Miss Maeve Kearney
Assistant Professor, Radiation Therapy
I my B.Sc(Hons) in Radiation Therapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2006. From 2006 to 2011 I worked as a radiation therapist at St Luke's Radiation Oncology Network - first in Rathgar before moving to the site at St James's hospital which was formed under the auspices of the NCCP to develop radiation oncology services in Ireland. In 2011 I relocated internationally to the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCR), Doha-Qatar. For just over 6 years I worked as a radiation oncology therapist delivering the recommendations of The National Cancer Strategy for Qatar 2011 improving the outlook for all cancer patients in the Gulf nation. During my time here, NCCCR maintained its standing as the premier cancer hospital in the region, successfully receiving JCI accreditation and designated as a Centre of Competence by the IAEA and implemented some of the most advanced techniques in radiation therapy into clinical practice. My engagement with the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) began here where I presented my work in implementing new technologies into clinical practice at the annual conference. I received a Masters in Public Health from the University in Roehampton where my thesis focused on the effectiveness of the National Breast Screening Programme in reducing breast cancer mortality rates in Qatar. In 2017 I left Doha and spent a 3-month internship at the Centre for Public Health Promotion in Prague, Czech Republic. I worked on public health-related activities and projects authorised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the EU. These projects concentrated on developing effective prevention strategies to tackle important public health problems e.g alcohol and tobacco consumption rates, cardiovascular health, and domestic violence. Following my time in Prague I joined the Discipline of Radiation Therapy, Trinity College Dublin as an Assistant Professor. My research interests include Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), late effects of radiation therapy, radiation safety, epidemiology and screening, clinical education and survivorship care. I teach on several modules in the undergraduate Radiation Therapy programme and was invited to teach on the postgraduate Master in Radiography (Radiotherapy) programme in Tallinn, Estonia. I have collaborated on several research projects during my time here with national and international colleagues and have been published in key journals in the field. My engagement with ESTRO has grown and I was invited to join the Radiation Therapist (RTT) Committee and the Radiation Oncology Safety and Quality Committee (ROSQC) in 2020. Both committees represent RTTs at a European level and meet regularly to discuss and implement ways of maintaining the highest possible standard of RTT practice in light of advancing technologies in the area. My work on these committees includes writing guidelines, organising the annual congress, and ongoing educational activities. Nationally I work with CORU - the multi-profession health regulator - as an assessor of international applicants verifying that they meet the standards of proficiency to join the radiation therapist register and as a member of the Preliminary Proceedings Committee assessing and deciding on the most appropriate course of action to address fitness to practice complaints. The direction of my research is the late effects of cancer treatment and survivorship supportive care for AYA cancer survivors.
Publications and Further Research Outputs
Maeve Kearney, Cicely Roche, Claire Poole, Promoting professional judgement through peer debate in radiation therapy undergraduate curriculum, Technical Innovations & Patient Support in Radiation Oncology, 24, 2022, p63 - 66
Flavin, A., O'Toole, E., Murphy, L., Ryan, R., McClean, B., Faul, C., McGibney, C., Coyne, S., O'Boyle, G., Small, C. and Sims, C, A National Cyberattack Affecting Radiation Therapy: The Irish Experience, Advances in Radiation Oncology, 7, (5), 2022
Kearney M, Keys M, Faivre-Finn C, Wang Z, Aznar MC, Duane F, Exposure of the Heart in Lung Cancer Radiation Therapy: A Systematic Review of Heart Doses Published During 2013 to 2020, Radiotherapy and Oncology, 172, 2022, p118 - 125
Kearney M, Leech, M, O Neill M and Davis S., Evaluation of an e-Learning teaching innovation to assist clinical radiation therapy educators in the provision of student feedback, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Science, 2021
