CARDI Grant Projects

CARDI has to date awarded funding to 37 research projects and networks through its grants programme. These projects cover a wide spectrum of research, reflecting the huge range of issues relevant to the ageing research agenda. They bring together researchers from many disciplines including medicine, gerontology, economics, psychology, physics, geography and sociology to work together in a cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary manner.

Details and results of the projects are available in this section.


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A cross-border comparison of people presenting with symptoms of dementia in Ireland

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Suzanne Barrett, Queen’s University Belfast

Researchers: 

  • Dr Suzanne Barrett, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Peter Passmore, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Brian Lawlor, Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr Stephen Todd, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr Bernadette McGuinness, NUI Galway
This project looked at two memory clinics, the Belfast City Hospital Clinic in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Mercer’s Memory Clinic at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). 

This research brief is based on the findings of the project, conducted as part of CARDI’s data mining programme, as well as additional research on the context of dementia care and diagnosis across the island of Ireland. 

CARDI grant programme

A predictive model of long-term care

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Professor Charles Normand, Edward Kennedy Professor of Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin

Researchers: 

  • Dr Dermot O'Reilly, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast
  • Maev-Ann Wren, Centre for Health Policy, Trinity College Dublin and Age Action Ireland
Rapid growth in numbers of older people in Ireland (North and South) requires informed planning for long-term care, both residential and in the community. 

This project brings together researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast with Age Action to draw on existing data sources in Ireland (North and South) to construct a predictive model for long term care needs. 

This model will be developed into a tool which policy makers can use to help better plan for future care needs of older people.

CARDI grant programme

Age, income and food: a study of the socio-economic influences on food expenditure among community-dwelling older people in Ireland

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Ms Eleanor Bantry White, University College Cork

Researchers: 

  • Dr Ian Shuttleworth, Queen's University Belfast
  • Dr Siobhan Cusack, University College Cork
  • Ms Teresa Wills, University College Cork
  • Dr Caitríona Ní Laoire, University College Cork
Poor diet among older people is an important public health issue, particularly as malnutrition contributes to increased morbidity and mortality. 

Research suggests that older adults are particularly vulnerable to a compromised nutritional intake due to a range of physical, economic and social factors which influence food access, choice and behaviour. As a result, CARDI funded a study on demographic and socio-economic influences on food expenditure as part of its data mining programme in 2011. 

CARDI grant programme

Ageing in persons with an intellectual disability: building the foundation for an all-island, longitudinal study

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Professor Roy McConkey, University of Ulster

Researchers: 

Professor Roy McConkey, Institute for Nursing Research, University of Ulster; Professor Mary McCarron, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin; and Professor Philip McCallion, Centre for Excellence in Aging Services, University of Albany c/o Trinity College Dublin.

These experts will form an all island reference group of older people with intellectual disability and their carers, and bring together professionals and policy makers to study this area. The project will develop data collection to inform support needs now and for the future.

Objective:
To develop an all-Ireland module on intellectual disability that will be part of a long-term study of older people. To provide information needs to policy makers and service planners.

 

CARDI grant programme

An evaluation of inappropriate prescribing in long-stay elderly facilities in Greater Cork and Northern Ireland regions

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Stephen Byrne, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, University College Cork

Researchers: 

  • Professor Brendan McCormack, Professor of Nursing Research, University of Ulster
  • Professor Carmel Hughes, Professor of Primary Care Pharmacy and Dr Carole Parsons, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, Queens’ University Belfast
  • Dr Denis O’Mahony, Consultant Geriatrician and Senior Lecturer in Medicine, Cork University Hospital
  • Dr Susan Patterson, Pharmaceutical Prescribing Adviser, Health and Social Care Trust
  • Mr David O’Sullivan, Research Pharmacist, University College Cork
  • Sister Finola Finn, Matron, Bandon Community Hospital

An evaluation of inappropriate prescribing in long-stay elderly facilities in Greater Cork and Northern Ireland using the STOPP and Beers criteria

 
Inappropriate prescribing in older people is a major global health problem, with serious consequences for patients, principally adverse reactions and morbidity. 

This team will collect data in Cork and compare with similar data from Northern Ireland.

