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The CHITIN Programme completed in June 2023. Final reports of the 11 CHITIN studies can be viewed on the Legacy page. The CHITIN team wish to thank the CHITIN network and all stakeholders for their involvement and commitment to the programme.

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Anticipatory Care Planning Intervention for Older Adults at Risk of Functional Decline: A Primary Care Feasibility Study (Host Organisation – QUB)

As the percentage of older adults on the island of Ireland increases, the complexity of care required to support those who choose to remain in the community has also increased. This situation can create challenges for patients, family carers, their General Practitioners (GPs), and community agencies. 

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Student Psychological Intervention Trial (SPIT)

The North West of Ireland has very high rates of mental health disorders and suicide. For many people, the symptoms related to these disorders start to develop during their late teens and early 20s. A number of studies have documented the increasing incidence of depression, anxiety and other disorders among the student population. Third level institutions are an excellent place to provide support and assistance to those with mental health problems but results from previous studies suggest that the current support may not be fit for purpose. 

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BRAIN-Diabetes: Border Region Area lifestyle Intervention study for healthy Neurocognitive ageing in Diabetes (Host Organisation – QUB)

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with an almost three-fold increased risk of Dementia in later life. The lag period between DM diagnosis and development of Dementia symptoms represents an opportunity for risk modification. A Scandinavian study showed that an intensive multi-domain lifestyle intervention programme (nutrition, exercise, cognitive stimulation and intensive vascular risk factor control) applied in older people (age 60-77 years-old) at higher risk for Dementia, produced significant cognitive benefits after two years. 

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INhaler Compliance Assessment (Asthma) INCA_Sun: A prospective 8 month, randomised, controlled, multi-centre asthma education study in patients with unstable asthma using the INCA device (Host Organisation – RCSI)

The INhaler Compliance Assessment (INCA) device, developed by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), uses digital signals from inhalers to identify a patient’s inhaler technique and adherence to obtain a complete understanding of their inhaler use over time. 

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Mirror box therapy with Stroke: a cross-border Randomised Controlled Trial to evaluate the effectiveness of mirror box therapy in upper limb rehabilitation with sub-acute Stroke patients (Host Organisation – UU)

Stroke can result in the loss of movement to one side of the body. This can make everyday tasks such as washing, dressing, eating, walking and household activities more difficult. To help regain movement, the brain needs to relearn how to move the arm and leg.  

This health research will investigate if using Mirror Box Therapy (MBT) will enable recovery of the affected arm alongside existing occupational therapy input. 

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MY COMRADE PLUS: A pilot cluster Randomised Controlled Trial, for patients with multimorbidity, of the MultimorbiditY COllaborative Medication Review And DEcision Making intervention (MY COMRADE), practice based pharmacists (PBP’s) or PBP’s plus an adaptation of MY COMRADE (Host Organisation – NUI Galway)

Multimorbidity is the term used when a person has more than one long-term medical condition. In general practice, patients are more likely to have multimorbidity than a single condition. How patients are treated and the evidence used to draw up guidelines for doctors are usually based on a single condition, for example, research is conducted on patients with diabetes and guidelines are developed for managing patients with diabetes. However, for patients with multimorbidity, there are many challenges, one of which is the management of multiple medications. 

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Healthy Habits In Pregnancy and Beyond (HHIPBe)

More than one in two pregnant women are overweight by the time they come for their first main antenatal appointment. This research wants to look at whether it is possible to give women who are overweight or obese at the start of pregnancy a brief intervention that encourages them to develop positive food and activity habits and gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy.

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PAIGE2 – Pragmatic Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy Lifestyle Intervention for Overweight Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: a Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial (Host Organisation – BHSCT)

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), defined as high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, is an increasing health problem for both mothers and babies which affects up to 18% of pregnancies worldwide. Women with previous GDM are seven times more likely to develop future type 2 diabetes compared to women without GDM. There is good evidence outside of pregnancy that lifestyle change (diet and physical activity) can reduce the development of type 2 diabetes in people at risk, but there are many demands on a new mother, and weight gained during pregnancy is frequently not lost afterwards.

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A randomised pilot study of a theory-based intervention to improve appropriate polypharmacy in older people in primary care (PolyPrime) (Host Organisation – QUB)

Polypharmacy (the use of multiple medicines) is considered to be a major prescribing challenge.  This three-phase pilot study will seek to improve prescribing of appropriate polypharmacy in older people living in their own homes. 

In Phase 1: interviews with 24 General Practitioners (GPs) across 12 practices in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) border counties. The findings will be used to refine the intervention package (consisting of a video and a patient recall system and which was developed in Northern Ireland). 

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WORtH - a walking intervention to increase activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in people with serious mental illness

People who have a serious mental illness can sometimes die earlier in life than those without. The medications people take for their mental illness combined with an unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. not enough physical activity and too much sitting) can contribute to this. Walking is a good way to increase physical activity in the general population and may help people with serious mental illness to be more active. 

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The Walking In ScHools (WISH) Trial: A peer-led, school based walking intervention for adolescent girls (Host Organisation – UU)

The transition from primary to second-level education represents a time when physical inactivity increases, especially in adolescent girls. School-based activities that increase opportunities for physical activity are needed, particularly for those left out of other sporting activities because of the competitive selection process for school teams, and for types of activity that can be easily maintained into adulthood, such as walking. 

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