Melissa Desroches

Melissa Desroches '06, PhD she/her

Assistant Professor

College of Nursing & Health Sciences / Community

Curriculum Vitae



Dion 318C


2019University of Massachusetts DartmouthPhD, Nursing
2018Suffolk UniversityCertificate, Disability and Health Policy
2017University of Massachusetts DartmouthMS, Nursing Education
2006University of Massachusetts DartmouthBS, Nursing


  • Health promotion theory and research
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Concepts of the Professional Nursing Role
  • Concepts of Lifespan and Development




Research activities

  • "Establishing Best Practices in Telehealth for People with Developmental Disabilities", funded by the WITH Foundation
  • Medical Surgical Nursing Care of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (MSNCAID study), in partnership with Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses
  • Impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities through the lens of the developmental disability nurse
  • International collaboration to articulate the contribution of the developmental disability nurse
  • Intervention development to promote the resilience of the direct support professional workforce for people with developmental disabilities


Research awards

  • $ 35,000 awarded by WITH Foundation for Establishing Best Practices in Telehealth Care for Adults with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities


Research interests

  • Articulating and strengthening the voice of intellectual/developmental disability nursing
  • Improving health equity of people with developmental disabilities, with special attention to the impact of healthcare provider bias and quality of care
  • Supporting the resilience of people with developmental disabilities and their formal and informal caregivers

Select publications

See curriculum vitae for more publications

  • Desroches, M. L., Fisher, K., Ailey, S., & Stych, J. (in press).
    "We were absolutely in the dark": Manifest content analysis of developmental disability nurses' experiences during the early COVID-19 pandemic."
    Global Qualitative Nursing Research
  • Desroches, M.L., Howie, V.A., Wilson, N. J., Lewis, P. (in press).
    Nurses’ attitudes and emotions toward caring for adults with intellectual disability: an international replication study.
    Journal of Nursing Scholarship
  • Desroches, M. L., Ailey, S.H., Fisher, K., & Stych, J. (2021).
    Impact of COVID-19: Nursing challenges to meeting the care needs of people with developmental disabilities
    Disability and Health Journal, 14, 10105.
  • Desroches, M. L. (2020).
    Facebook recruitment of nurses as research participants: Methodological considerations
    Applied Nursing Research, 54, 151282.
  • Desroches, M. L. (2019).
    Nurses' attitudes, beliefs, and emotions toward caring for adults with intellectual disabilities: An integrative review
    Nursing Forum, 55, 211-222.

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