Prof Judi Pettigrew is Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences. With academic backgrounds in social anthropology, occupational therapy and history her current research explores the meaning of occupation/work in mid-20th Century Irish mental health institutions from the perspectives of patients, staff and the public thereby drawing attention to the complex social, historical, political and healthcare contexts which have shaped (and continue to shape) Irish mental health services and the profession of occupational therapy.

A second strand of research focuses on service users’ experiences of forensic mental health settings and explores how people experience everyday life, create meaning and manage their daily activities and social relationships in circumstances marked by uncertainty and confinement.

Previous anthropological research undertaken in Nepal focused on everyday life practices, oral healing traditions and mental health and resulted in key publications including a 2013 monograph on the impact of Nepal’s civil war (1996-2006) on social life, cultural practices and wellbeing titled Maoists at the Hearth: Everyday Life in Nepal’s Civil War.


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).