Browsing CARL Research Reports 2021 by Issue Date
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- ItemPrevalence and impact of X-ray screening for atlantoaxial instability in children with Down syndrome(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021) Shenoda, Daniel; Gibson, Louise; Down Syndrome Cork; Civil Society OrganizationIntroduction: Atlantoaxial instability (AAI) is defined as excessive movement between the first and second cervical vertebra. This can lead to spinal cord compression, resulting in myelopathic and radicular symptoms. These symptoms occur in 1-2% of the down syndrome (DS) population. DS athletes are often required to undergo pre-participation X-ray screening for AAI to help identify those at risk. However, the evidence for plain cervical spine X-ray as a form of screening is poor. Aim: This project aims to explore the use, sensitivity and specificity of X-ray screening for AAI in the Irish DS population, to investigate the prevalence of symptomatic AAI, to identify the rate of sport exclusion based on an abnormal X-ray and to investigate whether neuromuscular conditions, type of schooling or activity level are significantly correlated to an abnormal Xray. Method: This is a nation-wide cross-sectional online survey. It was rolled out via email by Down Syndrome Ireland to 1511 registered families. The survey asked parents if their child has had to undergo x-ray screening, the result of the x-ray, the impact of the result and if they developed symptoms. The survey also assessed parental knowledge of symptoms of AAI. Results: Out of 240 responders, 7 responders had symptomatic AAI and 5 of these had normal X-rays (29% sensitivity). Chi-Squared testing showed no variables significantly correlated with having an abnormal X-ray. Of the total group of 146 who underwent X-ray pre-participation screening, 20 had abnormal results and were excluded from playing their desired sports (specificity 86.7 %). Conclusion: X-ray screening for AAI in Ireland is very common and can result in the exclusion of many from participating in sports. Plain X-ray has low sensitivity. Therefore, it is not an optimal screening tool for AAI in asymptomatic children. More should be done to improve parental knowledge of this condition.
- ItemAn exploration of challenges facing young adults with HF-ASD: the experiences of professionals(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-02-10) O'Connor, Daisy; Gibson, Louise; ASPECT; Civil Society OrganizationBackground: There is a dearth of literature that addresses day to day challenges that face young adults with high functioning (HF) ASD. Previous studies in this area of research have reported high levels of anxiety with many finding everyday living overwhelming. It can be difficult to engage this cohort in research, therefore, health professionals who work closely with this group were chosen as a surrogate to address their difficulties. They are an undervalued resource in describing their experiences. Objectives: • To explore the challenges in everyday life for people with ASD • To identify the role of ASPECT and the perspectives/ experiences of those who work there • To identify ways in which the challenges can be overcome Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken with thirteen professionals working in ASPECT. The participants were from a varied background including education, social care and psychology. They were interviewed in three separate focus groups. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis followed from this. Results: Challenges facing young adults with autism were divided into intrinsic and extrinsic challenges. This included communication, emotional regulation, vulnerability, boundaries, social imagination, bullying, isolation, lack of awareness in healthcare, funding and the family’s understanding. A broad range of topics were also discussed regarding the role of ASPECT and their recommendations going forward. Conclusion: There is need for more awareness regarding autism and their struggles’. There is an onus on medical professionals to educate themselves on all members of their patient cohort. Hopefully with a more sensitive approach this will have a significant impact on their treatment.
