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Full NameDr Frances Shiely

Department:HRB Clinical Research Facility and School of Public Health

Organisation:University College Cork

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • epidemiology/population health research
  • Other
Other Research Fields:

Clinical Trials; Trial Methodological Research

Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Anaesthetics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Practice
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Paediatrics
  • Pathology
  • Public Health
  • Radiology
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Adolescent medicine
  • Clinical Trials
  • Community Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
My Work

I am director of TRAMS (Trials Research and Methodologies) Group in the HRB CRF-C (Clinical Research Facility). Our interests are in patient focused research, both observational and interventional. We are interested in the conduct of clinical trials to answer relevant health research questions. We also promote embedding methodological research in clinical trials.

Some recent works are;
O’Riordan F, F Shiely, S Byrne, D O'Brien, B Palmer, D Dahly, T O'Connor, D Curran, A Fleming. An investigation of the effects of procalcitonin testing on antimicrobial prescribing in respiratory tract infections in an Irish University Hospital setting - a feasibility study. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Accepted subject to revisions.
Kelly M, L Sahm, S McCarthy, R O’Sullivan, F Shiely. Randomised controlled trial of an intervention to improve parental knowledge and management practices in fever. BMC Paediatrics. Accepted. Awaiting page numbers.
Cully G, P Corcoran, E Cassidy, F Shiely, E Arensman. Method of self-harm and risk of self-harm repetition: findings from a national self-harm registry. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2019; 246: 843-850.
Hurley C, CM Sinnott, M Clarke, PM Kearney, E Racine, JE Eustace, F Shiely. Perceived barriers and facilitators to Risk Based Monitoring in academic-led clinical trials: a mixed methods study. Trials, 2017; 18(1):423 DOI 10.1186/s13063-017-2148-4.

Potential Projects

This is an example of a work-package in a PhD. I invite any clinician interested in conducting a clinical trial in their respective specialty to contact me. WP Title: Patients’ perspectives on what trialists should communicate to them when being invited to participate in a randomized trial. We know that many trials fail because they don’t recruit enough participants. In fact, evidence suggests that less than 50% meet their recruitment target (1). The recent PRioRiTy study publication identified and prioritised twenty key unanswered trial recruitment questions, using a methodologically rigorous process (2). The second highest priority, was “what information should trialists communicate to members of the public who are being invited to take part in a randomised trial in order to improve recruitment to the trial?” The purpose of our study is to answer this question using qualitative methods.

We propose to conduct semi-structured interviews with 30-35 patients in 8-10 randomised trials currently running in Cork University Hospital. Patients will be invited to participate in the interview, before they are approached to be recruited by the research nurse, or given any information on the trial, to prevent biasing their answers. Our principal aim is to establish what information the patient might expect to be given, when being recruited to a randomised trial. Interviews will be transcribed and analysed using NVivo software. We will use thematic analysis to identify the priority patient seeking information. We will also rank the identified themes/areas, according to the greatest number of times mentioned by patients. We will publish our findings in an open access journal, Trials. This study will assist the design of the information sheet and thus the informed consent process in randomised trials. It will also assist the conduct of trials, as it will potentially increase recruitment into the trial.