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Research Activities

Research on health and well-being

At The I Can Centre™ we engage in multi-disciplinary research and training with a vision of  "a kinder society" which includes health and well-being for all. Towards this vision,  we work collaboratively with statutory and non-statutory partners to understand challenges, and find community and behavioural change solutions that are also timely, feasible, effective  and evidence based. For instance, some recent projects include:

  • primary and/or secondary data analyses incl focus groups, surveys and interviews
  • literature reviews and critical evaluations on a wide range of topics linked to psychology, CBT, age friendliness and/or health and well-being 
  • developing, piloting and evaluating a range of health and well-being interventions using evidence-based theory and techniques 
  • developing and evaluating theory and research on kindness and compassion, at individual, organisational and community levels, 
  • research inspiring health and well-being among older adults, which includes community interventions towards age friendliness (see, 
  • research on interventions with young people  which includes "Teen Stress Busters" community interventions  (see, and 
  • research and training for health professionals and business  incl culture change, and workshops to manage stress (see our corporate section).

External Projects & Evaluations

As highly trained researchers we can assist with evaluations on national and EU-funded projects especially those connected to health, education or community development incl volunteering. This work can include:

  • literature or desk-based research, e.g. to review background literature incl measures 
  • cross-sectional and/or longitudinal data collection design, analyses and writeups. 
  • data collection/analyses using quantitative and qualitative methods, e.g. focus groups, surveys, or interviews, 
  • and advanced primary or secondary analyses to incl  evaluations on projects in process, or with data already collected. 

Our Projects

Collaboration and Training

We collaborate with industry, academic centres, and other organisations at local, national and international level to find the best solutions for health and well-being challenges. These solutions are then tested, investigated and developed further across diverse groups of individuals and organisations.  Such partners in these efforts include those from Health and Social Care Services, transport, and community and voluntary organisations. 

Health Innovation


Our centre offers a range of informal, community-based training courses that will support and promote better physical health and well-being, including supports to manage most types of cravings and compulsions.


We are also involved at the cutting edge of a range of interventions to address emotional health problems. These include innovative evidence-based solutions and training packages so that people can gain information  and techniques to manage different health challenges,  ideally before a significant hit or emergency occurs!  More information on our community courses can be seen here.

Supervision of Postgraduate students

We work professionally with:

  • counselling students from the main universities and colleges 
  • trainees from CBT PG Dipl courses who wish to do their placement with us (applications Sept / Jan) 
  • research students at undergraduate, Masters (MSc / MBA) and doctoral levels
  • business studies and marketing students

Recent Activities / Achievements

The past few years have been very busy and exciting:

  • Centre Director Ann was an invited speaker at the World Congress on Gerontology & Palliative Care, Paris, August 23-24,  2018, and the 4th World Congress in Nursing and Healthcare, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 2018. 
  • Ann completed a 2017 second edition academic textbook in developmental psychology (with Prof Peter Coleman, University of Southampton) -  see right for more information
  • Ann represented Ireland at the European Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) in Stockholm, Sweden, Sept 2016, and presented a symposium paper on managing stress at the annual conference of the British Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), June  2016
  • Completed several commissioned pieces of research on age friendliness 
  • Ongoing evaluations of our community courses incl a new teen version of the adult Stress Busters course
  • Ann received n Excellence Award for the best case study at the 2014 annual conference of the  BABCP  in a poster outlining CBT treatment for social anxiety. Co-authors were Gerard McAleer and Dr Joanne Younge.


 As experienced researchers, we contribute to peer review journal papers, book chapters, and books.  




       We work with colleagues on a wide range of projects, small and large. While many of our projects are confidential, others have write-ups that are publically available - see below. We also work with businesses and organisations to publish and disseminate research findings widely as per an agreed dissemination strategy. 


