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Palliative Care Week aims to raise awareness of the difference palliative care can make to patients, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery dedicate research in the palliative care and chronic illness Theme and focus on enhancing health and wellbeing in palliative care and chronic illness across the ages.

The group has worldwide recognised expertise in improving patient care at the end of life and patient’s self-management of chronic conditions, including in relation to mental health.  As well, efforts are pursued in researching innovations to support family carers.

To celebrate Palliative Care Week we are highlighting the research and work of key members of the group.


Theme Co-ordinator, Professor Kevin Brazil


In the spotlight

Dr Dorry McLaughlin

Dr Dorry McLaughlin retired from the School of Nursing and Midwifery this Summer. During her tenure she made an important contribution to palliative care in Northern Ireland.

Dr Dorry McLaughlin has worked in Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care in a number of different nursing roles for almost thirty years. She developed an interest and commitment in research and development centred on palliative an end of life care during her time working in Hospice Care and has held a special interest in development of palliative and end of life care for disadvantaged groups. 

Her work projects have focused on palliative and end of life care for people with intellectual disabilities, which was the focus of her doctoral study, and at European level she was a member of the European Association of Palliative Care Taskforce to develop consensus norms in end of life care for people with intellectual disabilities. More recently she has been involved in research projects on palliative and end of life care for people with dementia.


The desired impact and outcomes of the above named work projects are that first services across care settings would have raised awareness of the palliative and end of life care needs of these disadvantaged groups. Second, that Health and Social Care Professionals would have increased preparedness to care for these disadvantaged populations and thus to deliver enhanced palliative and end of life care. Finally, that further research and development, building on some of these work projects, would be generated and taken forward.   


Completed Research

Northern Ireland Hospice (June 2017- Mar 2018))

An evaluation of hospice enabled dementia partnership project: a four-phased study 

McLaughlin, D (PI)., Hasson, F., Reid, J., Brazil, K., Stone, C., Rutherford, L., van der Steen, J (European Collaborator)

Marie Curie Cancer Care (2016-2018)

Acceptability and usefulness of ‘My Healthcare Passport to young people with life-limiting conditions

O’Halloran, P (PI) McLaughlin, D., Byrne, B., Hollywood, M., Price, J, Abbot, A., Watson, M

Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (2016-2018)

Reducing hospital admissions of people with dementia from nursing homes: anticipating care needs

McLaughlin, D(PI)., Carter, G., Brazil, K., Abbott, A., Boreland, R., Nelson, L.,Graham, L.

Northern Ireland Children’s Service (Jan 2017-Mar 2017)

Evaluation of children’s hospice services 

Porter, S (PI)., McLaughlin, D., Galway, K., Santin, O

Completed Research

Atlantic Philanthropies and HSC Public Health (2014-2016)

Promoting informed decision making and effective communication through Advance Care Planning for people living with dementia and their family carers

Brazil, K., Clarke, M., Froggatt, K., Hudson, P., Kernohan, WG., McLaughlin, D., Passmore, P.

European Association of Palliative Care Taskforce (2012-2013) )

Delphi study of good practice examples of palliative care for people with intellectual disabilities across Europe

Tuffrey- Wijne, I (PI).,McLaughlin, D., Read, S., McCarron, M., Hoenger, C., McEnhill, 

HSC (July 2012-2013)

Development, delivery and evaluation of a regional palliative and end-of-life care learning and development programme for nursing homes in Northern Ireland

McLaughlin, D (PI)., McCorry, N., Hasson, F., Kernohan, W., McIlfatrick, S., Foster, S., Waldron, M

HSC Research & Development Doctoral Fellowship (2008-2011)

A study to develop and evaluate an educational resource in palliative and end-of-life care for specialist palliative care and learning disability services: promoting collaborative working

McLaughlin, D., Barr, O., McIlfatrick, S., McConkey,

In Focus

Staff Profile

Dr Helen Noble

The ultimate aim of my work is to help improve the quality of life and death for those with end-stage kidney disease

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Staff Profile

Professor Joanne Reid

Professor Joanne Reid predominantly works in the field of cachexia, a wasting syndrome present in many chronic illnesses such as cancer and renal disease. 

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Dr Peter'O Halloran

Staff Profile

Dr Peter O'Halloran

I’m working on research projects that are focused on keeping people fully involved in decisions about their care and treatment.

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Staff Profile

Dr Olinda Santin

I started off my career working with children and young people who grew up in the care system. The young people taught me how important it was to really listen to the experiences of vulnerable people and that by working together we can truly inform and improve services

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Recognising contributions

Dr Dorry McLaughlin

Dr Dorry McLaughlin retired from the School of Nursing and Midwifery this Summer. During her tenure she made an important contribution to palliative care in Northern Ireland.

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