Carleen Walsh

Carleen Walsh, (PhD Researcher)

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Personal profile


Carleen Walsh's background includes biomedical science, industry, education, special needs education (SEN), caregiving and psychology.  Carleen Walsh worked as a Quality Control Officer and subsequently as a Microbiologist for the global pharmaceutical company, Bristol-Myers Squibb. During this time, she gained a postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Studies. She was awarded a Higher Diploma in Education in 2004 and has 15 years of teaching experience, both in the post-primary and third level sector.  Carleen Walsh acted as an SEN Co-ordinator for several years in the education sector.  The DES funded Carleen Walsh to undertake research in the education sector; she was awarded a postgraduate Diploma (2009) and subsequently a Masters in Education (2013). Her research explored the experiences of all key stakeholder groups invovled in post-primary education and her research findings helped to reform the way SEN is organised and provided at post-primary level. 

Carleen Walsh attributes her motivation for undertaking this doctorate to her parent-caregiver role. Carleen Walsh is active in advocating for caregivers of children affected with skin disease and complex medical needs, promoting awareness and highlighting the impact of caregiving to relevant government offices and healthcare agencies. With increasing numbers of children with complex medical needs being discharged from hospitals to be cared for by family in the home setting, she remains dedicated to continuing her work as a parent or 'caregiver' representative on several committees.

Carleen Walsh continues to give both oral and poster presentations at international caregiver conferences (ROI, UK, USA). She lectures, both part-time and as a guest, for several international third-level academic institutions. Carleen Walsh is involved in the design and implementation of programmes of learning, assessment and professional development.  Carleen Walsh continues to raise awareness of the 'caregiver' perspective during presentations to international pharmaceutical companies.

Carleen Walsh has received a a scholarship from the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing to undertake a PhD in Psychology. Her research aims to develop a needs assessment tool which will be piloted and subsequently validated for use with international ichthyosis caregivers.  This project has received international attention and support from dermatological support forums, dermatology consultants, policy makers and caregivers. Potentially, this research may create the first online version of a dermatological caregiver assessment tool.  Carleen Walsh has been invited and presented several oral and poster presentations at international dermatological conferences in the UK, ROI and the USA during the course of her research project.  Carleen Walsh has received additional funding in recognition for her outstanding academic promise during the course of this PhD project (Broadening Horizons Bursary 2019).


Phd Researcher Profile

This resesarch project employs a mixed-method approach and has two stages. Using a hybrid of caregiver feedback and literature from stage 1, a pre-Delphi questionnaire will be drafted, piloted and validated in stage 2..

Stage 1 involves carrying out a systematic literature review (registered on PROSPERO) of existing dermatological caregiver need assessment tools as well as conducting a mix of interviews and focus groups with international caregivers. 

The electronic databases Embase, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, U Search, and Web of Science will be searched. Several trial registers, including PROQOLID, the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN, UK Clinical Trials Gateway, US National Institutes of Health Ongoing Trials Register, Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry platform and the EU Clinical Trials Register will also be searched. In addition, a grey literature search will also be undertaken, and will include the British Library EThOS and the OpenGrey database.

As per the guidance from the international expert steering group who have volunteered to support this project, caregivers were recruited through two internationally renowned medical support forums, ISG (UK) and FIRST (USA). To date caregivers living in ROI, NI, Switzerland, Netherlands, India Australia, Philippines, Canada, UK and the USA have participated in stage 1.  This is the first international qualitative study exploring the needs of ichthyosis caregivers. The subtypes of ichthyosis being cared for by the participants include, but are not limited to, the five main types.     

Stage 2 employs a modified e-delphi study approach. Both an international caregiver group and the expert group associated with the research will be asked to (a) refine and pilot the draft questionnaire created in stage 1 and (b) subsequently to validate the finalised questionnaire for use. The finalised assessment tool will have the potential to be used as an e-tool. In effect, this resesarch has the potential to create the first validated dermatologial caregiver e-tool. This assessment tool may have the potential to be further developed to streamline support services for dermatological caregivers. 

Research Interests



Mental Health

Special Needs

Needs Assessment


Current and Recent Grants

Scholarship from Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Broadening Horizons Bursary Award

Teaching Interests

Post Primary Education

Third Level Education - Nursing, Education, Psychology

Education/Academic qualification

Master, St Angelas College Sligo

Award Date: 21 Jul 2013

National University of Ireland

Award Date: 21 Jun 2009

National University of Ireland

Award Date: 20 Jun 2004


Award Date: 20 Jun 2003

Award Date: 20 Jul 2002


Sep 2018 → …

External positions

Part Time Lecturer, St Angelas College Sligo

Oct 2016 → …

Part Time Lecturer, National University of Ireland

Apr 2015 → …

Guest Lecturer

2015 → …

Co-ordinator SEN Unit

Sep 2006 → …

Post Primary Teacher 15 years

Oct 2004 → …

Microbiologist , Bristol-Myers Squibb

Jul 2003 → …

Quality Control Lab Technician , Bristol-Myers Squibb

Jun 2002 → …


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