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Palliative Care 535x535

Theme Lead: Professor Kevin Brazil


Our work within this theme spans the whole life course from parenting programmes to public health interventions in communities and schools through to end-of-life care. Within this, some of our key areas of work include early childhood, mental health and chronic illness and palliative care.


This research theme within CESI aims to improve mental and physical health across the human life span and brings together scholars from across Schools in Queen’s University Belfast, including: School of Nursing and Midwifery; the Centre for Public Health; School of Psychology; and School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. We are dedicated to promoting research and scholarship that is interdisciplinary, holistic, and employs the full spectrum of research methods and activities that range from discovery to application and transfer to impact positively on society and in applying this understanding to improve a wide range of aspects including the individual, the organization and delivery of care, and the community.

The research within this theme is centred in three primary areas; children and young people, mental health and wellbeing and aging and life limiting conditions. Cross cutting interests shared across these areas include: 

  • Enhancing research capacity through strategic partnerships and collaborations with other relevant national and international groups;
  • Conducting and supporting ‘linkage and exchange’ approach to enhance the utility of research evidence in the processes of policy formulation and practice;
  • Refining evidence-generation strategies to enhance existing knowledge.   

Signature projects that highlight activities in these three research areas are below.

Current Research

If I Were Jack

The JACK Trial

A Phase III effectiveness multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial of a relationship and sexuality education intervention targeted especially to young males to reduce unintended teenage pregnancy and promote positive sexual health. This study led by Professor Maria Lohan draws on a team of investigators drawn from across QUB, University of Glasgow, University College London, Cardiff University and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  

Their work aims to test the effectiveness in reducing unprotected heterosexual teenage sex of an interactive film-based RSE intervention offered to males and females aged 14 years in schools which draws explicit attention to the role of males in preventing an unintended pregnancy.

For further details, please visit the project website here.




Mental Health of children and young people

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Researchers from CESI are also involved in the first population wide survey of the mental health of children and young people in NI. The study has involved collecting data on the mental health of a representative sample of just over 3000 children and young people aged 2-19. The research is being conducted by Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and the Mental Health Foundation, with Dr Lisa Bunting from Queen's as the Principal Investigator. Other researchers involved from CESI are Drs Claire McCartan, Anne Grant, Ciaran Mulholland, Dirk Schubotz and Professor Gavin Davidson. The findings will directly inform the development of policy, services and practice for supporting the mental health of children and young people. 









Aging and Life Limiting Conditions

Aging and Life Limiting Conditions

This international study, led by Professor Kevin Brazil, partners researchers from several countries: United Kingdom (QUB, Lancaster University, DeMontfort University); Republic of Ireland (University College Cork); Netherlands (Leids Universtair Medisch Centrum); Canada (McMaster University, McGill University); Czech Republic (Center for Palliative Care) and Italy (Turin University). 

This study aims to adapt, implement and evaluate the Family Carer Decision Support intervention (FCDS) transnationally. The FCDS intervention has been designed to inform family carers about end of life care options available to a person living with advanced dementia. Expected project outcomes will include the development of guidelines and resources to facilitate transnational use of the FCDS within care homes.