- ItemThe ecology and management of Ballybrack Woods and Beaumont Quarry: an exercise in urban greenspace management(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-03) Horan, Sadhbh; Harrison, Simon; Cork Nature Network; Douglas Tidy Towns; Civil Society OrganizationIn this era of globalization, invasive alien species are quickly becoming one of the main drivers of environmental decline, and with more than half of the world’s population living in urban centres, the management of biodiversity within this ecosystem is of increasing importance. One such invasive species which is highly prevalent in urban ecosystems is winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans (Vill.) C.Presl, (Asteraceae), a clonal plant species that has become invasive in the UK and Ireland. Information on this plant is limited, especially in relation to how it should be managed. It is well documented that clonal plants can be some of the most difficult to manage effectively. The aim of this study is to determine how winter heliotrope should be managed and if this invasive species should be a top priority for park managers to eradicate. This was tested in a number of ways including mapping the species distribution in two urban parks, collecting quantitative data on the species itself using quadrats, and gathering further information from organisations and individuals who have dealt with plant in the past. Another feature of this project is the public’s perception of invasive species in urban parks which was completed via questionnaire. Results found that densities of winter heliotrope were not affected by habitat or slope but were affected by canopy overhead and the presence of native broadleaved woodland. There were also significant differences in leaf height and diameter across zones. The questionnaires given to park users showed that alien species were not a priority and they were much more concerned with other aspects such as litter and antisocial behaviour. Finally, it was determined from interviews that park managers do not have access to sufficient information on invasive species or regulated long-term management plans in Ireland or elsewhere. This has highlighted the need for more comprehensive research into this area as a whole and specifically into invasives such as winter heliotrope.
- ItemThe potential of Ireland’s native three-spined stickleback (Gasterostues aculeatus) for the biological control of mosquito larvae (subfamily: Culicinae) in Ballyvergan Marsh, Youghal, Co. Cork(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-03-05) Walsh, Katrina; Harrison, Simon; Youghal Tidy Towns; Civil Society OrganizationMarshes provide suitable habitats for larval development of nuisance and vector mosquitoes worldwide. Ecological and ecotoxicological consequences of traditional methods have forced mosquito management to less destructive approaches such as Open Marsh Water Management (OMWM); a technique that promotes larval control by tidal flushing and giving native predatory fish access to isolated larval habitats. However, management schemes such as OMWM are rare in European marshes and non-existent in Ireland. Ballyvergan marsh is a coastal marsh located on the south-east coast of Ireland that supports populations of threespined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, within a tidal creek and Aedes and Culex mosquito larvae (Subfamily: Culicinae) in isolated, brackish pools. A field study was conducted to determine the biological control potential of three-spined sticklebacks against mosquito larvae by investigating 1) the predator-prey interactions between three-spined sticklebacks and Culicinae larvae in three different sub-habitats of the marsh 2) the functional response of threespined sticklebacks in brackish and freshwater 3) the consumption rates as a function of group size. All experiments were conducted in controlled in situ conditions using 10L plastic buckets with mesh windows. Sticklebacks showed strong biological control potential, consuming larvae across different sub-habitats of the marsh. A Type Ⅱ functional response in brackish and freshwater was identified with an estimated maximum consumption rate of 429 ± 32 larvae per pair of sticklebacks in 24 hours. It is suggested that management methods, such as OMWM would control local mosquito populations in Ballyvergan marsh through predation by threespined sticklebacks. There is an increasing emphasis on the need to apply ecologically sound mosquito control solutions, as the risk of re-emerging vector-borne diseases in Europe continues to rise with climate change.
- ItemA qualitative study of the effect of limb injury/surgery on participation(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-03-16) Khan, Talha; Timmons, Suzanne; Fox, Siobhan; The Westgate Foundation; Civil Society OrganizationObjectives: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines participation as involvement in life. Participation is a key component of human functioning that is at risk of being impaired when an individual experiences illness or disability. One context in which participation may be impaired is in the event of Limb Injury or Surgery. Older people are particularly vulnerable, with impaired participation due to pre-existing disability or illnesses potentially being exacerbated by the impact of a Limb Injury/Surgery. The aim of this project is to explore the effect of Limb Injury/Surgery on participation in older clients of the Westgate Foundation Active Retirement Club. Methods: The data was collected by using six face-to-face, semi-structured interviews, lasting approximately 30 minutes, with members of the Westgate Foundation Active Retirement Club. The interview topics focused on the nature of the injury/surgery and how this has impacted participation. Transcripts of the interviews were then coded and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Results: Participation was negatively impacted following Limb Injury/Surgery for all participants interviewed. Participation was decreased in the domains of mobility, self-care, domestic life, interpersonal interactions and relationships, and community, social and civic life. Mobility was independently decreased and also led to a subsequent decrease in the other domains of participation. Participation in the domains of communication and major life areas was not decreased among those with limb injury or surgery. Supports varied, including home support services and disability aids, with family help and organizations such as the Westgate Foundation highlighted as significant facilitators for participation. Conclusion: Limb Injury/Surgery has a negative impact upon participation. Increasing mobility, both within the home and outside, can increase participation across most domains due to its knock-on effect. Access to supports should be considered prior to discharge to facilitate allocation of appropriate resources and services within a community setting. This highlights the need for community services and organisations that may serve as protective factors against the loss of participation in those with limb injuries or surgeries.
