Researcher in Focus: Dr Grainne Sheill
Dr Grainne Sheill's main research interest is in the role of exercise and physical activity in managing the side-effects of cancer treatment and improving survivorship care for patients with cancer.
Dr Grainne Sheill is an Irish Cancer Society funded researcher with the Discipline of Physiotherapy, Trinity College Dublin and a Senior Physiotherapist at St James’s Hospital. Her main research interest is in the role of exercise and physical activity in managing the side-effects of cancer treatment and improving survivorship care for patients with cancer. Grainne has considerable experience prescribing exercise to people living with cancer and implementing exercise programmes in clinical practice.
Grainne graduated as a chartered physiotherapist (BSc) from Trinity College Dublin and went on to complete a masters (MSc) in University College Dublin in 2012. She worked clinically for a number of years in St. James's Hospital, Dublin before completing a PhD examining the role of exercise for patients with advanced cancer in Trinity College Dublin in 2018.
In 2019 Grainne worked with a multi-disciplinary team in St James’s Hospital to establish a pre-surgery ‘prehabilitation’ exercise programme for all patients awaiting cancer surgery.
Grainne was awarded the Irish Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow Award 2019 for her research on the role of exercise in cancer survivorship and the implementation of exercise rehabilitation into the standard care of patients diagnosed with cancer.
Grainne is a member of the Trinity Exercise Oncology Research Group. This is a multidisciplinary group conducting research into the role of exercise in cancer care. The group, which has been in existence since 2009, has led the design, delivery and evaluation of several research projects examining the impact of exercise for a range of cancer types. The groups aims to conduct patient-centred, clinically relevant research that has the potential to positively benefit patient care.
The Irish Cancer Society is committed to enabling people to live well with and beyond cancer. This is, in part, achieved through funding world class research led by experts such as Grainne and other allied health professionals. Grainne is currently working on three projects funded by the Irish Cancer Society:
The feasibility of implementing an exercise programme for cancer survivors in a National Cancer Centre: The FIXCAS Study
Grainne is the principal investigator on this project which is examining the feasibility of implementing an exercise programme for cancer survivors in a National Cancer Centre.
Access to exercise rehabilitation can help cancer survivors to maximise their quality of life after treatment. However there is a lack of exercise programmes available to patients in the months after cancer treatment.
This research project will gather information on how exercise programmes can be developed for cancer survivors experiencing negative side-effects of treatment.
This study is funded by the 2018 Irish Cancer Society Social and Allied Health Stimulus Award.
Preoperative Exercise to Improve Fitness in Patients Undergoing Complex Surgery for Cancer of the Lung or Oesophagus: The PRE-HIIT trial.
This project will investigate if a special type of exercise training called high intensity interval training (HIIT) can increase fitness levels in people scheduled for surgery for cancer of the oesophagus or the lungs.
HIIT alternates between periods of high intensity or ‘all-out’ exercise, normally cycling on a stationary bike, followed by a period of more relaxed exercise. This approach is known to improve fitness but has not previously been investigated in patients awaiting major surgery.
This study is funded by the Medical Research Charities Group/HRB Joint Funding Scheme 2018.
Exercise prescription in patients with bone metastases: Identifying Clinical tools to overcome clinician concerns regarding skeletal related events: The Ex-Met study
This project aims to increase understanding of the relationship between physical activity and bone health in people with bone metastases.
Study results will improve the information available to health professionals prescribing exercise and enhance the safety of exercise participation practice and advice for people with bone metastases.
This research is funded by the Irish Cancer Society and supported by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC).
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