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Ireland's central source for Open Access health research

Lenus, the Irish Health Research repository is the leading source for Irish research in health and social care.  The Lenus collections include peer reviewed journal articles, grey literature, dissertations, reports and conference presentations. Lenus contains the publications of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) and the collected research output of over 130 health organisations past and present are all freely accessible.

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HSE Open Access Research Awards 2021

The winners of the 2021 HSE Open Access Research Awards have been announced.

This year has seen the highest volume of entries in the history of the awards, reflecting the growth of Open Access publishing and the level of activity in Irish health research.


This year's awards were in four categories:

Acute Care and Hospitals

Colum Dunne et al  Biomarkers in delirium: A systematic review

Community and Social Care

Katarzyna Gajewska et al. Prevalence and incidence of type 1 diabetes in Ireland: a retrospective cross-sectional study using a national pharmacy claims data from 2016

Mental Health and Disabilities

Peter Barrett et al. Potential alcohol use disorder among MSM in Ireland - Findings from the European MSM internet survey (EMIS 2017)


Jacopo Villani et al. A community-health partnership response to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Travellers and Roma in Ireland.


A Special Merit prize was awarded to:

Gautam Gulati et al. Challenges for people with intellectual disabilities in law enforcement interactions in Ireland; thematic analysis informed by 1537 person-years' experience


The overall winner of the HSE Open Access Research Awards 2021 was:

Kieran Walsh et al. SARS-CoV-2 detection, viral load and infectivity over the course of an infection


Congratulations to our winners, and sincere thanks to all who entered their research for the awards.





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  • Incidence and severity of pertussis hospitalisations in infants aged less than 1 year in 37 hospitals of six EU/EEA countries, results of PERTINENT sentinel pilot surveillance system, December 2015 to December 2018.

    Merdrignac, Lore; Aït El Belghiti, Fatima; Pandolfi, Elisabetta; Jané, Mireia; Murphy, Jane; Fabiánová, Kateřina; García Cenoz, Manuel; Flem, Elmira; Guillot, Sophie; Tozzi, Alberto E; et al. (2021-01)
    IntroductionPERTINENT is a pilot active surveillance system of infants hospitalised with pertussis in six European Union/European Economic Area countries (37 hospitals, seven sites).AimThis observational study aimed to estimate annual pertussis incidence per site from 2016 to 2018 and respective trends between 2017 and 2018. Pertussis cases were described, including their severity.MethodsWe developed a generic protocol and laboratory guidelines to harmonise practices across sites. Cases were hospitalised infants testing positive for Bordetella pertussis by PCR or culture. Sites collected demographic, clinical, laboratory data, vaccination status, and risk/protective factors. We estimated sites' annual incidences by dividing case numbers by the catchment populations.ResultsFrom December 2015 to December 2018, we identified 469 cases (247 males; 53%). The median age, birthweight and gestational age were 2.5 months (range: 0-11.6; interquartile range (IQR): 2.5), 3,280 g (range: 700-4,925; IQR: 720) and 39 weeks (range: 25-42; IQR: 2), respectively. Thirty cases (6%) had atypical presentation either with cough or cyanosis only or with absence of pertussis-like symptoms. Of 330 cases with information, 83 (25%) were admitted to intensive care units including five deceased infants too young to be vaccinated. Incidence rate ratios between 2018 and 2017 were 1.43 in Czech Republic (p = 0.468), 0.25 in Catalonia (p = 0.002), 0.71 in France (p = 0.034), 0.14 in Ireland (p = 0.002), 0.63 in Italy (p = 0.053), 0.21 in Navarra (p = 0.148) and zero in Norway.ConclusionsIncidence appeared to decrease between 2017 and 2018 in all but one site. Enhanced surveillance of hospitalised pertussis in Europe is essential to monitor pertussis epidemiology and disease burden.
  • "It's Like a Kick in the Teeth": The Emergence of Novel Predictors of Burnout in Frontline Workers During Covid-19.

    Sumner, Rachel C; Kinsella, Elaine L (2021-05-25)
    The context of Covid-19 has offered an unusual cultural landscape for examining how workers view their own position relative to others, and how individuals respond to prolonged exposure to workplace stress across different sectors and cultures. Through our recent work tracking the well-being of frontline workers in the UK and Ireland (the CV19 Heroes project), we have uncovered additional psychological factors that have not been accounted for in previous models of occupational stress or burnout. In recent months, frontline workers have worked to protect the community from the threat of SARS-CoV-2 and, simultaneously, have evaluated their perceptions of collective efforts of others as either congruent or incongruent with collective goals (e.g., lowered mortality and morbidity): we call this novel aspect solidarity appraisal. These frontline workers have been hailed as heroes, which we argue has led to the creation of an implicit psychological contract (the hero contract) between frontline workers and the public. Here, the heroes are willing to "go above and beyond" for the greater good, with the expectation that we (the public) do our part by adhering to public health guidelines. Where frontline workers perceive incongruence between the words and actions of others in working toward collective goals this drives negative affect and subsequent burnout. In this perspective article, we evaluate the cultural context of the pandemic in the UK and Ireland and suggest important socio-cultural factors that contribute to perceptions of solidarity, and how this may relate to burnout and worker welfare during and beyond the pandemic context.
  • A qualitative study of the views of healthcare professionals on providing vaccines information to patients.

    Loftus, Ruth; Sahm, Laura J; Fleming, Aoife (2021-06-21)
    Background Healthcare professionals (HCPs) such as pharmacists, general practitioners and practice nurses are a trusted source of vaccines information for patients in primary care. Global regulators have highlighted the key role of HCPs in fostering confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Objective This study aims to gain insight into the views and experiences of HCPs on providing vaccines information to patients. Setting Primary care general practice surgeries and community pharmacies in Ireland. Methods Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 HCPs (five General practitioners [GPs], four practice nurses and five community pharmacists) identified through purposive and convenience sampling. The interviews were analysed by inductive thematic analysis. Main outcome measure Participants' views and experiences of providing vaccines information to patients. Results Five key themes were identified: roles and responsibilities, perception of risk, perception of the public, building a relationship, and emotion. HCPs were motivated by duty and care for their patients. They respected patient autonomy and were driven by their concern for public health. HCPs were influenced by their perception of risk and their perceptions of the public. HCPs practiced patient-centred care by providing tailored vaccines information. They favoured an approach of providing patients with information and support to make their own decision. The topic was emotive; HCPs empathised with patients but were also frustrated by their perceived inability to change some patients' views. Conclusion The provision of vaccines information by HCPs to patients is multifactorial with participants mindful of patient autonomy and the HCP role to support vaccinations as a public health priority. Participants suggested that education and support on vaccines communication would enable them to support the vaccines uptake in their practice.
  • Comorbidity and COVID-19: investigating the relationship between medical and psychological well-being.

    Stafford, Owen; Berry, Anna; Taylor, Laura K; Wearen, Sinead; Prendergast, Cian; Murphy, Eddie; Shevlin, Mark; McHugh, Louise; Carr, Alan; Burke, Tom (2021-04-16)

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