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Current Projects

The School departments are involved in a wide number of research projects at both national and international level.

Centre for Language and Communication Studies

Centre for Deaf Studies

Clinical Speech and Language Studies

Dysarthria Impact Profile: An assessment to measure psychosocial impact in dysarthria

The inability to quantify psychosocial impact, clinically and for research, led to the development of the Dysarthria Impact Profile (DIP). This tool, in collaboration with Professor Nick Miller, University of Newcastle, and Professor Richard Peach, Rush University, Chicago, was published in 2009 and is translated into French, Dutch, and Portuguese. It is currently being amended and prepared for validation.  PI:  Dr Margaret Walshe, TCD;  Collaborators: Professor Nick Miller, Newcastle University, UK, Prof Richard Peach Rush Medical Centre, Chicago USA, Dr Serge Pinto, Aix en Marseilles France.

For further information contact Dr Margaret Walshe.

Evidence Based Practice: Cochrane Collaboration Systematic Reviews (HRB).

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews, which provide an overview of the diagnostic accuracy of tests as well as the effects of interventions in health care. It aims, where possible, to provide an estimate of the size of benefits or harms of therapy. There are 4 Cochrane Reviews underway in the Department. These include international collaborations.  The Health Research Board (through Cochrane Fellowship) has provided funding for three of these projects.
The following Cochrane reviews are in progress or are completed.

  •  (1) Interventions for Drooling in Children with Cerebral Palsy.
    Cochrane Fellowship Award: PI- Dr Margaret Walshe.
    Collaborators: Dr Lindsay Pennington Newcastle University UK, Dr Martine Smith TCD. Contact Dr Margaret Walshe.
  • (2) Oral Stimulation Approaches for Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants.
    Cochrane Fellowship Award: PI- Zelda Greene. Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Collaborators: Dr Margaret Walshe, Dr Colm O’ Donnell Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin. Contact Dr Margaret Walshe.
  • (3) Diet Modifications for People with Dementia
    Cochrane Fellowship Award: PI-Dr Margaret Walshe with Eadaoin Flynn, TCD. Collaborators: Dr  Christina Smith University College London, Dr Cathal Walsh TCD. Contact Dr Margaret Walshe.
  • (4) Botulinum Toxin for Upper Oesophageal Phase Dysfunction in People with Neurological Dysphagia. PI: Julie Regan TCD . Collaborators: Dr  Margaret Walshe, TCD;  Dr Barry McMahon, Dr Tara Coughlan and Anne Murphy Tallaght Hospital, Mindy Chiang TCD.  Contact Dr Margaret Walshe.

Endo FLIP: A medical device examining Upper Oesophageal Phase Dysphagia (HRB).

Measuring the function of the upper oesophageal sphincter for swallowing has remained a persistent challenge for clinicians working in the area of dysphagia. This innovative device was developed by PhD student Julie Regan TCD, Dr Barry McMahon  Tallaght Hospital and Dr Margaret Walshe  and is now ready for validation.  Collaborators: Professor Nathalie Rommel and Professor Jan Tack, University of Leuven, Belgium.  This project was funded by the HRB Clinical Fellowship programme. For further information contact Dr Margaret Walshe

  • Tongue Pressure Measurement: Development and Validation of the Oropress ( Enterprise Ieland/HRB).
    Accurate measurement of impaired tongue function for speech and swallowing is difficult despite the fact intervention in this area is a core feature of clinical work. A wireless device ( Oropress) has been developed by Dr Vincent Casey,  Professor Alison Perry and Dr Richard Conway at the University of Limerick. The Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies (CSLS) are collaborating with this team to assist with validation of the tool. Initial validation work is part funded by Enterprise Ireland. The Health Research Board has funded CSLS student Oral Gilheaney to do some validation research through a HRB Summer Studentship award. For further information contact: Dr Margaret Walshe
  • Epidemiology of Feeding and Swallowing Problems in Neonates Born in Cyprus.
    Preterm infants can present with significant feeding and swallowing problems yet there is minimal research available on the nature and extent of these problems.  There is also no way of categorizing at birth, which infants are deemed to be at high risk for developing swallowing problems. The aim of this prospective epidemiology study is to examine the incidence and prevalence of feeding and swallowing problems of infants born in Cyprus over a two-year period and to develop a scale to determine infant risk. PhD Student: Panayiota Sennekki- Florent with Dr Margaret Walshe. For further information contact: Dr Margaret Walshe.

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Dysphagia in People with Multiple Sclerosis: Nature, Risk and Prevalence.

The epidemiology of swallowing problems in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is poorly understood. This project examines the nature and extent of dysphagia in people with MS and aims to identify possible biomarkers associated with dysphagia.
This project is conducted in Cyprus by PhD student Astero Constantinou with Dr Margaret Walshe. For further information contact Dr Margaret Walshe.

Interventions for Upper Oesophageal Dysfunction Associated with Dysphagia in Neurological Disorders

The first phase of this project involves two systematic reviews of interventions to help evidence based decision making in clinical practice. One Cochrane review on botulinum toxin has been completed by Julie Regan, Dr Margaret Walshe, Dr Tara Coughlan, Dr Barry McMahon, Mindy Chiang and Anne Murphy.
A further project is systematically reviewing the evidence for rehabilitation approaches for upper oesophageal sphincter (UOS) dysfunction. This is being completed by postgraduate student Mindy Chiang and Dr Margaret Walshe. 
The second phase of this project is a quasi-experimental study examining the efficacy of a two rehabilitation approaches to improving UOS dysfunction.  For further information contact: Dr Margaret Walshe.

