The Ageing Research Centre (ARC) comprises an interdisciplinary group of researchers, the aim of which is to conduct excellent research across

disciplinary boundaries to address health research priorities that reflect the day-to-day realities of older people’s lives. Consequently, our research in this area is closely aligned with Sustainable Development Goal Three, Good Health and Wellbeing.


ARC works to develop capacity in ageing research at UL and build collaborations with researchers, clinicians, industry partners, older people and their representative organisations. ARC has a strong track record of public and patient involvement in research enabled by collaboration with a stakeholder panel of older adults and family carers. Collaborations with clinical partners in UHL and nationally have also supported the relevance and expedited the impact of our research.


Over the next five years, ARC will strengthen and extend its collaborations with clinical partners and older adults. We will support early-career researchers through training and mentoring and grow our funding through national and international funding awards.


We will continue to forge a national and international reputation as innovators in ageing research that positively impacts older people's lives.

ARC Panel Group Photo 2024

Our People

Principal Investigator 

Dr Katie Robinson, Senior Lecturer Occupational Therapy

Research Team

  • Dr Pauline Boland, Occupational Therapy
  • Dr Amanda Clifford, Senior Lecturer Physiotherapy
  • Dr Alexandra Cremona, School of Allied Health
  • Dr Niamh Cummins, EHS Succeed and Lead Research Fellow, School of Allied Health
  • Prof. Rose Galvin, Senior Lecturer Physiotherapy
  • Dr Sara Hayes, Lecturer Physiotherapy
  • Ms Marcella Kelly, Centre of Nurse and Midwifery Education (CNME), Galway
  • Dr Siobhan Leahy, Lecturer in Allied Health
  • Dr Karen McCreesh, Senior Lecturer Physiotherapy
  • Dr Arlene McCurtin, Lecturer in the School of Allied Health (Clinical Therapies)
  • Dr Niall Mcgrane, Lecturer in Physiotherapy
  • Dr Pauline Meskell, Senior Lecturer Nursing and Midwifery
  • Dr Ann-Marie Morrissey, Lecturer Occupational Therapy
  • Dr Hilary Moss, Senior Lecturer Music Therapy
  • Dr Michelle Norris, Research Fellow (ALECS Programme), Science and Engineering
  • Dr Mary O’Keeffe, Postdoctoral Researcher & Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship
  • Dr Cliona O'Riordan, Lecturer Below the Bar in Physiotherapy
  • Dr Kieran O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer Physiotherapy
  • Dr Helen Purtill, Lecturer Department of Mathematics & Statistics
  • Prof. Ita Richardson, Professor, Dept. Of Computer Science & Information Systems and Co-Principal Investigator, Lero

Featured Projects

The OPTIMEND trial evaluated the introduction of a dedicated team of Health and Social Care Professionals (Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Medical Social Worker) in the Emergency Department to focus on timely assessment and intervention of people aged ≥65 years. Watch the video clip below for a summary of OPTIMEND findings. 


The OPTIMEND study - Changing how healthcare is delivered to older people in the Emergency Department | UL - University of Limerick

Why surgery is not always the answer for shoulder and knee pain

 Moss, H., RTE Brainstorm Music and relaxation during COVID 19

To Join HRI's Ageing Research Centre

The Ageing Research Centre welcomes new members from academic and clinical settings. We also welcome older adults who want to join our stakeholder panel. To join ARC get in touch via:


Ahmad, B., Richardson, I. and Beecham, S., 2021. Usability Recommendations for Designers of Smartphone Applications for Older Adults: An Empirical Study. In Software Usability. IntechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.96775

Barry, L., Galvin, R., Murphy Tighe, S., O'Connor, M., Ryan, D. and Meskell, P., 2021. The barriers and facilitators to implementing screening in emergency departments: a qualitative evidence synthesis (QES) protocol exploring the experiences of healthcare workers. HRB Open Research3, p.50.

Bhriain, O.N., McCaffrey, T., Clifford, A., Shanahan, J., Beecher, O. and Moss, H., 2021. Collaborative knowledge sharing for mind and body: Celebrating the role of arts in health. In The Artist and Academia (pp. 120-134). Routledge.

Cahill, M., Galvin, R. and Pettigrew, J., 2021. The retirement experiences of women academics: a qualitative, descriptive study. Educational Gerontology, pp.1-15.

Carroll, L.M., Morris, M., O’Connor, W.T., Volpe, D., Salsberg, J. and Clifford, A.M., 2021. Evidence-Based Aquatic Therapy Guidelines for Parkinson’s Disease: An International Consensus Stud. Journal of Parkinson's Disease, (Preprint), pp.1-17.DOI: 10.3233/JPD-212881

Carroll, L.M., Morris, M.E., O'Connor, W.T. and Clifford, A.M., 2021. Community aquatic therapy for Parkinson’s disease: an international qualitative study. Disability and Rehabilitation, pp.1-10.