- ItemAn ethnographic exploration of the experiences of asylum seekers within direct provision undertaking a local cricket training course(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-04) Amujo, Diekololaoluwa Prophecy; Cricket Ireland; Civil Society OrganizationBackground: Recent literature has identified that sport plays a major role in the lives of asylum seekers. Findings from academic studies indicate that sports participation by asylum seekers enhances social relationships, bonding, social inclusion and connections with people in society. Several studies have been conducted on the negative impact of Direct Provision on asylum seekers in Ireland. However, there is a paucity of research on cricket participation and the impact on asylum seekers in Direct Provision in Ireland. Aims: The aim of this research study is to explore the impact of cricket participation on asylum seekers living in Direct Provision centre. Also, to examine the experiences of the asylum seekers that participated in a ‘Cricket Connects’ training programme implemented by Cricket Ireland. The Cricket Connects intervention was implemented by Cricket Ireland in partnership with Cork Sports Partnership as a social inclusion strategy for asylum seekers living in Direct Provision. Methods and Procedures: The researcher conducted ethnographic research to examine the experiences of the participants. In addition, semi-structured interviews were employed for data collection, while thematic analysis method was used for data analysis. Outcome and Results: Four findings emerged from thematic data analysis. 1. continuous participation in cricketing and Cricket Connects programme of Cricket Ireland. 2. the participants played cricket for the purpose of avoidance and psychological escape from stressful lifestyle and depressive moods. 3. Cricket participation promoted social connections and networks between the asylum seekers and people in Irish society. 4. The final was building a bridge to a new future to access opportunities in Ireland through cricket connects. Conclusion and Implications: Positive benefits were derived from cricket participation and Cricket Connects. Longitudinal studies should be conducted to investigate the impact of cricket participation on asylum seekers in Direct Provision over prolonged periods of time.
- ItemExploring adult adoptees’ use of DNA testing as a method of adoption tracing(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-04-27) Linehan, Denise; Halvey, Olwen; Aitheantas-Adoptee Identity Rights; Civil Society OrganizationAdvances in science and technology have influenced several facets of modern society. Specifically, the emergence of DNA testing or Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing (DTC-GT). In addition, the development of social media platforms has made the ability to connect with others instantaneous, anonymous, and effortless. Regarding the field of adoption these resources have changed the practice of search and reunion for birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive families in Ireland. In view of these novel resources for adoption services, it is essential to critically evaluate their utility. Hence, in collaboration with Aitheantas-Adoptee Identity Rights, this dissertation explored adult adoptees’ use of these methods for tracing biological relatives by means of primary research. Initially an online Google Form questionnaire was distributed which received 48 individual responses. Thereafter, follow up interviews were conducted online over MS Teams with just 6 participants, due to the scope of this minor dissertation. The participant’s journey for connection, access to birth information and reunion in several cases informed this dissertation. The findings indicate that the above methods proved to be a positive resource for several adoptees. Adoptees also acknowledged that there are limitations to using such resources. With regards to DNA testing, results may not yield close familial matches and can be difficult to interpret in some instances. Given this, adoptees highlighted the emotional element of these contemporary methods of adoption tracing. Consequently, it emerged that further consideration and revision as to the current search and reunion practices mentioned above need reform in the Irish context.
