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Professor Anna Chur-Hansen

Telephone +61 8 8313 5738
Position Head of School
Fax +61 8 8313 3770
Building Hughes Building
Floor/Room 4 14
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit School of Psychology

To link to this page, please use the following URL:

Biography/ Background

Professor Anna Chur-Hansen is a Registered Psychologist with Endorsement in Health Psychology, who holds a PhD in Medical Education. 

Awards & Achievements


Carrick Citation (was then ALTC, now OLT) “Outstanding contributions to research and literature related to the education of health professionals which have benefited the learning experiences of students locally, nationally and internationally”.

University of Adelaide Stephen Cole the Elder Teaching Award.

University of Adelaide Stephen Cole the Elder Teaching Award – High Commendation.


University of Adelaide School of Population Health and Clinical Practice Prize for Scholarship in Education – Honourable Mention.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry – “Most important papers of 2003” – Awarded by Professorial team peer review, for co-authored paper on patients’ perceptions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

ANZAME: The Association for Health Professional Education Award for Research.  Awarded based on consistent research in health professional education and dissemination of the results in peer reviewed journals.


Australian Psychological Society 2011 National College of Health Psychologists Award of Distinction.

Australian Psychological Society South Australian Branch Award 2008, for significant contributions to the South Australian section of the College of Health Psychologists.

Teaching Interests

Interdisciplinary approaches to health care. 

Co-ordinator Person, Culture and Medicine I - food, sex, pain and death considered from psychological, anthropological and biological perspectives.

Co-ordinator Emotion, Culture and Medicine II - happiness, sadness, anger and fear considered from psychological, anthropological and biological perspectives.

Teaching of Health Psychology.

Co-co-ordinator Master of Psychology (Health).

Research Interests

Professor Chur-Hansen has two main areas of research endeavour.

One is Health Professional Education, with an emphasis on the education of medical undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The other is Health Psychology, with an emphasis on patients' perceptions of their health and illness and the health care they receive.  The other major theme within Health Psychology involves the role of companion animals in human physical and mental health.

Her most recent and current research students:

Dr Sofia Zambrano Ramos PhD – Palliative care and doctors' experiences of death. Co-supervisor A/Professor Greg Crawford (Medicine/Mary Potter Hospice). Thesis awarded with Commendation.

Carly Sutherland Honours Psychology - Rural and remote psychologists' skills, knowledge and abilities. Carly came top of the 2012 Honours class and was awarded the University Medal.

Dr Cindy Stern PhD – Systematic review of canine assisted therapy. Co-supervisor Professor Alan Pearson (Joanna Briggs Institute).  Thesis awarded with Commendation.

Dr Sin Yan (Shirley) Chui: Hospital Pharmacy Staff’s Perceptions and Experiences of Some Prominent Patient Safety Interventions: The Ideology Versus Reality.  Graduated 2010.  Co-supervisors Professor Ross McKinnon (Pharmacy, UniSA) and Dr Kingsley Couldhard (Women's and Children's Hospital Pharmacy)

Dr Rebecca Gooden PhD: An analysis of cosmetic surgery accounts and a proposed counselling framework.  Graduated 2010. Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology/Psychiatry)

Dr Michael Savic PhD: Exploring the fit between the perceived mental health needs of resettling refugees and current health service responses. Graduated 2010. Co-supervisors Dr Afzal Mahmood and A/Professor Vivienne Moore (Public Health)

Lucy-Kate Werner Master of Psychology (Health): A study examining the link between psychological attachment and Royal Society for the Blind guide dog educators’ physical and psychological health.  Graduated 2011.  Co-supervisor Dr Susan Hazel (Veterinary Sciences)

Jasmin Peacock Master of Psychology (Clinical): A study examining the potential implications of high attachment to companion animals. Graduated 2011.  Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology/Psychiatry)

Kellie Hodder Master of Psychology (Health) – Psychological impact of burns. Co-supervisor Andrea Parker (Royal Adelaide Hospital Clinical Psychology).  Graduated 2012.