Sample books / book chapters / reports

  • Coleman, P.G. & O’Hanlon, A. (2017). Ageing and Development: Social and Emotional Perspectives. Psychology Textbook. Routledge. Second Edition (see right).
  • O'Hanlon et al (2016).  Age Friendliness in Newry, Mourne and Down.  The Age Friendly Project, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.  
  • Sidera, A et al (2012). Ethical and social issues related to people with dementia. See deliverables in:
  • Coleman, P.G. & O'Hanlon, A. (2008) Ageing and adaptation. In Woods, Robert T. and Clare, Linda (Eds.) Handbook of the Clinical Psychology of Ageing: 2nd edition. Chichester, UK, Wiley. ​[Click here]
  • Marcoen, A., Coleman P. & O'Hanlon, A. (2007). Psychological ageing. In Bond J., Peace, S., Dittman-Kohli, F & Westerhof, G. (Eds) Ageing in Society: European Perspectives on Gerontology (pp38 - 67). 3rd Edition. Sage.
  • O’Hanlon A. et al. (2005). Health and social services for older people: changing profiles from 2000 to 2004. Dublin: National Council of Ageing and Older People, 274pp. (ISBN 1-900378-42-6) [Click here]
  • Coleman, P. G. & O'Hanlon, A. (2005). Ageing and development. International texts in developmental psychology. Routledge. [Click here]
  • McGee H., O’Hanlon A., Barker M. et al (2005). One Island - Two Systems. A comparison of health status and health and social service use by community-dwelling older people in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Dublin: Institute for Public Health in Ireland, 196pp. (ISBN 0-9542965-3-2).
  • O'Hanlon, A. (2002). Attitudes to ageing among community-based adults. Unpublished PhD thesis. Dept of Psychology, University of Southampton, England.


2nd Edition 2017 Textbook in Developmental Psychology by Prof Peter G Coleman and Dr Ann O'Hanlon

2nd Edition 2017 Textbook in Developmental Psychology by Prof Peter G Coleman and Dr Ann O'Hanlon

Sample Journal Papers


  • Crawford, V., O'Hanlon, A. & McGee, H. (2011). The effect of patient characteristics upon uptake of the influenza vaccination: a study comparing community-based older adults in two healthcare systems. Age and Ageing, 40: 35-41.[Paper]
  • Hickey, A., O’Hanlon, A & McGee, H. (2010). Quality of life in community-dwelling older people in Ireland.  The Irish Journal of Psychology, 31, 135-150.
  • Layte R, McGee H, O’Hanlon A. (2009). Do consultation charges deter general practitioner use among older people? A natural experiment. Social Science and Medicine, 68, (8), 2009, p1432 – 1438. [Paper]
  • Hickey A, O’Hanlon A, McGee H, et al. (2009). Stroke awareness in the general population: knowledge of stroke warning signs and risk factors in older Irish adults. BMC Geriatrics, 9: 35.[Paper]
  • McGee, H., O’Hanlon, A., et al., (2008). Vulnerable older people in the community: relationship between the Vulnerable Elders Scale (VES) and health service use. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 56 (1), 8-15. [Paper]
  • McGee HM, Molloy GJ, O’Hanlon, A, & Layte R (2008). Older people as both recipients and providers of informal care: analysis among community samples in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Health and Social Care in the Community,16, 548-553. [Paper]
  • Hickey A, O’Hanlon A, Shelley E, McGee H, Horgan F, O’Neill D, (2008). Community-based older adults knowledge of stroke warning signs and risk factors: a population-based study, J Nutrition Health Ageing, European Union Geriatric Medicine Society, Copenhagen, 3-6 Oct 2008, 12, (8), 2008, pp589[Paper]
  • Barker, M., O’Hanlon, A., McGee, HM., Hickey, A. & Conroy, RM. (2007). Cross-sectional validation of the Aging Perceptions Questionnaire: a multidimensional instrument for assessing self-perceptions of aging. BMC Geriatrics, 7:9.[Paper


Coleman, P.G. & O'Hanlon, A. (2008). Chapter on Ageing and Adaptation. 2nd Edition Textbook.

Coleman, P.G. & O'Hanlon, A. (2008). Chapter on Ageing and Adaptation. 2nd Edition Textbook.