- ItemA qualitative analysis of the experience of referring clients to S.H.A.R.E and exploring the relevancy of S.H.A.R.E’s housing model(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-04-27) O'Mahony, Liam; Burke, Caroline; S.H.A.R.E; Civil Society OrganizationHousing is a constant talking point in Irish society. The housing sector is frequently associated with structural and systemic issues that permeate throughout society. A common challenge faced by people is gaining access to suitable and affordable housing. This is especially true for older members of the population and in particular those who are seeking access to supported accommodation. S.H.A.R.E is a housing charity who provide supported independent living accommodation for the over 60 population in Cork City. The research undertaken is an exploration and discussion of the process of connecting clients to the organisation. The aim of the research is to explore the referral pathway to S.H.A.R.E and to discuss the overall relevancy of the housing model of S.H.A.R.E. This research was undertaken in collaboration with S.H.A.R.E and completed as part of a CARL initiative in UCC. The research conforms to social constructionism, an interpretivist approach and a community-based research process. The primary research was completed through conducting six semi-structured interviews with professionals working in the housing sector. The findings of the research illustrate the importance of providing suitable housing for older people in Ireland and the value of having a housing model that allows for ‘ageing in place’. The research also alludes to the importance of communication and collaboration between different housing providers for the benefit of their clients. A number of recommendations informed by the findings are outlined and put forward.
- Item“Letters in the time of COVID”: the lived experiences during the pandemic of young adults with disabilities in Cork(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-04-30) Sweeney, Loretta; Jenkinson, Hilary; National Learning Network; Civil Society OrganizationThe following research aims to document the lived experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic for a group of young adults with disabilities. All participants are students of the National Learning Network and further explanation is given in the next section. The use of letter writing was conceived as the medium through which the participants could express their feelings and views of the pandemic in real time. It was deemed to be less invasive for students whilst observing ever-changing governmental public health restrictions in regard to social distancing and limiting travel.
- ItemHow do travellers experience the housing assessment of needs process: culturally appropriate?(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-04-30) Cullinane, Helena; Whelan, Joseph; Cena; Civil Society Organization
- ItemYou’re not ALONE: exploring the impact of Covid-19 on loneliness and social isolation: a cohort study of ALONE service users in South Tipperary(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-05-22) O'Reilly, Philip; Shore, Caroline; ALONE; Civil Society OrganizationThis research looks at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on a small cohort of older people in South Tipperary in terms of loneliness and social isolation. Primary research was carried out with five service users of the ALONE Good Morning South Tipperary service to ascertain their views of the pandemic and how it has affected their everyday lives. The interviews took place over the phone and the qualitative data was recorded on a dictation device. The epistemological positioning applied to this research is constructivism and the theoretical perspective is from an interpretivist lens. A full review of the literature on the impact of Covid-19 on older people was carried out as well as a comprehensive review of the literature on loneliness and social isolation. This dissertation was completed as part of the UCC Community-Academic Research Links initiative (CARL) in conjunction with ALONE. The qualitative data collected was analysed using thematic analysis. The themes highlighted in the findings include: the impact of Covid-19 on ALONE service users, loneliness and social isolation, activation and socialisation programmes, the importance of the ALONE Good Morning South Tipperary service, and future development of ALONE services in Tipperary. All research participant’s noted that Covid-19 has been especially difficult for people over seventy and has led to an increase in loneliness and social isolation among this age cohort. Participant’s reported feelings of frustration with the closure of day centres, family resource centres, community education classes and coffee shops in their communities. Research participants were highly complementary about the Good Morning South Tipperary service and look forward to availing of other specialist ALONE services when the restrictions ease. In the final chapter, this researcher makes a number of concluding remarks and recommendations on the future development of ALONE services in Tipperary
- ItemAn audit of the activities of Ballinora and District Community Association and its effectiveness within the community(Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2021-08-19) O'Shea, Bryan; Cottey, Andrew; Ballinora and District Community Association; Civil Society Organization