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The Maternal and Child Health research theme aims to improve the lives of children, families and communities


In Maternal and Child Health, we have conducted some of the first UK wide trials on relationships and sexuality education in schools to help better prepare young people for positive sexual and reproductive health and parenting. We also specialise in research to promote men's roles in parenting and child health, including hard to reach men, such as men in prisons. The School also manages longitudinal registers relating to child health for Northern Ireland, notably in relation to cerebral palsy  (CP Register) and also premature babies (NICORE) and has partnered with the health service in the development and evaluation of 'family focused practice' for parents with mental illness and the development of community-based antenatal care for young first-time parents.


Theme Co-ordinator - Professor Maria Lohan



Principal Investigator

Project Title

Funders and Dates

Alderdice, F. Prof. Neonatal Intensive Care Outcomes Research & Evaluation (NICORE)

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) - Ongoing

Brown, M. Prof. Transition from child to adults health services for young people with complex learning disabilities Burdett Nursing Foundation - 2016-2019
Eastwood, K. Dr.

Investigation of the link between maternal body mass index in early pregnancy and incidence of cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland

QUB School of MDBS Scholarship - 2018-2019
Kelly, Carmel. Dr. HIV & Pregnancy: Education for Healthcare Professionals ‘Prepared to Care’ Knowledge Transfer Award from the HSC R&D Division
Kelly, Carmel. Dr. Improving the sexual health of men in Northern Ireland's Prisons System: A nurse led initiative

Burdett Trust for Nursing

Jan 2017 – Jan 2018

Kerr, C. Dr.

Development of a digital toolkit for objective clinical assessment of activity.

Northern Ireland Connected Health Innovation Centre/Invest NI - 2019-2020
Kerr, C. Dr.

Improving the lives of children with disabilities using postural support equipment: scoping collaborative industry-academic-clinical opportunities.

Medical Research Council Proximity to Discovery, Industry Engagement Fund - 2017
Kerr, C. Dr.

Post-operative rehabilitation of the lower limb for children with cerebral palsy: a knowledge transfer initiative.

Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy/National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia - 2016-2018
Kerr, C. Dr. & Perra, O. Dr. Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register (NICPR) Public Health Agency (previously Department of Health & Social Services), 1992-present Perinatal Society, 1991
Linden, M. Dr. Preparing young men to be fathers: The roll out and study of If I were Jack in Hydebank Wood College.

Northern Ireland Prison Service

April 2016 - April 2017

Lohan, M. Prof. If I Were Jack: A Phase III multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial of a school-based relationship and sexuality education intervention focusing on young male perspectives

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)


Lohan, M. Prof. Relationships and Future Fatherhood Programme for Young Incarcerated Men

Medical Research Council (UK)

April 2018 – October 2019

Lohan, M. Prof. What young men need in relationship and sexuality education: evaluations of a targeted intervention

Health Services Executive, Department of Health, Ireland

Oct. 2014 – Oct. 2017

Lohan, M. Prof. Positive Choices: Optimisation, feasibility testing and pilot randomised trial of Positive Choices: a school-based social marketing intervention to promote sexual health, prevent unintended teenage pregnancies and address health inequalities in England

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

April 2017 to: Dec. 2019

Lohan, M. Prof. Investigating the Influences of Social Context and Structure on Young People's Parenting Experiences.

Canadian Institute of Health Research

Aug. 2013 to Jul 2018

Lohan, M. Prof. World Health Organisation (WHO) Consultancy – Assessing the state of the evidence on masculinity and the engagement of men in sexual and reproductive health and rights interventions: A systematic review of reviews World Health Organisation (WHO) February – June 2018
McNeill, J. Dr. Barriers & Facilitators to the Implementation of Integrated Preschool Assessments

Improving Children's Lives - Queen's University, Belfast


McNeill, J. Dr. Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer (PABC) Puffin Trust
McNeill, J. Dr. The APPLE Project: A Parenting and Professional Learning Evaluation

Enabling Research Award – Public Health Agency HSC R&D Division

July 2017 - July 2019

Perra, O. Dr. A feasibility study of the Attention Control Training (ACT) intervention amongst very preterm (VP) infants. Enabling Research Award – Public Health Agency HSC R&D Division February 2018-January 2019

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