Mel Duffy
Dr Duffy started thinking about the issue of how people were treated by the healthcare system back when she was doing her Masters in HIV AIDS.

Dr Mel Duffy’s research featured in high impact Lancet journal

A recent paper by the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & community Health Dr Mel Duffy has appeared in The Lancet: Gastroenterology & Hepatology. The paper is entitled: “Inflammatory bowel disease healthcare for LGTBQIA+ patients”.

“The Journal has an impact factor of 35.7 and a H-Index of 885,” said colleague Dr Deirdre Corby.. “Very few of us will ever publish in what I believe is the highest impact Journal.”

“This work is the culmination of a lot of work I have done since I did my PhD back in the nineties,” said Dr Duffy. “I started thinking about the issue of how people were treated by the healthcare system back when I was doing my Masters in HIV AIDS. It was quite clear how people were being treated back then, and it remains problematic today.” 

“The Lancet article was about the judgements that people make about each other, when consultants, junior doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers and patients interact.” 

“It’s about the body language, the whispers, the kind of things that go unsaid. This gave us perspective on the healthcare experience of LGTBQIA+ people with IBD.” 

There is a message for everyone working in healthcare, and wider society, from the outcome of Dr Duffy’s work, she said. 

The way forward is not through new legislation, said Dr Duffy, as laws don’t change people’s attitudes. The change has to come from within the educational system, she said, and she would like to see an LGTBQIA+ module put onto 3rd level curricula. 

“I think when I look at my career it has been about trying to find avenues to create change within the sexuality space. I do that by trying to shake people out of their comfort zone.” 

The fact that an important paper can affect the School rankings is important, but what’s really important, said Dr Duffy, is to be doing work that truly affect people’s lives.