Dr Elaine Toomey is a Lecturer in the School of Allied Health. She is also a Health Research Board (HRB) Research Fellow and a Research Associate of Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland.

Elaine served as Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland until April 2020. Previously, she was a HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Postdoctoral Fellow with the Health Behaviour Change Research Group (National University of Ireland Galway) where she co-led the development of a complex behavioural childhood obesity prevention intervention, with a particular focus on process and implementation outcomes. Elaine was a Visiting Researcher at Hunter New England Population Health Service/Newcastle University (Newcastle, Australia) in 2018, the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine in Western University (Ontario, Canada) in 2018, and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Ontario, Canada) in 2017 and 2018.

Elaine's research focuses on the development, evaluation and implementation of health behaviour change interventions, implementation science (narrowing the gaps between research, policy and practice), open science and health research methodology. She also has specific expertise in evidence synthesis, process evaluations and fidelity/adaptation of behavioural interventions. Her current research explores the implementation of health research into policy in Ireland through the HRB Applying Research into Policy and Practice Fellowship Scheme. 


Toomey, E., Hardeman, W., Hankonen, N., Byrne, M., McSharry, J., Matvienko-Sikar, K. and Lorencatto, F. (2020) ‘Focusing on fidelity: Recommendations for improving intervention fidelity within trials of health behavioral interventions’, Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine, 8(1), 132-151. doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2020.1738935


Verbeek, J.H., Rajamaki, B., Ijaz, S., Sauni, R., Toomey, E., Blackwood, B., Tikka, C., Ruotsalainen, J.H., Kilinc Balci, F.S. (2020), ‘Personal protective equipment for preventing highly infectious diseases due to exposure to contaminated body fluids in healthcare staff’, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD011621. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD011621.pub4.


Toomey, E.*, Matvienko-Sikar, K.*, Doherty, E., Harrington, J., Hayes, C.B., Heary, C., Hennessy, M., Kelly, C., McHugh, S., McSharry, J., O’Halloran, J., Queally, M., Heffernan, T., Kearney, P.M. and Byrne, M. ‘A collaborative approach to developing sustainable behaviour change interventions for childhood obesity prevention: Development of the Choosing Healthy Eating for Infant Health (CHErIsH) intervention and implementation strategy’, British Journal of Health Psychology, 25(2), 275-304. doi:10.1111/bjhp.12407


McGee, D., Lorencatto, F., Matvienko-Sikar, K. and Toomey, E. (2018) ‘Surveying knowledge, practice and attitudes toward intervention fidelity within trials of complex healthcare interventions’, Trials, 19(1), 504. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-018-2838-6


Toomey, E., Matvienko-Sikar, K., Heary, C., Delaney, L., Queally, M., Hayes, C., Kearney, P. and Byrne, M. (2018) ‘Intervention fidelity within trials of infant feeding behavioural interventions to prevent childhood obesity: a systematic review’, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 53(1), 75-97. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kay021