Evidence Based Practice Virtual Study Day


Member Price €0.00
Non-Member Price €50.00
Event Date 31 May 2023
Time 09:30 - 13:30

The AOTI Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and Research Committee are very excited to host our inaugural study day. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers who will be covering topics on how you can enhance your evidence-based practice, engage in clinical audit, and elevate and show-case your quality improvement initiative. Our outstanding speakers will be sharing their knowledge and experience with you, and we know this will be an inspiring study day for clinicians who are interested in enhancing this aspect of their work.   

Learning outcomes: 

  • Attendees will understand the core concepts of EBP and the application of same to clinical practice.
  • Attendees will understand the principles of clinical audit and the application of same to clinical practice.
  • Attendees will be provided with an overview of how to implement an Evidence-based Quality Improvement initiative in Healthcare QPS Management and Clinical Research.
  • Attendees will be provided with an overview of the Spark Innovation Programme and how this programme can enhance and elevate the innovative practice of Occupational Therapists 
  • Attendees will hear the experiences and processes of our OT speakers who have successfully brought their QI initiatives to a national level.    


09:30 - 10:00:  Evelyn O’Shea, Enterprise Risk Management Training & Development Manager.

Implementing Evidence-based Quality Improvement in Healthcare QPS Management and Clinical Research.


10:00 - 10:30:  Dr Michelle Spirtos, Assistant Professor & Head of Discipline of Occupational Therapy, TCD.

Progressing practice: Evidence-based practice and knowledge translation.


10:30 - 11:00:  Dr Orla Brady, BSc OT, PhD OT, Lecturer, University of Galway.

Clinical Audits and Occupational Therapy.


11:00 - 11:20:  Tea/ Coffee Break


11:20 - 11:50:  Dermot Burke, National HSCP Innovation Fellow, Spark Innovation Programme.

HSE Spark Innovation Programme - Supporting Frontline Innovation.


11:50 - 12:20:  Yvonne Pennisi, Dept. of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, UCC.

Doing research in clinical practice: ideas to make it work.


12:20 - 12:45:  Aoife O’Malley, Barnahus Manager.

Barnahus: Specialist Care Centre of the Year, Irish Health Care Centre Awards 2022.


12:45 - 13:10:  Michelle O’Donnell, Shortlisted for the Health Service Excellence Awards 2022.

Impact of an Occupational Therapy (OT) Advanced Practice (AP) clinic for wait listed elective Orthopaedic and Plastics patients with hand and wrist pathology.


13:10 - 13:30:  Closing Remarks




Evelyn O’Shea

Evelyn currently works as Enterprise Risk Management Training and Development Manager in the HSE.  Evelyn is a member of the National Research Ethics Committee (NREC) for Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products.  Evelyn is a guest lecturer at the Discipline of Radiation Therapy, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin and is a reviewer for the “Radiography” Journal.

Evelyn obtained a Research master’s degree in clinical medicine; a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics; and a Honours BSc in Therapeutic Radiography from Trinity College.  She also has a Diploma in Quality Improvement from the RCPI and a Quality & Patient Safety Certificate from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). 

Evelyn has won numerous awards for her research and quality improvement work.  Her key interests are in quality, risk & patient safety, clinical research, clinical trials, quality improvement, quality assurance and radiation oncology.


Yvonne Pennisi

Yvonne arrived in Ireland to teach at University College Cork in 2016 after a career as both academic at Southern Cross University and clinician (specialising in lymphoedema, wound care, home modifications and equipment prescription). Although her PhD research is in self-management and leg ulcers, Yvonne has a diverse palate of research. 

She is passionate about OTs developing practical research skills that we can use to spread both the knowledge and influence of our profession.  Community based participatory research and doing research with vulnerable groups is something that OT can really develop and support. 

Also, Yvonne comes with a warning… she is an Aussie and she totally gets words wrong sometimes, is still learning to filter for the Irish population and has an amazing shoe collection.


Dr Orla Brady

I am a permanent part time lecturer at University of Galway, working in this role one day per week since 2018. In addition to my lecturing role, I work clinically in a permanent capacity four days per week as a Senior Occupational Therapist with the HSE. My Research Interests are Dementia, Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Cognitive impairment. Older persons and Aging.


Dermot Burke

Dermot is a physiotherapist and last year was appointed the first HSCP National Fellow for Innovation and Change. He has worked in the public and private healthcare systems in Ireland and the UK since graduating in 2010.In 2020, he was awarded as an outstanding graduate on TCD's Post Grad Diploma in Healthcare Innovation and has since been involved in innovation projects promoting a holistic approach to health and wellbeing through multi-sector collaboration and digital technology. He also works with a health-tech start-up, Cushla Health, working to improve outcomes by facilitating access to patient healthcare data.


Aoife O'Malley

Aoife qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2007 and worked in a variety of clinical settings with specialisation in paediatrics. She completed a Master of Science in Child Protection and Welfare in 2013, focussing on the role of Occupational Therapy with children who have experienced abuse. Aoife moved to Galway from Dublin in 2015 where she developed Tusla’s Occupational Therapy Service for Children in Care.

Aoife became the Manager of Barnahus West following it’s launch in 2019. Barnahus West is a pilot interagency project for child victims of sexual abuse. She is clinical lead of the therapy team and is responsible for interagency coordination within the service. Aoife sits on the Steering Committee of the European Barnahus Network and has co-authored “Barnahus in Ireland: Problematising power, culture and collaboration” in Contemporary and Innovative Practices in Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Models with Dr Joseph Mooney, UCD. Barnahus West was proud to receive the award for Specialist Care Centre of the Year at the Irish Healthcare Awards 2022.


Michelle O’Donnell, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist, CHT

Michelle is a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), achieving certification by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (USA) in 2012. She practices as a generic hand therapist combining the skills of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. Michelle has worked as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist in St James’s Hospital, Dublin since 1994 and has over 25 years experience in the treatment of hand and upper limb trauma and in the rehabilitation of burn injuries. 

Michelle’s particular areas of interest are in the treatment of complex hand injuries and in the rehabilitation of burn injuries, specifically quantifying the functional outcomes of burn injuries to the hand.

Michelle is actively involved in service development, including the implementation of a Therapy Led Clinic for plastics trauma patients in 2002, an OT Led Carpal Tunnel Clinic in 2016, an Advanced Practice OT Led clinic for elective plastics and orthopaedic patients in 2017 and piloting the first integrated pathway between hospital and primary care for elective hand and wrist pathology.

Clinical research and audit, including the education of surgical and therapy staff, form an integral part of her role as a clinical specialist. She also runs BAHT accredited hand therapy courses with two other hand therapists.

She has been an active committee member of the Irish Association of Hand Therapists for the past 25 years and is currently representing AOTI on the HSCP Advanced Practice Committee, working towards the development of a HSCP AP Framework document to support the recognition of this grade in clinical practice.


Dr Michelle Spirtos

Michelle Spirtos is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin. Michelle has a BSc OT and a MSc through Research from the Discipline of Occupational Therapy and a PhD through the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Michelle’s interests relate to infants and children, upper limb function and the transition to adulthood for young people with physical and sensory impairments. 


Download study day schedule



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  • Payment in full is taken at the time of application.
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