trinity College Dublin, 25-26 Jan , 2018, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED
Smith V, Lundgren I, Nilsson C, Vehilainen-Julkunen K, Nicoletti J, Devane D, Bernloehr A, van Limbeek E, Lalor J, Begley C, Interventions designed to increase VBAC: evidence from two systematic reviews, Vaginal birth after caesarean section: opportunities for maternity care and women in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, 21 Feb 2017, 2017, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Healy P, Galvin S, on behalf of the PRioRiTy Study Team, Exemplars of the successful involvement of the public in randomised trial design matters, 4th International Clinical Trials Methodology Conference (ICTMC) and the 38th Annual Meeting of the Society for Clinical Trials, Liverpool, UK, 7-10 May, 2017, Conference Paper, PRESENTED


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All areas of maternity care with specific interest and expertise in the areas of antenatal and intrapartum fetal assessment (monitoring the fetal heart rate and fetal movement monitoring in pregnancy) and intrapartum care (caesarean section, vaginal birth after caesarean section, perineal care, and salutogenic labour and birth). Valerie's areas of research methodological expertise include survey research, randomised control trials, including methods for improving the design and conduct of trials, and systematic review methodology.