Maeve Kearney, Dr. Cicely Roche and Claire Poole , Promoting professional judgement by stimulating peer interaction and debate in the Radiation Therapy undergraduate programme , INHED2022 Annual Scientific Meeting "Thriving not just surviving: Supporting Learners in Health Professions Education, University of Limerick, 25 September , 2021, Irish Network of Healthcare Educators
Maeve Kearney, Mary Coffey, Maddalena Rossi, Yat Tsang, Future-proof Radiation therapist (RTT) practice in a pandemic " Lessons learnt from COVID-19, Technical Innovations & Patient Support in Radiation Oncology, 2021
Maeve Kearney, Evaluation of an eLearning teaching innovation to assist clinical radiation therapy educators in the provision of student feedback, Health and Social Care Professions 3rd National (virtual) Conference on Practice Education 17th June 2021 Title: The Evolution of Practice Education: Sharing the Learning, Hosted by University College Cork - held virtually, 17 June, 2021, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork
Maeve Kearney, Dr Anita O Donovan, Claire Poole, Harnessing the Virtual Learning Environment to support clinical skill development during the pandemic, INHED Annual Scientific Meeting, Virtual Event hosted by UCD, 10-12 March, 2021, Irish Network of Healthcare Educators
Maeve Kearney, MaryCoffey, AidanLeongbc, A review of Image Guided Radiation Therapy in head and neck cancer from 2009-201 - Best Practice Recommendations for RTTs in the Clinic, Technical Innovations and Patient Support in Radiation Oncology, 14, (June 2020), 2020, p43 - 50
Shane Minogue, Charles Gillham, Maeve Kearney, Laura Mullaney, Intravenous contrast media in radiation therapy planning computed tomography scans-Current practice in Ireland, Technical Innovations & Patient Support in Radiation Oncology, 12, 2019, p3 - 15
M.KearneyM.McGarryS.PaloorR.HammoudE.RajehM.RiyasS.DivakarP.PetricN.Al-HammadiG.Perkins, PET-CT SIM: Radiation Therapist (RT) led protocol development and clinical implementation into routine practice, Radiotherapy and Oncology, European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology, Vienna, Austria, 4-8 April 2014, 111, Elsevier, 2014, ppS185
Maeve Kearney, Debate. For the motion 'This house believes that in the next 5 years the current RTT education curriculum will be obsolete', European Society of Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO21), Madrid, Spain, 27-31 August, 2021, European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology
Maeve Kearney, 'Image Guided Radiotherapy - A Radiation Therapist's Perspective', XVI Annual TMH Radiotherapy Practicum, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India, 15-16 September , 2018, Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics
DescriptionThe direction of my research lies in the area of survivorship care and information for empowerment during the survivorship period for Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer survivors. Survivorship is an important component of the cancer care paradigm for AYA survivors as survival rates are high (approximately 85%( in this group. The most recently published HSE Framework for the Care and Support of Adolescent and Young Adults (AYA) with cancer in Ireland from 2021 to 2026 recognises that there is a significant gap in the AYA framework for such a resource. Providing AYA cancer survivors with age appropriate information is essential to provide the tools to manage their health during the survivorship period. My Ph.D. - Knowledge Support and Adolescents and Young Adult Cancer Survivors - will culminate in the development of an information hub to provide AYAs age-appropriate information on late effects following cancer treatment. This information will focus on AYA survivors who received thoracic radiotherapy for a lymphoma diagnosis. While there are information resources suitable for adults and paediatrics, the AYA group has remained a 'lost tribe' in terms of focused care despite variation in the aetiology of presenting cancer types and their unique stage of personal development. In addition, information resources can be based on older radiation therapy techniques where there was greater radiation exposure and thus increased risks of developing late effects. More up to date and relevant information is needed to both inform and reassure AYA cancer survivors during the survivorship period. As age appropriate information is key PPI involvement is essential to co-creating an information resource that is informative and relevant. With this in mind, this will be a co-creation with AYA cancer survivors, their parents or partners, and Health Care professionals working in this field. My other research interests include strategies in radiation therapy to reduce excess ionising radiation exposures and risk management procedures to reduce risk of unintended ionising radiation exposures.