Alicia Jenkins Honours Psychiatry – An evaluation of a programme to reduce companion animal physical harm to children in the home.  Co-supervisors Susan Hazel and Michelle McArthur (Veterinary Sciences).  Graduated 2011.

Dr Marijeta Kurtin Master of Psychology (Health) – The role of games in childhood cancer. Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology).  Graduated 2012.

Lauren Moulds Master of Psychology (Health) – A critical exploration of the potential roles for Health Psychologists in child protection.  Co-supervisors Dr Liz Kummerow (Families SA) and Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology).  Graduated 2012.

Melissa Osborn Master of Psychology (Health) - Men's body image.  Co-supervisor Professor Gary Wittert (Medicine).  Graduated 2012.

Vicki Penglis Master of Psychology (Health) - Support programs for people with Acquired Brain Injury.  Co-supervisor A/Professor Les Koopowitz (Psychiatry).  Graduated 2012.

Branka Radovanovic Master of Psychology (Health) - A comparison of patient and surgeon expectations.  Co-supervisor A/Professor Peter Devitt (Surgery).  Graduated 2012.

Current students:

Jane Armstrong Master of Psychology (Health) - Perceptions of body size and mental health

Ethel Chung Master of Psychology (Clinical)/PhD - Non-traditional university students and mental health.  Co-supervisor Professor Deb Turnbull (Psychology)

Katie Crocker PhD – IBS, sexuality and intimacy. Co-supervisor A/Professor Jane Andrews (Medicine)

Robyn Fromene Master of Psychology (Clinical) - Occupational stress and mental health for those working in animal shelters.

Amaya Gilson PhD – Ethnography of genetic counselling.  Co-supervisors Dr Shona Crabb (Public Health) and Dr Susan Hemer (Anthropology)

Lian Hill Master of Psychology (Clinical)/PhD - Companion animals and resilience.  Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology)

Sonia Masciantonio PhD – An Ethnography of a parent-infant psychiatric facility.  Co-supervisor Dr Susan Hemer (Anthropology)

Duncan McKellar Psychiatry Advanced Trainee, Old Age Psychiatry - Experiences of old age psychiatrists in working with older people approaching and at the end of life.  Co-supervisor Dr Felicity Ng (Psychiatry)

Chris Muldoon PhD – The emotional impact of acquiring a guide dog.  Co-supervisor Dr Susan Hazel (Veterinary Science)

Dr Felicity Ng PhD – Depression and palliative care.  Co-supervisors A/Professor Greg Crawford (Medicine/Mary Potter Hospice) and Dr Rajan Nagesh (Psychiatry)

Joanne O'Connor Honours Psychology – Psychologists' knowledge of competencies when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.  Co-supervisor Professor Deborah Turnbull (Psychology)

Melissa Opolski PhD – Psychological aspects of surgery for obesity.  Co-supervisor Professor Gary Wittert (Medicine)

Gigetta Salamone-Violi PhD – User satisfaction in an inpatient psychiatric mental health unit.  Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology)

Carly Sutherland Master of Psychology (Clinical)/PhD - Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics of rural and urban psychologists.  Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology)

Dr Melanie Turner PhD – Support for parents of neonates. Co-supervisor Professor Helen Winefield (Psychology/Psychiatry)


Research Funding

Australian Learning and Teaching Council Award (value $465,000) for project “A collaborative multi-disciplinary project for the expansion, dissemination, and evaluation of a blended learning initiative for tertiary medical education.” (Palmer, E., Devitt, P., Chur-Hansen, A. and Crabb, S.) 2009-2011.


The last five years (2008-2013)

Book Chapters

Chur-Hansen, A. and Winefield, H. (2013) "Companion animals and physical health: The role of Health Psychology." In L. Ricciardelli and M. Caltabiano (eds) Applied Topics in Health Psychology. Wiley-Blackwell, pp 134-142.  (Invited Chapter).