Cassarino, M., Robinson, K., Trépel, D., O’Shaughnessy, Í., Smalle, E., White, S., Devlin, C., Quinn, R., Boland, F., Ward, M.E. and McNamara, R., Steed, F., O’Connor, M., McCarthy, G., Ryan D, Galvin, R 2021. Impact of assessment and intervention by a health and social care professional team in the emergency department on the quality, safety, and clinical effectiveness of care for older adults: A randomised controlled trial. PLoS medicine18(7), p.e1003711.

Clifford, A.M., Shanahan, J., Moss, H., Cleary, T., Senter, M., O’Hagan, E.M., Glynn, L., O'Neill, D., Watts, M. and Bhriain, O.N., 2021. Insights from an early stage development mixed methods study on arts-based interventions for older adults following hospitalisation. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, p.102745.

Connolly, L. and Moss, H., 2021. Music, spirituality and dementia: Exploring joint working between pastoral care professionals and music therapists to improve person-centred care for people with dementia (Innovative Practice). Dementia20(1), pp.373-380.

Cormican, O., Meskell, P. and Dowling, M., 2021. Psychosocial vulnerability among carers of persons living with a chronic illness: A scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Practice, p.e13024.

Finn, C. and Boland, P., 2021. Male family carers' experiences of formal support–a meta‐ethnography. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences35(4), pp.1027-1037.

Gill-Thwaites, H.L., Elliott, K.E. and Morrissey, A.M., 2021. LOCCATE: A tool to identify the diagnostic spectrum profile of motor function and functional communication responses for the individual with a prolonged disorder of consciousness. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, pp.1-21.

Graham, F., Boland, P., Wallace, S., Taylor, W.J., Jones, B., Maggo, J. and Grainger, R., 2021. Social and Technical Readiness for a Telehealth Assessment Service for Adults With Complex Wheelchair and Seating Needs: A National Survey of Stakeholders. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy49(1).

Grantham, B., Korakakis, V. and O’Sullivan, K., 2021. Does blood flow restriction training enhance clinical outcomes in knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical Therapy in Sport.

Griffin, A., McGarry, S., Moloney, C. and Galvin, R., 2021. Diagnostic accuracy of the Mini Nutritional Assessment–Short Form to identify malnutrition among older adults: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. HRB Open Research4(83), p.83.

Kelly, M., Higgins, A., Murphy, A. and McCreesh, K., 2021. A telephone assessment and advice service within an ED physiotherapy clinic: a single-site quality improvement cohort study. Archives of physiotherapy11(1), pp.1-9.

Kennedy, F., Galvin, R. and Horgan, N.F., 2021. Managing frailty in an Irish primary care setting: A qualitative study of perspectives of healthcare professionals and frail older patients. Journal of Frailty, Sarcopenia and Falls6(1), p.1. doi: 10.22540/JFSF-06-001

Leahy, A., McNamara, R., Reddin, C., Corey, G., Carroll, I., Team, S., O'Neill, A., Flannery, D., Devlin, C., Barry, L. MacCarthy, B., Cummins, N, O’Connor M., Ryan, D., Galvin, R. 2021. The Impact of Frailty Screening of Older Adults With Multidisciplinary Assessment of Those at Risk During Emergency Hospital Attendance on the Quality, Safety and Cost-Effectiveness of Care (SOLAR): A Randomised Controlled Trial.(Research Square preprint)

Leahy, A., O’Connor, M., Condon, J., Heywood, S., Shanahan, E., Peters, C. and Galvin, R., 2021. Diagnostic and predictive accuracy of the Clinical Frailty Scale among hospitalised older medical patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. BMJ open11(1), p.e040765. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040765

Lee, S., O’Neill, D. and Moss, H., 2021. Dementia-inclusive group-singing online during COVID-19: A qualitative exploration. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, pp.1-19.

Levy, M., Liu, L., Amyot, D., Yu, E., Alshammari, M., Baslyman, M., Bjarnason, E., Bull, C., Duarte, C.H.C., Groen, E.C. and Jantunen, S., Richardson, I., Wei, Z. "Requirements Engineering for Well-Being, Aging, and Health: An Overview for Practitioners," in IEEE Software, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 7-12, May-June 2021, doi: 10.1109/MS.2021.3058492

Manning, M., MacFarlane, A., Hickey, A., Galvin, R. and Franklin, S., 2021. ‘I hated being ghosted’–The relevance of social participation for living well with post‐stroke aphasia: Qualitative interviews with working aged adults. Health Expectations.

Maxwell, C., Robinson, K. and McCreesh, K., 2021. Managing shoulder pain: a meta-ethnography exploring healthcare providers’ experiences. Disability and Rehabilitation, pp.1-13.

Maxwell, C., Robinson, K. and McCreesh, K., 2021. Understanding shoulder pain: a qualitative evidence synthesis exploring the patient experience. Physical Therapy101(3), p.pzaa229.

Morrissey, A.M., O’Neill, A., O’Sullivan, K. and Robinson, K., 2021. Complementary and alternative medicine use among older adults with musculoskeletal pain: findings from the European Social Survey (2014) special module on the social determinants of health. British Journal of Pain, p.20494637211023293.

Moss, H., 2021. Music and Creativity in Healthcare Settings: Does Music Matter?. Routledge.

