Prof. Judi Pettigrew is a Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences.

Her research interests in mental health, the history of occupational therapy and the impact and legacy of political violence reflect her interdisciplinary backgrounds in social anthropology, occupational therapy and history.

In mental health, her research focuses on understanding the experiences of individuals in forensic mental health settings. By examining how people in confining circumstances create meaning and manage their daily activities and social relationships, she contributes to ongoing debates on quality of life and service provision.

In education, Judi investigates child and youth participation and mental health in schools. This research aims to enhance support from teachers and the school community for student participation, inclusion, and overall well-being.

Judi’s research in occupational therapy centres on the historical dimensions of its theory and practice. By examining the past, she investigates a range of subjects, notably the development of therapeutic occupation in mental hospitals during the mid-20th century. This inquiry entails the in-depth examination of the structures within which these practices were implemented, as well as the contributions made by pioneering therapists. Additionally, she undertakes analysis of the written works and photography of a World War I occupational therapist. Working collaboratively with international partners, she actively advocates for the advancement of critical scholarship in the history of occupational therapy, recognising its implications for both theory and practice.

Ongoing anthropological research in Nepal focuses on the legacy of the civil war, oral healing traditions and mental health. It has resulted in key publications including a monograph titled: Maoists at the Hearth: Everyday Life in Nepal’s Civil War which examines the impact of Nepal's civil war (1996-2006) on social life, cultural practices, and overall well-being.


Pettigrew, J., Shalvey, A., Dunne, B. & Robinson, K. (2020) Eamon O’Sullivan: 20th Century Irish Psychiatrist and Occupational Therapy Patron. History of Psychiatry 34 (4), pp. 470-482.

Bradshaw, C., Pettigrew, J. & Fitzpatrick, M. (2019) Safety First: Factors Affecting Preceptor Midwives Experiences of Competency Assessment Failure among Midwifery Students. Midwifery, 74, pp. 29-35.

Cahill M., Pettigrew J., Robinson K., & Galvin R. (2019) The Transition to Retirement Experiences of Academics in “Higher Education”: A Meta-Ethnography. The Gerontologist, 59 (3): e177-e195.

Dunne, B., Pettigrew, J., & Robinson, K. (2018) An Oral History of Occupational Therapy Education in the Republic of Ireland. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 81(12), pp. 17-726.

Cahill, M., Robinson, K., Pettigrew, J., Galvin, R., & Stanley, M. (2018) Unpacking the Black Box of Qualitative Synthesis: A guide to Meta-ethnography for Occupational Therapists. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 81(3), pp.129-137.

Pettigrew, J., Robinson, K., Moloney, S., (2017) The Bluebird's: World War 1 Soldiers' Experiences of Occupational Therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (1).