Dr. Elizabeth O'Donnell

Dr. Elizabeth O'Donnell

Research Fellow, School of Nursing & Midwifery


I am Dr Elizabeth Annabel O'Donnell, a Research Fellow at Trinity Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation (TCPHI). My current research project involves evaluation of the implementation of National Clinical Guideline No. 21 `Appropriate prescribing of psychotropic drugs for the non-cognitive symptoms of dementia'. I previously worked as a Research Officer in the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). I have been awarded a PhD from the Division of Health Research, Lancaster University. My doctoral research study explored how care home staff in Ireland support residents with responsive behaviours, such as agitation and aggression, in order to facilitate a non-pharmacological approach to residents care. Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) with collaborators from the Irish Dementia Working Group informed the research design to ensure that the findings would be impactful in improving care for people with dementia. The research findings identified the barriers and facilitators to reducing inappropriate prescribing of psychotropic drugs to manage responsive behaviours in people with dementia. The findings will help to develop recommendations to assist the development of dementia guidelines and practice, to promote taking a non-pharmacological approach to support care home residents, for instance National Clinical Guideline No. 21. I have presented my research at many national and international conferences including the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC, 2021) and Alzheimer Europe Conference (2021) and the European Geriatric Medicine Society International Congress (EuGMS, 2020 and 2021). In 2021, I was awarded the Sterling Prize Award at the British Society of Gerontology 50th Annual Conference (BSG). I recently published a paper entitled `Strategies used by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia: a systematic review of qualitative studies', in the International Journal of Nursing Studies. In addition, to my interest in dementia and appropriate prescribing practices, I have a particular interest in research ethics, and I am a member of HSE Research Ethics Committee. I also a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI), the Irish Gerontological Society and the Dementia Research Network Ireland (DRNI).

Publications and Further Research Outputs

  • Elizabeth Annabel O'Donnell , O'Donnell, E. A. (2022). Exploring How Care Home Staff Manage Responsive Behaviours, Associated with Dementia, in Care Homes in Ireland, During the Covid-19 Pandemic (Order No. 30216774). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I; ProQuest One Academic. (2778642778). https://may.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/exploring-how-care-home-staff-manage-responsive/docview/2778642778/se-2, Lancaster University, 2022Thesis, 2022
  • Elizabeth Annabel O'Donnell, Strategies used by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia: A systematic review of qualitative studies, Inernational Journal of Nursing StudiesJournal Article
  • Elizabeth Annabel O'Donnell, Managing responsive behaviours of care home residents with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing responsive behaviours of care home residents with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemicConference Paper


  • Robert Beevers Award
  • British Society Gerontology (BGS) Bursary Award
  • Sterling Prize Award
  • Crowther Funds Award
  • Dementia Research Network Ireland (DRNI)
  • HSE Research Ethics Committee Member
  • Irish Gerontological Society
  • Royal Academy of Medicine Ireland (RAMI)