Moss, H., Lee, S., Clifford, A.M., Ní Bhriain, O. and O’Neill, D., 2021. Together in song: Designing a singing for health group intervention for older people living in the community. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, pp.1-18.

O' Donoghue M, Boland P, Leahy S., Galvin, R., Hayes, S. Exploring the perspectives of key stakeholders on the design and delivery of an intervention to rehabilitate people with cognitive deficits post-stroke [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. HRB Open Res 2021, 3:93 (

O’Malley, N., Clifford, A.M., Conneely, M., Casey, B. and Coote, S., 2021. Effectiveness of interventions to prevent falls for people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke: an umbrella review. BMC neurology21(1), pp.1-31.

 O’Neill, A., Gallagher, S., Hannigan, A., Robinson, K., Association between work status and depression in informal caregivers: a collaborative modelling approach, European Journal of Public Health, 2021;, ckab178,

O’Neill, A., O’Sullivan, K. and McCreesh, K., 2021. Lower levels of physical activity are associated with pain progression in older adults, a longitudinal study. European Journal of Pain.

O’Shaughnessy Í, Robinson K, O'Connor M, Conneely, M., Ryan, D., Steed, F., Carey, L., Leahy, A., Galvin, R. (2021) Effectiveness of acute geriatric unit care on functional decline and process outcomes among older adults admitted to hospital with acute medical complaints: a protocol for a systematic review BMJ Open 2021;11:e050524. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050524

O'Callaghan, G., Fahy, M., Murphy, P., Langhorne, P., Galvin, R. and Horgan, F., 2021. Effectiveness of interventions to support the transition home after acute stroke: a protocol for a systematic review. HRB Open Research4(105), p.105.

O'Leary, H., Ryan, L.G., Robinson, K., Conroy, E.J. and McCreesh, K., 2021. “You'd be better off to do the keyhole and make a good job of it” a qualitative study of the beliefs and treatment expectations of patients attending secondary care with degenerative meniscal tears. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice51, p.102281.

O'Malley N, Coote S and Clifford AM. Protocol for the development of a core outcome set for evaluating mixed-diagnosis falls prevention interventions for people with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and stroke [version 1; peer review: 1 approved with reservations]. HRB Open Res 2021, 4:123 (

O'Neill, A., Purtill, H., Kelly, D., McCreesh, K., Robinson, K. and O'Sullivan, K., 2021. Medication and healthcare utilization variation among older adults with pain. European Journal of Pain25(4), pp.841-851.

Quinn, G., Comber, L., McGuigan, C., Hannigan, A., Galvin, R. and Coote, S., 2021. Risk factors for falling for people with Multiple Sclerosis identified in a prospective cohort study. Clinical rehabilitation35(5), pp.765-774.

Romero-Ortuño, R., Martínez-Velilla, N., Sutton, R., Ungar, A., Fedorowski, A., Galvin, R., Theou, O., Davies, A., Reilly, R.B., Claassen, J. and Kelly, Á.M., 2021. Network Physiology in Aging and Frailty: The Grand Challenge of Physiological Reserve in Older Adults. Frontiers in Network Physiology, p.2. 

Schnakers, C., Hirsch, M., Noé, E., Llorens, R., Lejeune, N., Veeramuthu, V., De Marco, S., Demertzi, A., Duclos, C., Morrissey, A.M. and Chatelle, C., 2020. Covert cognition in disorders of consciousness: A meta-analysis. Brain sciences10(12), p.930.

Shanahan, E., Ryan, S., Leahy, A., Sheehy, T., Costelloe, A., Roy, A., Galvin, R., Peters, C., Lyons, D. and O'Connor, M., 2021. Delirium and abnormal autonomic nervous system response to head-up tilt testing. Experimental Gerontology, p.111430. 

Sweeney, D., Quinlan, L.R., Richardson, M., Meskell, P., Cunnington, A.L., Rosenthal, L., Luo, L. and ÓLaighin, G., 2021. Multifaceted Sensory Electrical Stimulation cueing for Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders82, pp.106-108.

Tieges, Z., Maclullich, A.M., Anand, A., Brookes, C., Cassarino, M., O’Connor, M., Ryan, D., Saller, T., Arora, R.C., Chang, Y… Agarwal, K., and Galvin, R. 2021. Diagnostic accuracy of the 4AT for delirium detection in older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. Age and ageing50(3), pp.733-743.

Tuohy, D., Fahy, A., O'Doherty, J., Meskell, P., O'Reilly, P., O'Brien, B., Murphy, J., Doody, O., Graham, M., Barry, L. and Kiely, M., 2021. Towards the development of a national patient transfer document between residential and acute care—A pilot study. International Journal of Older People Nursing, p.e12374.

Williams, S., Morrissey, A.M., Steed, F., Leahy, A., Shanahan, E., Peters, C., O'Connor, M., Galvin, R. and O'Riordan, C., 2021. Early supported discharge for older adults admitted to hospital with medical complaints: a protocol for a systematic review. BMJ open11(10), p.e049297.