- Knowledge Support for Adolescents and Young Adult Cancer Survivors in Ireland (KAYAC)
- The AYA period is a developmental stage associated with increased autonomy and laying the foundation to making important life decisions. The problem this proposal addresses is there are clear deficits in late effects information following cancer treatment available to this group particularly relating to fertility and lifestyle factors and lack of information resources targeted specifically towards AYAs. Accurate information on late effects and access to support is necessary to empower AYAs to take control of their health during the survivorship period. To address this problem, we propose the KAYAC (Knowledge support for Adolescents and Young Adult Cancer Survivors in Ireland) solution to improve the communication of the risks of long-term sequelae of treatment to AYAs through an accurate and easily accessible information hub. Methodology The KAYAC information hub will be a co-creation with cancer survivors who received treatment as an AYA (aged 16-24), the parents and partners of survivors, Health Care Professionals (HCPs) specialising in the AYA group and AYA support groups. We will recruit survivors via CanTeen Ireland, the only organisation in Ireland dedicated to supporting young people who have or had cancer. We have already engaged with CanTeen on this proposal. We have also engaged with both the Children's Cancer Foundation and CanCare 4 Living who will assume an advisory role in KAYAC's development. While Level I evidence on late effects and international guidelines and recommendations will inform the content of the KAYAC online information hub, a deeper and more nuanced understanding of current information deficits among AYAs and barriers in information provision must be established to organise the hub content. Focus groups (one-two focus groups with AYA cancer survivors and one with parents and/or partners of survivors) will be held to identify current barriers to late effect information provision. Tugh focus group analysis themes surrounding age appropriate late effect information provision will be identified to ascertain how information should be prioritised. The KAYAC online information hub will be housed on the Discipline of Radiation Therapy's website which also houses other patient information resources. The content for the information hub will be developed and delivered through a series of units. Each unit will provide information on a specific late effect using a combination of videos and written materials. Within each unit interactive quizzes will be embedded to encourage interaction with the materials. There will also be a social networking unit with the option for participants to form connections with fellow survivors using the hub. There are concerning late effects information deficits at present and AYAs must be treated as a unique survival population distinct from the adult and paediatric survivor groups. This project will culminate in the development of an information resource on late effects specifically targeted towards AYAs (a group often underrepresented in research). Focusing the provision of information towards AYAs is strategic as they are at a time of increased autonomy in decision making and display a desire for age appropriate information that meets late effects information deficits. Benefits - PPI involvement in developing hub. Following the initial pilot the KAYAC information hub will be implemented in an AYA clinic at St James's hospital. KAYAC may be distributed to the AYA Cancer Service Network nationally. KAYAC may be developed and expanded for availability within the European and International AYA communities. The online mode of information delivery means that the resource can be developed and updated easily as new late effects information becomes available. There is a potential to translate into additional languages to make it more accessible globally.
- Funding Agency
- Trinity St. James's Cancer Institute Cancer Research Stimulus Awards
- Date From
- September 2022
- Date To
- September 2023
Member of expert consortium (including EIBIR) who were awarded the European Commission Tender `Medical Applications of Radiation " Learning from Incidents and Near Misses". The project is 24 months duration and began on 1 January 2023 with a budget of 250000. I was involved in writing the successful proposal and will be leading Work Package 3 and contributing to all other Work Packages within the project.
Member of ESTRO RTT Committee. This is an 18-person committee who works to align and strengthen the voice of RTs in Europe in developing and promoting our profession and providing optimum care to cancer patients.
Member ESTRO Radiation Oncology Safety and Quality Committee (ROSQC). The ROSQC committee is a 13-person committee consisting of radiation therapists, medical physicists, and radiation oncologists. The multi-disciplinary structure of the committee is necessary to achieve the vision of improving the safety and quality of radiation therapy treatment across Europe. The committee publish guidelines and develop educational materials to promote safety and quality in radiation therapy delivery.
Peer Reviewer for 11 articles for Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment, Technical Innovations and Patient Support in Radiation Oncology (tipsRO)
Member of expert group to draft first IIRRT (National Society) Position Paper on Advance Practice Radiation Therapists
Represented Trinity College Dublin at 'Stakeholder Workshop on Ethical Aspects of Radiation Protection in Health Care' at WHO HQ, Geneva Switzerland. As an invited stakeholder I provided my expertise in ethical considerations surrounding radiation therapy which culminated in the development of a policy brief for healthcare providers involved in working with ionising radiation in the healthcare environment.
Represented ESTRO School as a faculty member at the sixteenth annual practicum which took place at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. RTTs from throughout India were invited for an exclusive hands-on practical learning experience in Image Guided Radiation Therapy. Over the course of the weekend, I provided lectures and hands-on practical demonstrations.
CORU assessor for the multi-profession health regulatory where I assess international applications for eligibility to join Radiographer and Radiation Therapist Registration Board
CORU Preliminary Proceedings Committee. This committee was established within CORU to address fitness to practice complaints. I was accepted to the committee to provide my own clinical and academic expertise in assessing and deciding on the best course of action to address fitness to practice complaints.
Awards and Honours
Trinity St. James's Cancer Institute Cancer Research Stimulus Awards (TSJCI Crest Awards)
European Commission SAMIRA Study on Reporting and Learning from Patient-related Incidents and Near Misses in Radiotherapy, Interventional Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology
Full Member of European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology
Registered Radiation Therapist on CORU Radiation Therapists Register
Member of PanCare - a European organisation who work on long-term follow-up care and guidelines for late side-effects of AYA and childhood cancer treatment.