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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 2020

Despite the obstacles presented by the coronavirus, the HSE Open Access Awards went ahead as usual this year, in an all-virtual form. The usual range of subject categories was replaced by just one: Covid-19, and the presentation ceremony took place on Friday 11th December 2020.

The standard of entries was excellent, and external judge Professor Jonathan Drennan said it was extremely hard to choose between them. “It was an extremely difficult decision – they were extremely high quality – but it’s an enjoyable process. It was great to see the quality and standards reviewed across all the applications.”



The winners of the HSE Open Access Awards 2020 are:


Dale Francis Whelehan and colleagues: COVID-19 and surgery: A thematic analysis of unintended consequences on performance, practice and surgical training.

Jane McGrath: ADHD and Covid-19: current roadblocks and future opportunities.

Overall winner:

Dónal Ó Mathúna and colleagues: Clinical, laboratory and radiological characteristics and outcomes of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection in humans: A systematic review and series of meta-analyses.




  • Speech Sound Disorders in Children: An Articulatory Phonology Perspective.

    Namasivayam, Aravind Kumar; Coleman, Deirdre; O'Dwyer, Aisling; van Lieshout, Pascal (2020-01-28)
    Speech Sound Disorders (SSDs) is a generic term used to describe a range of difficulties producing speech sounds in children (McLeod and Baker, 2017). The foundations of clinical assessment, classification and intervention for children with SSD have been heavily influenced by psycholinguistic theory and procedures, which largely posit a firm boundary between phonological processes and phonetics/articulation (Shriberg, 2010). Thus, in many current SSD classification systems the complex relationships between the etiology (distal), processing deficits (proximal) and the behavioral levels (speech symptoms) is under-specified (Terband et al., 2019a). It is critical to understand the complex interactions between these levels as they have implications for differential diagnosis and treatment planning (Terband et al., 2019a). There have been some theoretical attempts made towards understanding these interactions (e.g., McAllister Byun and Tessier, 2016) and characterizing speech patterns in children either solely as the product of speech motor performance limitations or purely as a consequence of phonological/grammatical competence has been challenged (Inkelas and Rose, 2007; McAllister Byun, 2012). In the present paper, we intend to reconcile the phonetic-phonology dichotomy and discuss the interconnectedness between these levels and the nature of SSDs using an alternative perspective based on the notion of an articulatory "gesture" within the broader concepts of the Articulatory Phonology model (AP; Browman and Goldstein, 1992). The articulatory "gesture" serves as a unit of phonological contrast and characterization of the resulting articulatory movements (Browman and Goldstein, 1992; van Lieshout and Goldstein, 2008). We present evidence supporting the notion of articulatory gestures at the level of speech production and as reflected in control processes in the brain and discuss how an articulatory "gesture"-based approach can account for articulatory behaviors in typical and disordered speech production (van Lieshout, 2004; Pouplier and van Lieshout, 2016). Specifically, we discuss how the AP model can provide an explanatory framework for understanding SSDs in children. Although other theories may be able to provide alternate explanations for some of the issues we will discuss, the AP framework in our view generates a unique scope that covers linguistic (phonology) and motor processes in a unified manner.
  • Medical Management of Patients After Atypical Femur Fractures: a Systematic Review and Recommendations From the European Calcified Tissue Society.

    van de Laarschot, Denise M; McKenna, Malachi J; Abrahamsen, Bo; Langdahl, Bente; Cohen-Solal, Martine; Guañabens, Núria; Eastell, Richard; Ralston, Stuart H; Zillikens, M Carola
    Context: Atypical femur fractures (AFFs) are serious adverse events associated with bisphosphonates and often show poor healing. Evidence acquisition: We performed a systematic review to evaluate effects of teriparatide, raloxifene, and denosumab on healing and occurrence of AFF. Evidence synthesis: We retrieved 910 references and reviewed 67 papers, including 31 case reports, 9 retrospective and 3 prospective studies on teriparatide. There were no RCTs. We pooled data on fracture union (n = 98 AFFs on teriparatide) and found that radiological healing occurred within 6 months of teriparatide in 13 of 30 (43%) conservatively managed incomplete AFFs, 9 of 10 (90%) incomplete AFFs with surgical intervention, and 44 of 58 (75%) complete AFFs. In 9 of 30 (30%) nonoperated incomplete AFFs, no union was achieved after 12 months and 4 (13%) fractures became complete on teriparatide. Eight patients had new AFFs during or after teriparatide. AFF on denosumab was reported in 22 patients, including 11 patients treated for bone metastases and 8 without bisphosphonate exposure. Denosumab after AFF was associated with recurrent incomplete AFFs in 1 patient and 2 patients of contralateral complete AFF. Eight patients had used raloxifene before AFF occurred, including 1 bisphosphonate-naïve patient. Conclusions: There is no evidence-based indication in patients with AFF for teriparatide apart from reducing the risk of typical fragility fractures, although observational data suggest that teriparatide might result in faster healing of surgically treated AFFs. Awaiting further evidence, we formulate recommendations for treatment after an AFF based on expert opinion.
  • Breast milk-derived human milk oligosaccharides promote Bifidobacterium interactions within a single ecosystem.

