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Full NameDr Grace O'Malley

Department:School of Physiotherapy

Organisation:Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • physiology and non-communicable disease
  • epidemiology/population health research
  • Other
Other Research Fields:

Endocrinology; Rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise

Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Paediatrics
  • Public Health
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Adolescent medicine
  • Clinical Trials
  • Endocrinology
  • Health Informatics
  • Other
Other Medical Specialties:

Exercise / sports / rehabilitative medicine

My Work

I am a Clinical Researcher working in the field of paediatrics between the Royal College of Surgeons and Temple Street Children's University Hospital. The focus of my research group is on the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based assessment and treatment of child and adolescent obesity. Under this remit my group focuses on mapping the co-morbidities (physical and psychological) associated with obesity in children and adolescents. In addition, I am actively involved in research exploring the use of innovative methods for healthcare delivery (connected health/telemedicine) and the use of behavioural economic interventions for public health.

Relevant references include:
1. O’Malley G, Ring-Dimitriou S, Nowicka N, Vania A, Frelut ML, Farpour-Lambert N, Weghuber D and Thivel D. Physical activity and physical fitness in pediatric obesity: what are the first steps for clinicians? Expert Conclusion from the 2016 ECOG Workshop. Int J Exerc Sci 2017;10(4):487-796.
2. O’Malley G; Clark M; Burls A; Murphy S; Perry I. A smartphone intervention for adolescent obesity: study protocol for a randomised controlled non-inferiority trial. Trials 2014 Jan 31;15:43.
3. Holm JC, Nowicka P, Farpour-Lambert NJ, O'Malley G, Hassapidou M, Weiss R, Baker JL.The ethics of childhood obesity treatment - from the Childhood Obesity Task Force (COTF) of European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO).Obes Facts. 2014;7(4):274-81.
4. Thivel D, Ring-Dimitriou S, Weghuber D, Frelut ML, O'Malley G. Muscle Strength and Fitness in Pediatric Obesity: a Systematic Review from the European Childhood Obesity Group. Obes Facts. 2016;9(1):52-63. doi: 10.1159/000443687. Epub 2016 Feb 23.
5. Thivel D, O'Malley G, Pereira B, Duche P, Aucouturier J. Comparison of total body and abdominal adiposity indexes to dual x-ray absorptiometry scan in obese adolescents. Am J Hum Biol. 2015;27(3):334-8.
6. Braet C, O’Malley G; Weghuber D; Nowicka P; Ardelt-Gattinger E. The assessment of eating behaviour in the absence of hunger in children who are obese: a psychological approach. A Position Paper from the European Childhood Obesity Group. Obes Facts. 2014;7(3):153-64.
7. Landauer F, Huber G, Paulmichl K, O´Malley G, Mangge Harald, Weghuber D. Timely diagnosis of malalignment of the distal extremities is crucial in morbidly obese juveniles. Obesity Facts 2013;6(6):542-51. doi: 10.1159/000357280.
8. O’Malley G, Hussey J, Roche E. A pilot study to profile the lower limb musculoskeletal health in obese children. Pediatric physical Therapy, 2012 Fall;24(3):292-8.
9. O'Malley GC, Baker PRA, Francis DP, Perry I, Foster C. Incentive-based interventions for increasing physical activity and fitness (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD009598. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009598.
10. Savoye M, Nowicka P, Shaw M, Yu S, Dziura J, Chavant G, O’Malley G, Tamborlane W.V, and Caprio S. Long-term Results of an Obesity Program in an Ethnically Diverse Pediatric Population. Pediatrics 2011;127(3):1-9. PMID 21300674
11. D. Thivel, L. Isacco, G. O’Malley & P. Duché. Pediatric Obesity and Perceived Exertion: Difference Between Weight-Bearing and Non-Weight-Bearing Exercises Performed at Different Intensities, Journal of Sports Sciences 2015:1-6.
12. D'Adamo E, Northrup V, Weiss R, Santoro N, Pierpont B, Savoye M, O'Malley G, Caprio S. Ethnic differences in lipoprotein subclasses in obese adolescents: importance of liver and intraabdominal fat accretion. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;June PMID: 20573788

Potential Projects

Background: Childhood obesity is associate with a myriad of health impairments, which impact negatively on child health in the short term and increase the risk of adult chronic. Treatment of obesity is costly and it is essential that children with the greatest health impairments have timely access to early interventions.

Aim: To explore the prevalence of cardiometabolic impairment in children with obesity in Ireland and to develop and evaluate an intervention designed to improve these indices.

1. To explore the cardiometabolic health of children and adolescents from a reference population sample;
2. To explore the cardiometabolic health of a clinical sample of children/adolescents with obesity
3. To explore cardiometabolic health variables between the two populations
4. To develop an evidence-based intervention to improve the cardiometabolic health of children;
5. To evaluate the clinical efficacy of the intervention.

Method: The study will use existing data from population-based studies to profile cardiometabolic health estimated by blood pressure and anthropometry (e,g waist: height ratio and waist circumference). Thereafter, existing data from a clinical population of children/adolescents with obesity will explore cardiometabolic health (e.g. lipid profile; liver enzyme; plasma glucose; insulin; blood pressure and anthropometry) and relevant outcomes will be compared to the reference sample. Finally an evidence-based intervention targeting cardiometabolic health will be designed and tested in a pilot efficacy study. Data will be analysed using appropriate statistical methods with support from the RCSI Data Sciences Centre.

Expected Results: This project will yield important data to aid the clinical staging of children/adolescents with obesity so that timely access to evidence-based treatment can be facilitated. It may be possible to develop a prediction algorithm for use by clinicians to offer care to those most at risk of short-term or longer term obesity related diseases.