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Full NameProfessor Keelin O'Donoghue

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

University College Cork

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • genetics, genomics and molecular biology
  • epidemiology/population health research
  • preventive medicine/behavioural change interventions
  • clinical trials
  • Other
Other Research Fields:

maternal and fetal medicine; perinatal mortality and pregnancy loss

Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • General Practice
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Pathology
  • Public Health
Medical Subspecialties
  • Clinical Trials
  • Health Informatics
  • Hospice and palliative medicine
  • Neonatology
  • Physiology
My Work

The Pregnancy Loss Research Group is based at CUMH. The group encompasses a multidisciplinary team of doctors, researchers, scientists, midwives, nurses, social workers, pathologists and chaplains alongside medical, Masters and Doctoral students, working collaboratively with the common goal – to provide support and information to parents bereaved by early and late pregnancy loss, promote their emotional, psychological and physical well-being, as well as improving professional practice and clinical care, influencing health-care policy and facilitating research in all areas of pregnancy loss. Through the integration of our research with education programmes and public health, we also work towards ending the stigma associated with all types of pregnancy loss.

The Pregnancy Loss Research Group came together formally in 2012 and now meets monthly at CUMH. Research from the group has been presented at a wide variety of international conferences around the world. Members of the group have also been involved in a large number of national and international publications as well as national guidelines and reports. We actively disseminate our research, through a diverse range of channels, targeting a range of knowledge users, including researchers, clinicians/practitioners, decision-/policy-makers, bereaved parents and members of the public.

Potential Projects

I have extensive supervisory/mentorship experience, with numerous researchers having completed/ongoing studies with my support, under a variety of programmes. I have supervised 9 PhD candidates to graduation, with another 5 currently under supervision (March 2022). In recognition of my mentorship, the Irish Research Council awarded me a Research Ally Prize in December 2021. Current funding includes awards from Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board.

My research interests include pregnancy loss and perinatal mortality, perinatal audit, multiple pregnancy, prenatal screening and diagnosis, perinatal palliative care and fetal anomaly.

Examples of Projects planned for the next few years include:

exploration of the impact of pregnancy loss on the workplace - for women and men, as well as employer costs with proposals for future employment law and HR guidance

examination of the impact of (current and proposed) patient safety and other health legislation on recent maternal and perinatal outcomes in maternity services

experience of pregnancies with molar pregnancy and gestational trophoblastic disease

classification of stillbirth – using AI and systems epidemiology to establish causal mechanisms and model predictions for future pregnancy

psycho-social exploration of pregnancy loss and its management within the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland

design, development and evaluation of behaviour change interventions targeting maternal behaviours to reduce the risk of stillbirth

research prioritisation exercise for Ireland – focussing on maternal and perinatal health topics and the relative importance of pregnancy loss

management of early pregnancy pathology and pathological examination – pregnant women’s and healthcare professionals’ perspectives

supporting maternity care staff in the aftermath of an adverse event: development and pilot testing of a scalable psychosocial intervention

management of pregnancies complicated by lethal fetal anomaly and perspectives of healthcare professionals on care choices and pathways during pregnancy and after birth