    Lawson, Melissa A E; O'Neill, Ian J; Kujawska, Magdalena; Gowrinadh Javvadi, Sree; Wijeyesekera, Anisha; Flegg, Zak; Chalklen, Lisa; Hall, Lindsay J (2019-11-18)
    Diet-microbe interactions play an important role in modulating the early-life microbiota, with Bifidobacterium strains and species dominating the gut of breast-fed infants. Here, we sought to explore how infant diet drives distinct bifidobacterial community composition and dynamics within individual infant ecosystems. Genomic characterisation of 19 strains isolated from breast-fed infants revealed a diverse genomic architecture enriched in carbohydrate metabolism genes, which was distinct to each strain, but collectively formed a pangenome across infants. Presence of gene clusters implicated in digestion of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) varied between species, with growth studies indicating that within single infants there were differences in the ability to utilise 2'FL and LNnT HMOs between strains. Cross-feeding experiments were performed with HMO degraders and non-HMO users (using spent or 'conditioned' media and direct co-culture). Further 1H-NMR analysis identified fucose, galactose, acetate, and N-acetylglucosamine as key by-products of HMO metabolism; as demonstrated by modest growth of non-HMO users on spend media from HMO metabolism. These experiments indicate how HMO metabolism permits the sharing of resources to maximise nutrient consumption from the diet and highlights the cooperative nature of bifidobacterial strains and their role as 'foundation' species in the infant ecosystem. The intra- and inter-infant bifidobacterial community behaviour may contribute to the diversity and dominance of Bifidobacterium in early life and suggests avenues for future development of new diet and microbiota-based therapies to promote infant health.
  • Development and use of health outcome descriptors: a guideline development case study.

    Baldeh, Tejan; Saz-Parkinson, Zuleika; Muti, Paola; Santesso, Nancy; Morgano, Gian Paolo; Wiercioch, Wojtek; Nieuwlaat, Robby; Gräwingholt, Axel; Broeders, Mireille; Duffy, Stephen; et al. (2020-06-05)
    Background: During healthcare guideline development, panel members often have implicit, different definitions of health outcomes that can lead to misunderstandings about how important these outcomes are and how to balance benefits and harms. McMaster GRADE Centre researchers developed 'health outcome descriptors' for standardizing descriptions of health outcomes and overcoming these problems to support the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) Guideline Development Group (GDG). We aimed to determine which aspects of the development, content, and use of health outcome descriptors were valuable to guideline developers. Methods: We developed 24 health outcome descriptors related to breast cancer screening and diagnosis for the European Commission Breast Guideline Development Group (GDG). Eighteen GDG members provided feedback in written format or in interviews. We then evaluated the process and conducted two health utility rating surveys. Results: Feedback from GDG members revealed that health outcome descriptors are probably useful for developing recommendations and improving transparency of guideline methods. Time commitment, methodology training, and need for multidisciplinary expertise throughout development were considered important determinants of the process. Comparison of the two health utility surveys showed a decrease in standard deviation in the second survey across 21 (88%) of the outcomes. Conclusions: Health outcome descriptors are feasible and should be developed prior to the outcome prioritization step in the guideline development process. Guideline developers should involve a subgroup of multidisciplinary experts in all stages of development and ensure all guideline panel members are trained in guideline methodology that includes understanding the importance of defining and understanding the outcomes of interest.

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