Current Research Projects

Generation 27

This longitudinal, mixed methods project aims to examine how the introduction of free GP care for children in Ireland in 2015 has impacted on patient care. With a research team that includes Dr William Behan, Dr David Molony, Mr Carl Beame, Dr Geoff McCombe and Ms Neasa Connealy, we are working hard to make preliminary results available to key stakeholders in late 2016.


To find out what are the common mental health disorders in primary care and to examine how these are currently being diagnosed and treated, we have collected anonymised data from 35 practices.

Ms Helen Tobin, Dr Davina Swan, Mr Oliver O’Brien and Mr Frank Fogarty have been working on this study and have presented its findings at national and international meetings, including the International Primary Care Mental Health Research Conference, Amsterdam, 2016 and AUDGPI, Dublin 2016. 

HepCare Europe

Led by Prof Jack Lambert (Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital), this project aims to develop, implement and evaluate a new model of care for people at risk of hepatitis C infection across the EU. Funded by the European Commission, this project involves collaborators at SAS (Spain), SVB (Romania), University of Bristol (UK), University College London (UK) and in Ireland, HSE (Primary Care, Addiction Services), Mater / St Vincent’s University Hospitals, Ireland East Hospital Group, ‘SafetyNet’, Irish Prison Service, HIV Ireland, Community Response.

For further information on this project, or if you would like to attend its launch on 22nd June 2016 at 5pm in Mater Hospital, please email

CME Effectiveness

Although continuing medical education / professional development delivered through small groups have been a long established part of the educational landscape in primary care, the evidence on their effectiveness in enhancing patient care, is variable.

This project, being conducted by Dr Stephanie Dowling (MD Student at the UCD School of Medicine), aims to address this knowledge gap by examining the effectiveness of small group based CME among a representative sample of GPs in the East of Ireland. 

Better Addiction Medicine Education

Led by Dr Jan Klimas, PhD, MSc, this project examines how to best train healthcare providers in the care of people with substance use disorders and related harms.

Adolescent Depression and Professional Interventions

Dr Davina Swan has recently been awarded a Health Research Board of Ireland funded fellowship to conduct a Cochrane systematic review to examine how ‘professional interventions’ (e.g. education, audit, etc) might impact on depression among adolescents.

Starting in Summer 2016, the project team also includes Prof Fiona McNicholas, Dr Bobby Smyth, and UCD SSRA student, Mr Damien Kelly.

MERIT Project

The MERIT Project was established in UCD in December 2004 with the key aims to:

  • Establish structures to train, equip, monitor and integrate general practitioners into delivery of agreed aspects of pre-hospital emergency care.
  • Explore the establishment of liaison structures between general practitioners, Ambulance Services and GP co-operatives in these regions.
  • Establish systems aimed at the provision of specific forms of advanced care by small groups of trained and well supported doctors, working in close co-operation with the Ambulance Services
  • Facilitate the provision of defibrillators for use by general practitioners within their current practice settings.

July 2015  MERIT 3  Linking the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and General Practice
Our recently published data from the first five years of MERIT activity shows the powerful effect that the local availability of GPs has on the chances of survival in cardiac arrest. 

MERIT 3 will link the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and General Practice in the management of cardiac arrest in the community through newly available communications technology at national level.  Participating GPs determine the times and general area in which they can be called to a cardiac arrest by the NAS Control Centre.

‌MERIT 3 Progress to date. Ninety two GPs have enrolled and in excess of 230 text alerts have been issued to GPs. Basic Life Support Bags have been distributed to these GPs courtesy of Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) who are supporting GPs in this project.