Chur-Hansen, A., Elliott, T. and Hally, B. (2009) “Informal Language in Health Care.”  In B. Hally (ed) A Guide for International Nursing Students in Australia and New Zealand. Sydney: Elsevier. pp 107-131. (Invited Chapter).

Chur-Hansen, A. and Woodward-Kron, R. (2009) “Clinical education: embracing diversity”.  In C. Delany and L. Molloy (eds) Clinical Education: Evidence, practice and understanding.  Elsevier.  Chapter 6. Chatswood: Elsevier.  pp 92-106. (Invited Chapter).

Chur-Hansen, A. (2008) “Keeping a journal of reflections on learning”. In N.C. Facione and P.A. Facione (Eds) Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in the Health Sciences: An International Multidisciplinary Teaching Anthology.  California: Insight Assessment, California Academic Press.  pp 93-100. (Invited Chapter).

Editorial Works

Chur-Hansen, A. and Appell, G. (Eds). (2012) "Psychiatric Research Among the Iban: Collected Papers of Robert J. Barrett."  Borneo Research Council, Monograph Series No. 13.

Journal Articles, Refereed Journals, Sole Author Articles

Chur-Hansen, A. (2012) "Cognitive-behavioural and other psychological techniques in the dietetic consultation: Suggestions for practice."  Nutrition and Dietetics, 69, 236-241.  (Invited Commentary).

Chur-Hansen A. (2011) "Attitudes of psychiatrists in South Australia towards research degrees." Australasian Psychiatry, 19, 17-21.

Chur-Hansen, A. (2010) "Grief and bereavement issues and the loss of companion animal: People living with a companion animal, owners of livestock, and animal support workers.  Clinical Psychologist, 14, 14-21.

Chur-Hansen, A.  (2008) “A passionate love: The contributions of the late Professor Robert John Barrett”.  Borneo Research Bulletin, 39, 26-34. (Invited paper: included in the volume, on page 285, a “Summary of Professor Barrett’s data held in the University of Adelaide Barr Smith Library Special Collection Archives” –  all of his data are deposited there, for future researchers to access).

Chur-Hansen, A.  (2008) “A passionate love: The contributions of the late Professor Robert John Barrett”.  Monash Bioethics Review, 26, 12-20. (Invited paper).

Joint Author Articles

Henke, M. & Chur-Hansen, A. (in press) The effectiveness of Mindfulness-based programs on physical symptoms and psychological distress in patients with Fibromyalgia: A systematic review. International Journal of Wellbeing.

Ng, F., Crawford, G.B. & Chur-Hansen, A. (in press) How do palliative medicine specialists conceptualise depression? Findings from a qualitative in-depth interview study. Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Turner, M., Chur-Hansen, A. & Winefield, H.R. (2014) The neonatal nurses' view of their role in emotional support of parents and its complexities.  Journal of Clinical Nursing, doi:10.1111/jocn.12558

Turner, M., Chur-Hansen, A. & Winefield, H.R. (in press) Parent accounts of neonatal intensive care (NICU) and NICU supports, after hospital discharge.  Advances in Neonatal Care.

Crocker, K., Chur-Hansen, A. & Andrews, J. (2013) Interpersonal relationships for patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a qualitative study of GPs' perceptions. Australian Family Physician, 42, 805-810.

Chur-Hansen, A., Zambrano Ramos, S. & Crawford, G.B. (in press) Furry and feathered family members - a critical review of their role in palliative care.  American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Savic, M., Chur-Hansen, A., Mahmood, M.A. & Moore, V. (in press) Separation from family and its impact on the mental health of Sudanese refugees in Australia: A qualitative study.  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Ng, F., Crawford, G. & Chur-Hansen, A. (2013) Palliative medicine practitioners' views on the concept of depression in the palliative care setting. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 16, 1-7.

Pierides, K. Duggan, P., Chur-Hansen, A. & Gilson, A. (2013) Medical student self-reported confidence in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Development of a core competencies document.  BioMed Central Medical Education, 13, 62.

Hodder, K. Chur-Hansen, A. & Parker, A. (in press) The role of social support in the body image of burn survivors.  Psychology Health Research.