Dysphagia in Cancer and Approaches to its Management

Dysphagia can be a significant problem for people with head and neck cancer. The impact of speech and language therapy (SLT) on management and recovery of swallowing function in people with early and advanced cancer is poorly understood. Three projects under this theme are in progress. An international survey on SLT practices internationally has been completed by M.Sc student Aoife O’ Reilly. Further projects involving RCTs are in progress with Professor Alison Perry, University of Limerick and Clare Parkes, St James’s Hospital. For further information contact:

Analysis of autobiographical narratives of interpersonal communication in psychiatry

This research project involves the analysis of written first-person accounts of experiences of mental health disorders, from historical literature (e.g. Margery Kempe 17th Century) to more recent contemporary writings of artists and writers (e.g. van Gogh’s letters 19th Century, and novelist, Janet Frame in 20th Century).

For further details contact Dr Irene Walsh

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Humour and laughter in speech-language therapy interactions

With an emphasis on conversational sociability, this research project explores- through discourse analysis - the forms, functions and phases of laughter and humour in speech-language therapy clinical interactions.

For further details contact Dr Irene Walsh

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Challenging the ‘disorder’ paradigm in the communication profiles of children with AD(H)D

This research project looks at the language and communication profiles of children with AD (H)D and challenges the pervading perception from the literature and  other sources that many of these children have pervasive pragmatic and discourse difficulties.  This project is in collaboration with an SLT department in a Dublin based Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

For further details contact Dr Irene Walsh

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The Perceptions and Experiences of People with Aphasia participating in a Conversation Partner Scheme

The difficulties in communicating which are experienced by people with aphasia (an acquired communication disorder which frequently follows stroke) have a negative impact on their quality of life, frequently leading to isolation and loss of social networks. An innovative programme pioneered in the UK, the Conversation Partner Scheme (CPS) involves supported conversations for the person with aphasia, with pairs of students, on a regular basis. CPS allows people with aphasia living in the community to participate in conversations in an informal social setting, usually at home. This ongoing project aims to explore the perceptions and experiences of people with aphasia  in a Conversation partner Scheme involving first year CSLS students.

For further details contact Caroline Jagoe

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Student Learning and Experiences of Communication Disability within a Conversation Partner Scheme with People with Aphasia

The Conversation Partner Scheme is a service learning module in the JF CSLS course. The module seeks to facilitate civic engagement and skills development on the part of the students. This ongoing project aims to explore the learning and experiences of students engaged in this module.

For further details contact Caroline Jagoe

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CONNECTing with the Community: Enhancing Student Learning through Structured Reflective Practice

Funding from the Service Learning Grant (Trinity College Dublin) has allowed the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies to engage the expertise of four people with aphasia in the process of re-designing the reflective practice component of the Conversation Partner Scheme. This research aims to explore the impact of the changes implemented on student learning and the quality of the service provided to people with aphasia.

For further details contact Caroline Jagoe

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Co-Morbidity of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPRD) in individuals with dysphonia and/or vocal tract discomfort

For further information contact Dr. Pauline Sloane

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Perceived Stress & Voice problems and/or Vocal Tract Discomfort in Pre-school, Primary, Second Level, Third level & Student Teachers in Ireland

For further information contact Dr. Pauline Sloane

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Lifestyle factors Correlated with Well Being across the Lifespan

Funding: Atlantic Philanthropies

CO/PI with Dr John Garry, Queens University, Belfast.

For further information contact Dr. Kathleen McTiernan

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Life Course Narrative biography and the Construction of Happiness in Later Life

For further information contact Dr. Kathleen McTiernan

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Hidden Histories - Intercultural Dialogue and Learning

November 2010 - October 2012

Funding by: EU: Grundtvig programme

This project is funded by the EU (Grundtvig programme). The University of Sussex leads this, with partners in Ireland (Centre for Deaf Studies, TCD), Austria and Finland. The project focuses on the creation of digital archives of community experiences in rural, nomadic, and Deaf communities.

A key objective of this project is to increase the participation in lifelong learning of marginalised and disadvantaged groups and, as a result of this participation to increase their engagement with civic society and learning.

It fosters learning opportunities based on participation in local community activities, developing alternative and innovative ways of learning, and sharing good practice on intercultural education, learning by marginalized citizens and their linguistic, social and cultural inclusion.

For further information please contact Dr. Lorraine Leeson.

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An analysis of the views and experiences of schools that have voluntarily withdrawn from The Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative

The Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative (MLPSI) currently operates in 15% of primary schools nationwide. As part of this Project French, German, Spanish and Italian are taught to pupils in fifth and sixth class in primary school. Since it began in 1998, a small number of schools have withdrawn annually for a variety of reasons. While there has been two evaluation reports written on the Project itself (Harris and Conway, 2002; Harris and O’Leary, 2009) and a feasibility study conducted on the teaching of modern languages in primary schools (NCCA, 2008), the views and experiences of schools that have voluntarily withdrawn from the Initiative have not been sought or documented to date. This Project examines the findings from a survey of Principals’/Schools that have withdrawn from the Initiative since its inception. It documents their views and experiences of the Initiative, their reasons for withdrawing from it, and it explores their views on the feasibility of teaching modern languages in primary schools more generally. It is hoped that the information collected will critically inform the future direction the Initiative itself might take and that the findings will feed into the broader debate on the teaching of languages in primary schools.

For further information please contact Denise O'Leary or Dr. John Harris.

BRIDGE-IT: Trinity Long Room Hub Murphy Innovation Fund

The Lifescapes (BRIDGE-IT) project is an interdisciplinary initiative which draws on research expertise from the TCD Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, the School of English, the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and TCD Library.  The Lifescapes Digital Archive may be viewed at

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