University of Limerick

limerick logo

University of Limerick


University of Limerick (UL) Established in 1972, UL is a leading Irish university with over 11,500 students, 1400 staff and almost 1,000 post-graduates. UL is the new coordinating organisation for RESTORE, following the move of Dr Anne MacFarlane to her new role as Professor of Primary Healthcare Research at the Graduate Entry Medical School, UL.

Prof MacFarlane graduated from University College Cork in 1992 with an honours degree in Applied Psychology and Sociology. She completed her Masters and PhD in Health Promotion at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1995 and 1998 respectively. Prof MacFarlane was the first person to graduate with a PhD in Health Promotion from the National University of Ireland. Prof MacFarlane successfully applied for a post-doctoral research fellowship at University College London. She worked there on e-health research from 2000-2002 and held an Honorary Senior Researcher Fellowship at UCL from 2002-2007. Prof MacFarlane was awarded an Irish Health Research Board, Health Services Research Fellowship in 2002 and began her programme of research about user involvement in primary care, with a special interest on migrant health within the Discipline of General Practice NUI Galway. Prof MacFarlane was appointed contract Lecturer in Primary Care (Social Science) in the Discipline of General Practice in 2004 (this was the first post of its kind in Ireland) and permanent lecturer in 2007.

In 2011 she accepted the opportunity to become the first Professor of Primary Healthcare Research at the Graduate Entry Medical School at UL. Prof MacFarlane has established strong research links with renowned universities in her field including University College Dublin, Dublin City University and University College Cork. She also has strong research links with a range of UK universities through her invited participation in an international study group on Normalisation Process Theory. Prof MacFarlane has particularly strong relationships with colleagues at the University of Liverpool and University of Glasgow who are also part of RESTORE. Prof MacFarlane has focused on migrants' experiences of communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations since 2002. She has been PI on several research and development projects in this field which have resulted in national and international publications in peer reviewed journals. In January 2010, Prof MacFarlane was Guest Editor for a special issue of Translocations: An Irish Inter-University Open Access E-Journal on Health and Migration. Prof MacFarlane has used PLA research to surface ‘insider’ or 'emic' accounts from key stakeholders about communication problems in cross-cultural consultations and potential solutions to these problems. AMacF has led the use of use of the Normalisation Process Model which is a pre-cursor to Normalisation Process Theory) in previous empirical national work on migrant health.

Selected recent publications:


MacFarlane, A., and O’Reilly de Brún, M. (2012). A Reflexive Account of Using a Theory-Driven Conceptual Framework. Qualitative Health Research,22(5)

MacFarlane, A., Singleton, C. and Green, E. (2009). Language barriers in health and social care consultations in the community: A comparative study of responses in Ireland and England. Health Policy 92(2), 203-210.

MacFarlane, A. Dzebisova, Z. Kanapish, D. Kovacevic, B. Ogbebor, F. Okonkwo, E. 2009). Language barriers in Irish general practice: The perspective of refugees and asylum seeker Social Science and Medicine 69 (2), 210-214.

May, C.R., Mair, F., Finch, T., MacFarlane, A., Dowrick, C., Treweek, S., Rapley, T., Ballini, L., Ong, B.N., Rogers, A. Murray, E., Elwyn, G., Légaré, F., Gunn, J., Montori, V (2009).Building an interdisciplinary theory of implementation, embedding and integration: The Development of Normalisation Process Theory. Implementation Science 4:29.

MacFarlane, A. Glynn, L. Mosinkie, P.,Murphy, A.W. (2008) Responses to language barriers in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers: A telephone survey of Irish general practitioners BioMed Central Family Practice 9:68

May C, Finch T, Mair F., Ballini L, Dowrick C, Eccles M, Gask L, MacFarlane A, Murray E, Rapley T, Rogers A, Treweek S, Wallace P, Anderson G, Burns J, Heaven B. (2007) Central understanding the implementation of complex interventions in healthcare: the normalization process model. Biomed Central, 7:148.