Researchers at UCD


Karen Ryan

Clinical Associate Professor

School Of Medicine



2007: Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Francis Hospice, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St Francis Hospice

2010: Clinical Lead, National Clinical Programme for Palliative Care, HSE.




Association: Irish Association for Palliative Medicine Consultants Association, Function/Role: Member
Association: Irish Association for Palliative Care, Function/Role: Member

Conference Contributions

Smith, M; Higginson, IJ; Selman, L; Pannell, C; Kaler, P; de Wolf-Linder, S; Meier, DE; Morrison, RS; Normand, C; Ryan, K; McQuillan, R; Daveson, BA; BuildCARE (2015) The clash of cultures between generalists and specialists in hospital: An in-depth ethnography to improve access to specialist palliative care for older adults. [Oral Presentation], 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Copenhagen, Denmark , 08-MAY-15 - 10-MAY-15.
Johnston, BM; Ryan, K; McQuillian, R; Normand, C; Tobin, K; Daveson, B; Morrison, S; Meier, D; McCrone, P; Selman, L; Higginson, I; buildCARE (2015) Older adult patients' preferences for accessing specialist palliative care: Opportunities for improvement. [Oral Presentation], 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Copenhagen, Denmark , 08-MAY-15 - 10-MAY-15.
Davis, BA; Mohamad, M; Leonard, M; Ryan, K; Meagher, D (2015) Under the neuropsychological microscope: an investigation of the prevalence of delirium and/or other cognitive issues within a palliative care population - preliminary findings. [Oral Presentation], 45th Annual Psychological Society of Ireland Conference, Galway , 11-NOV-15 - 14-NOV-15.
Mohamad, M; Davis, BÁ; Leonard, M; Ryan, K; Meagher, D (2015) Cross-sectional analysis of depressive symptoms in palliative care patients. [Poster Presentation], Royal College of Psychiatrists Liaison Faculty Annual Conference, London , 13-MAY-15 - 15-MAY-15.
Kane, PM; Murtagh, FE; Ryan, K; McQuillan, R; Higginson, IJ; Daveson, BA; buildCARE (2015) Interventions involving patient-centred care in chronic heart failure - A systematic review. [Poster Presentation], 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Copenhagen, Denmark , 08-MAY-15 - 10-MAY-15.
Tuffrey-Wijne, I; McLaughlin, D; Oliver, D; Curfs, L; Hoenger, C; McEnhill, L; Read, S; Satge, D; Dusart, D; Strasser, B; Westergaard, B; Ryan, K; EAPC Taskforce on Intellectual Disabilities (2015) The development of European consensus norms for palliative care of people with intellectual disabilities: An EAPC white paper. [Oral Presentation], 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Copenhagen, Denmark , 08-MAY-15 - 10-MAY-15.
Connolly M., Charnley K., Ryan K., HSE Palliative Care Competence Framework Steering Group (2014) A PALLIATIVE CARE COMPETENCE FRAMEWORK FOR IRELAND IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION AND PRACTICE. [Oral Presentation], 33rd Annual International Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference, Royal College of Suregons of Ireland , 19-FEB-14 - 20-FEB-14.
Connolly M., Charnley K., Ryan K. (2014) Developing a Palliative Care Competence Framework - Lessons from Ireland. [Poster Presentation], Singapore Palliative Care Conference, Singapore , 28-JUN-14 - 29-JUN-14.
Connolly M., Ryan K., Charnley K. (2015) Developing a Palliative Care Competence Framework - Lessons from Ireland. [Poster Presentation], 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, Copenhagen, Denmark , 08-MAY-15 - 10-MAY-15.


Committee : Specialty Training Committee for Palliative Medicine
Committee : Management Committee of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care


Year 2005 Institution: RCPI
Qualification: Certificate Subject: Palliative Medicine
Year 2000 Institution: RCPI
Qualification: MRCPI Subject: Medicine
Year 1997 Institution: UCC
Qualification: MB, BCh, BAO Subject: Medicine