Stern, C. & Chur-Hansen, A. (2013) Methodological considerations in designing and evaluating animal-assisted interventions.  Animals, 3, 127-141.

Chur-Hansen, A., McArthur, M., Winefield, H., Hanieh, E. & Hazel, S. (in press) Animal assisted interventions in children's hospitals: A critical review of the literature.  Anthrozoos.

Zambrano-Ramos, S., Chur-Hansen, A. & Crawford, G. (in press) "How do surgeons experience and cope with the death and dying of their patients?  A qualitative study in the context of life-limiting illnesses."  World Journal of Surgery.

Zambrano-Ramos, S., Chur-Hansen, A. & Crawford, G. (2013) "The experiences, coping mechanisms and impact of death and dying on palliative medicine specialists."  Palliative and Supportive Care. doi:10.1017/S1478951513000138

Chur-Hansen, A., Devitt, P., Crabb, S., Palmer, E. & De Young, N. (2012) "Online, blended learning materials in psychiatry for medical students and trainees."  Australasian Psychiatry, 20, 445-446.

Booth, A., LeCouteur, A & Chur-Hansen, A. (2012) "The impact of the desktop computer on rheumatologist-patient consultations."  Clinical Rheumatology.  Published on-line 18.12.12.

Zambrano-Ramos, S., Chur-Hansen, A. & Crawford, G.B. (2012) "On the emotional connection of medical specialists dealing with death and dying: A qualitative study of oncologists, surgeons, intensive care specialists and palliative medicine specialists."  BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care.  Published online 5.6.12.

Clark, Y., Chur-Hansen, A., Turnbull, D. & Masciantonio, S. (in press) "A qualitative study of Australian undergraduate psychology students’ attitudes towards the teaching of Indigenous and Cross-Cultural psychology at one University." Focus on Health Professional Education

Peacock, J., Chur-Hansen, A., & Winefield, H. (2012) "Mental health implications of human attachment to companion animal." Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 292-303.

Keightley, J., Chur-Hansen, A., Princi, R. and Wittert, G. (2011) "Perceptions of obesity in self and others."  Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.  Available on-line from April 27.

Black, A.F., Winefield, H.R. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2011) “Occupational Stress in Veterinary Nurses: Roles of the Work Environment and Own Companion Animal.” Anthrozoos, 24, 191-202.

Black, A., Chur-Hansen, A. & Winefield, H. (2011) "Australian Psychologists’ Knowledge of and Attitudes toward Animal Assisted Therapy". Clinical Psychologist, 15, 69-77.

Chur-Hansen, A., Black, A., Gierasch, A., Pletneva, A. and Winefield, H. (2011) "Cremation services on the death of a companion animal: views of service providers and service users in South Australia." Society and Animals, 19, 248-260.

Chur-Hansen, A. Stern, C. and Winefield, H. (2010) "Gaps in the evidence about companion animals and human health: some suggestions for progress."  International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, 8, 140-146.

Bain, E. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2010) "Why has this patient presented in this manner at this time in the context of his or her life?" Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, 34, 17-24.

Wilson, A., Chur-Hansen, A., Marshall, A. and Air, T. (2010) "Should nursing-related experience be a prerequisite for acceptance into a nursing programme?  A study of students' reasons for withdrawing from undergraduate nursing at an Australian university." Nurse Education Today.  doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2010.09.005

Ortega, C., Limaye, V. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2010) “Patient perceptions of and experiences with Inflammatory Myositis." Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 16, 341-342.

Galletly, C., Chur-Hansen, A., Air, T. and Chapman, I. (2009) “Academics of the future?  A survey of final year medical students.”  Australasian Psychiatry, 17, 502-505.

Elliott, T., Bromley, T., Chur-Hansen, A. and Laurence, C. (2009) "Expectations and experiences associated with rural GP placements." Rural and Remote Health, 9, 1264 (online).

