Lorna O'Doherty


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    Lorna O'Doherty received her BA (Hons) in Applied Psychology from University College Cork in 1999, a MBS in 2001 from University College Dublin and her PhD on the psychology of neurological disorders from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2007. She was a research fellow in primary care research at the University of Queensland from 2005-2007. Through an appointment at the Department of General Practice, Melbourne Medical School (2007-2013) and voluntray sector training, Lorna fostered a research focus on violence against women and children. Lorna is an honorary fellow at The University of Melbourne and has published widely on the subject of abuse, trauma and health, including the weave trial published in the Lancet in 2013 along with a series of Cochrane Reviews and qualitative studies into risk and resilience. She is currently associate professor of abuse, trauma and health leading a research cluster within the Centre for Healthcare and Communities within the Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Coventry University. She was principal investigator on the MESARCH project (NIHR 2018-23) looking at health and service use in survivors of sexual violence and abuse over time and for the JiCSAV (Justice in Covid for Sexual Abuse and Violence) project funded by the ESRC as part of the UKRI Rapid Response to Covid-19. She is currently leading Coventry's evaluation of the Upfront Survivors project aimed a building a visible, peer-led accessible survivor community in partnership with a survivor-led theatre company and frontline services (funded by the Home Office Support for Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Fund).


    Research Interests

    My research is concerned with intimate partner violence, childhood abuse and sexual violence and abuse as major public health problems globally. I am committed to maximising the role of health providers and the NHS in supporting those who have experienced violence and abuse to access equitable and appropriate health care. My work looks at different community and health care-based interventions for survivors of abuse and I have co-led four Cochrane Reviews and randomised controlled trials. I was chief investigator on a national evaluation Sexual Assault Referral Centres, undertaking a cohort study of health, wellbeing and costs for adult and children survivors of sexual assault, abuse and rape (NIHR-funded MESARCH project). I co-designed a research enriched online training resources to enhance health care workers' responses to women experiencing gender-based violence during pregnancy. My work has also taken me into the arena of justice for survivors (ESRC-funded JICSAV project) and currently I am leading the evaluation work with a collaboration of frontline services and a survivor-activism theatre company to promote leadership and training for survivors as part of increasing the voice and visibility of childhood sexual abuse survivors in cultural, political and social spaces.  

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Health Psychology, Doctorate, Quality of life and psychological adaptation in chronic neurological illness, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


    Award Date: 1 Nov 2007

    Management, MSc, Management, University College Dublin


    Award Date: 1 Nov 2001

    Applied Psychology, Degree, University College Cork


    Award Date: 1 Jul 1999

    External positions

    Honorary Fellow, University of Melbourne

    2013 → …


    • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
    • Interventions
    • Screening
    • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
    • Sexual violence
    • Intimate partner violence
    • H Social Sciences (General)


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