Book Chapters

Ryan, K., Guerin, S. & Larkin, P. (2014) 'Loss and end-of-life care' In: Read, S (eds). Supporting People with Intellectual Disabilities Experiencing Loss and Bereavement: Theory and Compassionate Practice. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. [Details]
Watson M, Ryan K. (2009) 'Neuropathic Pain in Cancer (Current Pharmacological Treatments)' In: Bhatnagar S (eds). Freedom from Pain, Proceedings of Sixteenth International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care. New Delhi, Bangalore: IK International Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. , pp.185-193 [Details]
Ryan K (2009) 'Pain Management' In: Watson MS, Lucas CF, Lucas C, Hoy AM, Wells J (eds). Oxford Handbook of Palliative Care. Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Details]
Ryan K, Dodd P, McQuillan R. (2007) 'Congenital Developmental Disabilities' In: D. Walsh et al (eds). Palliative Medicine, 1st. Edition. USA: Elsevier. [Details]
Ryan K, McQuillan R. (2005) 'Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities' In: Read S (eds). Ethical Decision-making. London: Quay Books. , pp.75-93 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Kane PM, Murtagh FE;Ryan K;Mahon NG;McAdam B;McQuillan R;Ellis-Smith C;Tracey C;Howley C;Raleigh C;O'Gara G;Higginson IJ;Daveson BA (2015) 'The gap between policy and practice: a systematic review of patient-centred care interventions in chronic heart failure'. Heart Failure Reviews, 20 (6):673-687. [DOI] [Details]
Tuffrey-Wijne I, McLaughlin D;Curfs L;Dusart A;Hoenger C;McEnhill L;Read S;Ryan K;Satg¿¿ D;Stra¿¿er B;Westerg¿¿rd BE;Oliver D (2015) 'Defining consensus norms for palliative care of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe, using Delphi methods: A White Paper from the European Association of Palliative Care'. Palliative Medicine, . [DOI] [Details]
Kane PM, Daveson BA;Ryan K;McQuillan R;Higginson IJ;Murtagh FE; (2015) 'The need for palliative care in Ireland: a population-based estimate of palliative care using routine mortality data, inclusive of nonmalignant conditions'. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 49 (4):726-7330. [DOI] [Details]
Connolly M, Ryan K, Charnley K (2015) 'Developing a palliative care competence framework for health and social care professionals: the experience in the Republic of Ireland'. BMJ supportive & palliative care, . [DOI] [Details]
Ryan, K., Guerin, S. & McEvoy, J. (2014) 'The nature and importance of quality of therapeutic relationships in the delivery of palliative care to people with intellectual disabilities'. Palliative & Supportive Care, . [Details]
McLean S, Dhonnchu TN;Mahon N;McQuillan R;Gordijn B;Ryan K (2013) 'Left ventricular assist device withdrawal: an ethical discussion'. BMJ supportive & palliative care, . [DOI] [Details]
Rowley D, McLean S, O'Gorman A, Ryan K, McQuillan R (2011) 'Review of cancer pain management in patients receiving maintenance methadone therapy'. The American journal of hospice & palliative care, 28 (3):183-187. [DOI] [Details]
Ryan, K,Guerin, S,Dodd, P,McEvoy, J; (2011) 'End-of-Life Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities: Paid Carer Perspectives'. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 24 (3):199-207. [DOI] [Details]
Chroinin, DN,Haslam, R,Blake, C,Ryan, K,Kyne, L,Power, D; (2011) 'Death in long-term care facilities: Attitudes and reactions of patients and staff. A qualitative study'. Europe, 2 :56-59. [DOI] [Details]
Ryan, K., Guerin, S., Dodd, P. & McEvoy, J.; (2011) 'Communication contexts about illness, death and dying for people with intellectual disabilities and life-limiting illness'. Palliative & Supportive Care, 9 (2):201-208. [Details]
Ryan, K., Guerin, S., Dodd, P., McEvoy, J. (2011) 'Exploring the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities when service users die'. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39 (4):259-265. [Details]
McLean S., Ryan K., O¿Donnell JS. (2010) 'Primary thromboprophylaxis in the palliative care setting - a qualitative systematic review'. Palliative Medicine, 24 (4):386-395. [Details]
Ryan, K,McEvoy, J,Guerin, S,Dodd, P; (2010) 'An exploration of the experience, confidence and attitudes of staff to the provision of palliative care to people with intellectual disabilities'. Palliative Medicine, 24 :566-572. [DOI] [Details]
Ryan, K., Leanard, M., Guerin, S., Dinnelly, S., Conroy, M. & Meagher, D.; (2009) 'Validation of the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) in the palliative care setting'. Palliative Medicine, 23 :40-45. [DOI] [Details]
Kean J, Ryan K. (2008) 'Delirium detection in clinical practice and research: Critique of current tools and suggestions for future development'. Journal of psychosomatic research, 65 (3):255-259. [Details]
Ryan K, Bourke J. (1999) 'Latex Allergy and Implications for Irish Patients and Healthcare Workers'. Irish Medical Journal, 92 (7):433. [Details]

