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QUESTS members Dr Maura Dowling, Dr Andrew Hunter, Dr Linda Biesty, Dr Pauline Meskell and Dr Catherine Houghton, and colleagues recently published a Qualitative Evidence Synthesis of the driving and disabling factors of noncurative oral chemotherapy adherence in Oncology Nursing Forum.

Twelve reports on ten qualitative studies were included in the synthesis, incorporating patient and healthcare professional perspectives. Two principal analytic themes (driving adherence and disabling adherence) and seven subthemes were identified. The synthesis found that a trusting relationship between healthcare professionals and patients is important to adherence, and open discussions concerning treatment side effects and patients’ perceived quality of life should occur at each visit.


Dr Maura Dowling is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, and director of the Master of Health Sciences (Oncology and Haematology nursing) programme. Maura’s main research activities are focused on oncology and haematology survivorship issues.  Maura is a member of our QUESTS Research Working Group.

Dr Andrew Hunter is a lecturer in mental health nursing and postgraduate programme coordinator within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway. Andrew is an experienced qualitative researcher, with particular expertise in Ground Theory. While his overarching research interest is in psychosocial interventions use in mental health care, he has expertise in qualitative research methodologies and the application of these approaches within trials. He is Co-Chair of QUESTS.

Dr Linda Biesty is a Lecturer in Midwifery at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, NUI Galway. Her research is largely within the field of pregnancy, childbirth and maternity care including ethnographic exploration of the culture of birth and systematic reviews of maternity care interventions. She is leading and participating in several qualitative evidence syntheses (QES). Linda is a member of our QUESTS Research Working Group.

Dr Pauline Meskell is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Limerick. Pauline’s wide research activities include mixed methods, Delphi method and QES. Pauline is a member of our QUESTS Education and Communication Working Group.

Dr Catherine Houghton is a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway and co-chair of QUESTS (Qualitative Research in Trials Centre). Her research interests lie primarily in qualitative research methodologies including case study research and QES. She has published on qualitative methods, analysis, rigour and ethics and QES on dementia, infant feeding and recruitment to trials. She was recently awarded funding from the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme for the purpose of developing a clearly articulated pathway between QES and trial methodology and further developing QES expertise in Ireland.