Publications by authors named "Caroline Maher"

5 Publications

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A qualitative study on the multi-level process of resilience development for adults recovering from eating disorders.

J Eat Disord 2021 Jun 9;9(1):66. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: Resilience research to date has been criticised for its consideration of resilience as a personal trait instead of a process, and for identifying individual factors related to resilience with no consideration of the ecological context. The overall aim of the current study was to explore the multi-level process through which adults recovering from EDs develop resilience, from the perspectives of clients and clinicians. The objective of this research was to outline the stages involved in the process of developing resilience, which might help to inform families and services in how best to support adults with EDs during their recovery.

Method: Thirty participants (15 clients; 15 clinicians) took part in semi-structured interviews, and responded to questions relating to factors associated with resilience. Using an inductive approach, data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Results: The overarching theme which described the process of developing resilience was 'Bouncing back to being me', which involved three stages: 'Who am I without my ED?', 'My eating disorder does not define me', and 'I no longer need my eating disorder'. Twenty sub-themes were identified as being involved in this resilience process, thirteen of which required multi-level involvement.

Conclusion: This qualitative study provided a multi-level resilience framework for adults recovering from eating disorders, that is based on the experiences of adults with eating disorders and their treating clinicians. This framework provided empirical evidence that resilience is an ecological process involving an interaction between internal and external factors occurring between adults with eating disorder and their most immediate environments (i.e. family and social). Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder demonstrate high rates of symptom persistence across time and poor prognosis for a significant proportion of individuals affected by these disorders, including health complications and increased risk of mortality. Many researchers have attempted to explore how to improve recovery outcomes for this population. Eating disorder experts have emphasised the need to focus not only on the weight indicators and eating behaviours that sustain the eating disorder during recovery, but also on the psychological well-being of the person recovering. One way to achieve this is to focus on resilience, which was identified as a fundamental aspect of eating disorder recovery in previous research. This study conceptualises resilience as a dynamic process that is influenced not only at a personal level but also through the environment in which the person lives. This study gathered data from adults with eating disorders and their treating clinicians, to devise a framework for resilience development for adults recovering from eating disorders. The paper discussed ways in which these findings and the framework identified can be easily implemented in clinical practice to facilitate a better understanding of eating disorder resilience and to enhance recovery outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-021-00422-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191215PMC
June 2021

Family-related non-abuse adverse life experiences occurring for adults diagnosed with eating disorders: a systematic review.

J Eat Disord 2020 22;8:36. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: Although previous reviews suggest a strong association between abuse and eating disorders, less is known about non-abuse adverse life experiences, such as parental mental illness or family discord, which occur frequently for this population. The aim of the current study was to identify family-related non-abuse adverse life experiences occurring for adults with eating disorders, and to establish whether they occur for people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder more than the general population and other psychiatric populations.

Method: A systematic review of studies focusing on family-related non-abuse adverse life experiences and eating disorders was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. The search string was applied to four electronic databases including Psycinfo, PubMed/Medline, CINAHL Plus and EMBASE.

Results: Of the 26 studies selected for inclusion, six types of family-related non-abuse adverse life experiences were identified: adverse parenting style; family disharmony; loss of a family member, relative or close person; familial mental health issues; family comments about eating, or shape, weight and appearance; and family disruptions. Findings provided tentative evidence for eating disorder specific (i.e. parental demands and criticism) and non-specific (i.e. familial loss and family disruptions) non-abuse adversities, with findings also suggesting that those with bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder were more impacted by loss, family separations and negative parent-child interactions compared to those with anorexia nervosa.

Conclusions: This review provides a clear synthesis of previous findings relating to family-related non-abuse adverse life experiences and eating disorders in adults. Implications for trauma-informed care in clinical practice were discussed (e.g. considering the impact of past life events, understanding the function of ED behaviours, reducing the risk of potential re-traumatisation).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-020-00311-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7374817PMC
July 2020

The Challenge of Managing Severely Ill Patients with Anorexia Nervosa in Ireland.

Ir J Psychol Med 2012 Jan;29(2):69-71

North Sector,Wexford Mental Health Services,Ireland.

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) has the highest rates of morbidity and mortality of any psychiatric disorder. Psychiatrists in Ireland have reported difficulties in managing patients with AN, particularly those with severe levels of illness. This paper explores these management difficulties, including the financial and organisational impediments to service provision, and the legal and ethical dilemmas involved in dealing with those patients who refuse treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0790966700017328DOI Listing
January 2012

Two psychiatric presentations linked with 'head shop' products.

Ir J Psychol Med 2011 Mar;28(1):S8-S10

St Vincent's University Hospital,Elm Park,Dublin 4,Ireland.

We report two cases of acute onset and rapid resolution of psychotic symptoms, the first following oral ingestion and the second following intravenous injection of some head shop products (HSPs). Both were associated with autonomic instability and negative results on urine toxicology screening using standard techniques. They highlight the potential dangers of managing such cases in acute stand-alone psychiatric units. Recent advance in characterising some HSPs by toxicology screening is also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0790966700011903DOI Listing
March 2011

Recombinant respiratory syncytial virus lacking secreted glycoprotein G is attenuated, non-pathogenic but induces protective immunity.

Microbes Infect 2004 Oct;6(12):1049-55

Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College, St. Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes intense pulmonary inflammatory responses in some infected infants. The surface attachment protein 'G' of RSV has membrane-bound and secreted forms and shows homology to the CX3C chemokine fractalkine. Using recombinant techniques, we generated replication-competent recombinant clonal RSV expressing normal G proteins ('rRSV') or only the membrane-bound form of G ('Gmem rRSV'). Both recombinants grew well in HEp-2 cells, but after primary intranasal infection in mice, pulmonary Gmem rRSV replication was reduced tenfold compared to parental or rRSV; moreover, CCL2 and CCL5 production was greatly reduced and no apparent disease or pulmonary cellular infiltration was observed. However, Gmem rRSV-infected mice developed good antibody responses and were fully protected against subsequent intranasal challenge with parental virus. Even in mice sensitized to G by cutaneous infection with recombinant vaccinia expressing G, intranasal challenge with Gmem rRSV caused insignificant disease. We conclude that secreted G is a key viral product assisting virus replication in vivo, enhancing CCL2 and CCL5 production and promoting illness. Engineered RSV mutants lacking the ability to secrete G are thus promising vaccine candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2004.07.001DOI Listing
October 2004
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