Other Journals

McLean S, Balding L, Lucey M, Ryan K (2013) 'Development of national clinical guidelines for the management of cancer pain in adults: the process, the challenges, and lessons for the future. Cancer Professional' Progress in Palliative Care 7 (4) :15-18. [Details]
McLean S, Rowley D, Ryan K (2010) 'The management of cancer pain in patients with a history of opioid misuse' Irish Journal of Clinical Medicine 4 (40) :6-12. [Details]
O¿Gorman A, Ryan K. (2009) 'Management of Breakthrough Pain in Patients with Cancer' Cancer Professional 3 (2) :16-18. [Details]

Published Reports

Ryan, K., Guerin, S., O¿Brien, N., Nixon, E., Cooney, F.m Fitzpatrick, S., Foley, S., Larkin, P., Lee, B., Newnham, P., O¿Leary, E., Peelo Kilroe, L., Rayner, S., & Reaper Reynolds, S. (2014) Report of the First National Palliative Care Support Bed Review. Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland. [Details]
Ryan K, Connolly M, Charnley K, Ainscough A, Crinion J, Hayden C, Keegan O, Larkin P, Lynch M, McEvoy D, McQuillan R, O¿Donoghue L, O¿Hanlon M, Reaper-Reynolds S, Regan J, Rowe D, Wynne M; Palliative Care Competence Framework Steering Group (2014) Palliative Care Competence Framework. Health Service Executive, Dublin. Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

Palliative care for people with intellectual disabilities; delirium; organisation and delivery of palliative care services


2015- (scheduled end date 30.9.17): ¿What are the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different organizational models of community specialist palliative care (CSPC) provision in Ireland?¿ Lead co-applicants: Prof Charles Normand and Dr Karen Ryan, Co-applicant: Prof Sonja McIlfatrick. Grant reference: RCQPS-2015-2. Source of Funding: Health Research Board. Grant amount: ¿280,000


2015- (scheduled end date 2017): Palliative Care Cluster: International Access, Rights and Empowerment Study II (IARE II): An international mixed methods study to compare palliative care experiences among older people affected by cancer and non-cancer populations. Principle investigator: Prof Irene Higginson. Lead investigators: Dr Barb Daveson (UK); Prof Diane Meier, Prof Sean Morrison (US); Prof Charles Normand, Dr Karen Ryan, Dr Regina McQuillan (Ireland). Grant reference: 24609. Source of Funding: Atlantic Philanthropies. Grant amount: ¿740,000


Recent Postgraduates

Bridget Johnston (PhD in progress, commenced Sept 2013, Trinity College Dublin), International Access Right and Empowerment Study Plus (IARE +).


Brid Davis (PhD in progress, commenced June 2014, University of Limerick), Towards improved diagnosis and management of delirium in palliative care: a longitudinal investigation of severity, frequency and relationship with mood, pain, fatigue and cachexia.


Mohamad Mahady (PhD in progress, commenced August 2014, University of Limerick), Depression in the palliative care setting: a longitudinal study of its severity, frequency and relationship with cognition, pain, fatigue and cachexia.




Modules Coordinated

201500   MDCS41350     Medicine Clinical Science: Psychosocial & ethical issues
201500   MDCS41320     Medicine Clinical Science: Palliative Care Introduction
201500   MDCS41340     Medicine Clinical Science: Personhood and Loss
201500   MDCS41330     Medicine Clinical Science: Pain and symptom management


Internal Collaborators

Dr Suzanne Guerin, School of Psychology, UCD.

External Collaborators

Prof Charles Normand, Edward Kennedy Chair in Health Policy and Management, TCD.


Prof David Meagher, University of Limerick


Prof Irene Higginson, Head of Department, Head of Division and Director of Cicely Saunders Institute, King¿s College London, UK.


Prof Sean Morrison, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, US.