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Chronic Illness and Palliative Care



Professor Fitzsimons' research is focused on improving care for people with chronic conditions, particularly in helping them better understand their illness, engage in effective self-management, embrace preventive strategies and achieve optimal end of life care.

The purpose of this work is to help develop, test and translate innovative interventions to tackle complex health issues. She is also interested in supporting professionals to use evidence to enhance their practice and in the development of clinical practice guidelines.

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Professor Fitzsimons is open to PhD applications in the fields of:

  • Chronic disease self-management 

  • Preventative cardiology

  • Palliative care in chronic illness

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School of Nursing and Midwifery

Professor Donna Fitzsimmons

Professor Fitzsimons is Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery









Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Chronic Illness And Palliative Care Research Initiative


Research students

PhD Title: Exploring cardiac cachexia in advanced heart failure

Name: Emma Mc Gleenan
Years of Study: 2017-2020
Country: N.Ireland

PhD Title: Determining the theoretical and practical feasibility of implementing a family initiated escalation of care scheme to detect and refer patient deterioration.

Name: Aidin McKinney
Years of Study: 2018-2021
Country: N.Ireland

PhD Title: Rejuvenating Rehab: a collaborative methodology to develop innovative approaches for delivery of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Name: Gemma Caughers
Years of Study: 2018-2021
Country: N.Ireland

Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Lisa Jeffers

PhD Title: Maximising survival: The status passage from cancer diagnosis to inherited genetic condition in women with hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer

Years of Study: 2008-2011
Country: N.Ireland
Current position: Genetics Nurse Counsellor, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Dr Hassan Al Shahrani

PhD Title: Pre-hospital delay in patients presenting with myocardial infarction in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Years of Study: 2011-2014
Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Current position: General Director of Health Affairs in Al-Jouf Region, KSA

Dr Loreena Hill

PhD Title: Management if Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in advanced heart failure: An exploratory study of heart failure patients’, carers’ and healthcare professionals’ perspectives

Years of Study: 2012 -2015
Country: N.Ireland
Current position: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Research at Queen's

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