The role of exercise, diet and self-management are some of the topics which will be discussed at the third annual UCD arthritis research conference, which takes place online on Wednesday, 18 November.

“Self-management for you and your family” is the theme of the free event, which is open to the general public, researchers and healthcare professionals.

Keynote speakers include Prof Norelee Kennedy (Vice President Research, University of Limerick) on the role of exercise in the self-management of arthritis; Ellen Beirne (dietician, St Vincent’s University Hospital) on evidence-based dietary interventions for rheumatic diseases; Dr Jennifer Wilson-O’Raghaillaigh’s (clinical psychologist, Beaumont Hospital) on lessons learned from self-management; and Dr John Stack (consultant rheumatologist, Mater Hospital) with an update on Covid-19.

Dr Daire ODr Daire O’Leary, conference organiser, Newman Scholar and researcher at the UCD Centre for Arthritis Research, said: “The annual conference is a fantastic opportunity to present the latest thinking and research in an accessible fashion for people living with arthritis. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers this year, including healthcare professionals, academics and patient advocates. Because the conference is available online, people can tune-in from anywhere in the country.

“Through the Patient Voice in Arthritis Research initiative at UCD, we work together with patients, family members, caregivers and the interested public to improve research, health and quality of life for those living with arthritis. That ethos is at the heart of the conference,” Dr O’Leary stated.

Gráinne O’Leary, chief executive, Arthritis Ireland, said that the theme of the conference is “hugely important for people living with arthritis. Self-management gives people the tools and the knowledge to reclaim their lives from this chronic condition and to live happier, healthier lives, which is so important during these challenging times.

“The conference features sessions on some of the hot topics for people living with arthritis, including Covid-19, diet, physical activity, mental health and well-being. I would encourage anyone living with arthritis to register for this event,” Ms O Leary added.

Recent work from rheumatology researchers will be presented at the conference, with the clearest presentation being awarded the Clarity in Research medal.

Arthritis is the biggest cause of disability in Ireland. There are over 100 forms of arthritis, which can affect men and women of all ages. In Ireland, about one million people live with the condition, including 1,200 children. About 175,000 people with arthritis in Ireland are under 55.

To register for the UCD CAR annual conference click here. 

Download the conference programme here. The conference schedule is as follows:


Gráinne O’Leary



Dr Susie Donnelly

Introduction to self-management


Tim O’Sullivan

Personal experience of self-management for RA


Dr Jennifer Wilson-O’Raghallaigh

Self management – lessons learned


Prof Norelee Kennedy

Self-management in arthritis – the role of exercise





Ellen Beirne

Diet and rheumatic disease


Dr John Stack

Covid19 and rheumatic disease – an update


Clarity in Research finalist presentations






Clarity in Research Medal award



Question and answer session with speakers



Conference concludes


The conference is supported by Pfizer and Biogen.