Crabb, S. and Chur-Hansen, A.  (2009) “Qualitative research: Why psychiatrists are well placed to contribute to the literature.”  Australasian Psychiatry, 17, 398-401.

Wilson, A., Chur-Hansen, A., Donnelly, F. and Turnbull, D.  (2009) “Selection of nursing students at the University of Adelaide using an oral interview.”  Focus on Health Professional Education, 11, 61-74.

Chur-Hansen, A., Winefield, H.R. and Beckwith, M. (2009) “Companion animals for elderly women: a qualitative study of the role of attachment.”  Qualitative Research in Psychology, 6, 281-293.

Wilson, A., Chur-Hansen, A., Donnelly, F. and Turnbull, D. (2008) “Being an interviewer in a structured oral assessment process for selection of undergraduate nursing students: motivations, expectations and reflections of the experience.”  International Journal of Nursing Practice, 14, 475-483.

Winefield, H.R., Black, A. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2008) “Health effects of ownership of and attachment to companion animals, in an older population.”  International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 15, 303-310. Includes a new measure designed by Winefield and Chur-Hansen, “The Owner-Pet Relationship Scale”. [last accessed 17.6.09].  (In 2009 this scale was translated into Norwegian for use by the University of Oslo).

Chur-Hansen, A., Winefield, H. and Beckwith, M. (2008) “Reasons given by elderly men and women for not owning a pet, and the implications for clinical practice and research.”  Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 988-995.

Chur-Hansen, A., Herbert, P., Caruso, J, and Barrett, R.J. (2008) “Indigenous students entering the Faculty of Health Sciences: A qualitative study of their aspirations and expectations."  Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, 32, 19-24.

Smith, B., Chur-Hansen, A., Neale, A. and Symon, J.  (2008) “Quality of life and cholinesterase inhibitors: a qualitative study of Alzheimer Disease patients and their carers.”  Australasian Psychiatry, 16, 433-437.

McNamara, C., Chur-Hansen, A.  and  Hay, P.J. (2008) “Emotional responses to food in adults with an eating disorder: A qualitative investigation."  European Eating Disorders Review, 16, 115-123. 

McNamara, C., Hay, P.J., Katsikitis, M. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2008) “Emotional responses to food, body dissatisfaction and other eating disorder features in children, adolescents and young adults."  Appetite, 50, 102-109. 

Scott, L. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2008) “A qualitative investigation of the mental health literacy of rural adolescents: Emo subculture and SMS texting.” Australasian Psychiatry, 16, 359-362. 

Chur-Hansen, A., Carr, J., Bundy, C., Sanchez-Sosa, Tapanya, S. and Wahass, S.H. (2008) “An international perspective on Behavioral Science Education in Medical Schools.” Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 15, 45-53 (Invited paper). 


Unrefereed Joint Author Articles

Frewin, D. and Chur-Hansen, A. (2008) “Obituary.”  In Rites of Passage, Anthropology News, Jan, 38.

Galletly, C., Allison, R., Chur-Hansen, A., Frewin, D., Good, B., O’Brien, E., Parker, D., Pilowsky, I., Smith, G. and Warin, M. (2007) “Obituary.”  Australasian Psychiatry, 15, 252-253. 


Chur-Hansen, A., Herbert, P., Caruso, J. and Barrett, R. (2008) “Indigenous students entering the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide: A qualitative study of their aspirations and expectations.” Report for the University of Adelaide Faculty of Health Sciences, based on University of Adelaide Faculty of Health Sciences Summer Vacation Research Scholarship awarded to P. Herbert, 2006-2007.

Chur-Hansen, A. (2008) “Total Control?  Eating Disorders and Emotional Responses to Food.”  International Program of Psychosocial Health Research. [last accessed 22.6.09]

Online learning cases - peer reviewed

Chur-Hansen, A. (2011) "Fluffy".  Companion animals and mental health.  e-medici.

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Professional Associations

Fellow, Australian Psychological Society

Member College of Health Psychologists Australian Psychological Society

Fellow, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia

Entry last updated: Monday, 24 Nov 2014

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