CARDI grant programme

Assessing telecare for carers of older people: a research network

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Ms Brigid Barron, Innovation and Programme Manager, Caring for Carers Ireland

Researchers: 

  • Dr Assumpta Ryan, Lecturer in Nursing, University of Ulster
  • Ms Sarah Delaney, Senior Research Consultant, The Work Research Centre
  • Ms Catherine Keogh, Care Practice Co-ordinator, Alzheimer Society of Ireland
  • Ms Helen Ferguson, Director, Carers NI
  • Professor Mike Nolan, Professor of Gerontological Nursing, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Brian Lawlor, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin
  • Professor Kathy Murphy, Head of School, School of Nursing & Midwifery, NUI Galway
  • Ms Mairead Hayes, representative of Caring for Carers Ireland
  • Ms Avril Craig, representative of Carers NI
  • Mr Pat Donohue, Programme Specialist, Tipperary Institute of Technology
  • Ms Anne Sherriff, Group Manager, Occupational Therapy & Technology Service, West Lothian Council.

Stress and fatigue among carers of older people is a problem that can lead to depression and the breakdown of the care provided.  

In order to explore the potential contribution of telecare in helping carers of older people, CARDI funded the development of a research network in 2009. It was led by Brigid Barron of Caring for Carers Ireland to assess the impact of telecare on carers of older people in terms of reducing stress and increasing quality of life. 

This research brief is based on the findings of the network as well as CARDI’s own research in this area.

Decision-making regarding medication use in patients with dementia at the end of life

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Carole Parsons, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, Queens University Belfast

Researchers: 

  • Professor Carmel Hughes, Chair in Primary Care Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast
  • Professor Peter Passmore, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Queen's University Belfast
  • Dr Denis O'Mahony, University College Cork
  • Dr Stephen Byrne, University College Cork
  • Alzheimer's Society (NI) and the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland (ROI)
Despite the increase in the prevalence and incidence of dementia research into palliative care for patients with advanced dementia is limited. This novel study will seek to evaluate, in Ireland (North and South), the extent to which patient-related factors influence clinical decision-making in respect to medication use in patients with end-stage dementia. 
CARDI grant programme

Diet, retinal microvascular health and cognitive decline and dementia risk

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Charlotte Neville
  • Centre for Public Health, QUB

Mentor: Professor Jayne Woodside, QUB

For the CARDI Leadership Programme Dr Charlotte Neville will explore the impact of stress on the neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older adults in the North and South of Ireland, using data from NICOLA and TILDA. The experience of severe or persistent psychological stress can alter immune mediators, trigger inflammatory processes and increase oxidative stress, damaging brain and cardiovascular health.

CARDI grant programme

Does pain mediate or moderate the protective effects of physical activity on depressive symptoms in older people?

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Frank Doyle, Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Researchers: 

  • Division of Population Health Sciences (Psychology)
    RCSI - Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Professor Ronan Conroy, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, RCSI
  • Dr Anne Hickey, Psychology, RCSI
  • Dr Caroline Kelleher, Psychology, RCSI
Moderate to high levels of physical activity can reduce the odds of having depression by half or more. Pain has been shown to be associated with a greater risk of depression among older people and also a potential reason for not engaging in physical activity.

Dr Doyle will investigate the extent to which pain interacts with depression and physical activity in Ireland, north and south, which has potentially crucial clinical and policy implications for older people.

CARDI grant programme

Encouraging behaviour change in mild cognitive impairment patients: development of educational materials

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Jayne Woodside, Senior Lecturer of Nutrition, Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast

Researchers: 

  • Dr Bernadette McGuinness, Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Geriatric Medicine and Dr Michelle McKinley, Lecturer in Nutrition and Professor Peter Passmore, Professor Geriatric Medicine, Queens University Belfast
  • Professor Brian Lawlor, Professor of Psychiatry, and Dr Robert Coen, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Mr Matthew Gibb, Senior Social Worker, Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, St James’s Hospital Dublin.
 
Cognitive decline has a profound impact on the health and quality of life of older people and care-givers.  Randomised controlled trials could identify at which stage interventions are most effective but educational materials on behaviour change are needed first.
 

Objectives

To use focus groups of mild cognitive impairment patients and their care-givers and to hold structured interviews with professionals to design and test educational materials that can encourage change in diet and physical activity.
CARDI grant programme

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