Dr Kerrie Clover
(BSc (Hons), PhD, MAPS, Research Manager, Psycho-Oncology )

Research AreasHealth Services Research, Social Needs, Mental Health, Supportive Care
Research TopicsProstate Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Malnutrition, Depression and Anxiety, Screening for Distress, Questionnaire Design, Oncology
Research TypesClinical Trials, Survey / Observational Research, Translational, Instrument Development

Dr Kerrie Clover has researched the "Human Side" of cancer: how psychology can contribute to care, since joining Psycho-Oncology at Calvary Mater Newcastle in 2004. She is a Registered Psychologist and a conjoint academic with Newcastle University.

She focuses on developing practical interventions which can be readily used in clinical care. She leads the award-winning 'QUICATOUCH' program, which has reached over 13,000 oncology outpatients. Other interests include detection of depression and anxiety, understanding when patients want help and helping patients cope with treatment.


  • Carter G, Lewin T, Rashid G, Adams C, Clover K. Computerised assessment of quality of life in oncology patients and carers. Psycho-Oncology 2008:17(1) 26-33.
  • Clover, K. Carter, G, Adams, C. Hickie I, Davenport T. Concurrent validity of the PSYCH-6, a very short scale for detecting anxiety and depression, among oncology outpatients. Australian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2009,43:7,682-688.
  • Clover, K. Carter, G, Mackinnon, A. Adams, C. Is my patient suffering clinically significant emotional distress? Demonstration of a probabilities approach to evaluating algorithms for screening for distress. Supportive Care in Cancer 2009;17:1455-1462 .
  • Carter GL, Lewin TJ, Gianacas L, Clover K, Adams C. Caregiver satisfaction with out-patient oncology services: Utility of the FAMCARE instrument and development of the FAMCARE-6. Supportive Care in Cancer (2011:19 (4):565-572.
  • Clover K, Oultram S, Adams C, Cross L, Findlay N, Ponman L. Disruption to radiation therapy sessions due to anxiety among patients receiving radiation therapy to the head and neck area can be predicted using patient self-report measures. Psycho-Oncology 2011; 20 (12);1334?1341.
  • Luckett T, Britton B Clover K, Rankin NM. Evidence for interventions to improve psychological outcomes in people with head and neck cancer: A systematic review of the literature. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2011:19 (7); 871-881.
  • Oultram S, Findlay N, Clover K, Cross L, Ponman L, Adams C. A comparison between patient self-report and radiation therapists' ability to identify anxiety and distress in head and neck cancer patients requiring immobilisation for radiation therapy. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice 2012:11(2);74-82. (doi:10.1017/S1460396911000136).
  • Carter G, Britton B, Clover K, Rogers K, Adams C, McElduff P. Effectiveness of QUICATOUCH: a computerised touch screen evaluation for pain and distress in ambulatory oncology patients in Newcastle, Australia. Psycho-oncology. (Available online July 2011).
  • Britton B, Clover K, Bateman L, Odelli C, Wenham K,  Zeman A,  Carter G. Baseline Depression Predicts Malnutrition in Head and Neck Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy.  Supportive Care in Cancer 2012:20(2);335-342.
  • Mitchell AJ, Meader N, Clover K, Carter G, Loscalzo MJ, Linden W et al. Members of Depression in Cancer Care Consensus Group. Meta-Analysis of Screening and Case Finding Tools for Depression in Cancer: Evidence based Recommendations for Clinical Practice. Journal of Affective Disorders (in press).
  • Clover K, Kelly P, Rogers K, Britton B, Carter G. Predictors of desire for help in oncology outpatients reporting pain or distress. Psycho-Oncology 2012 (online in early view).


Getting to know you

When did you start doing research?

In 1986, when I studied immune system responses in stress for my Honours in Psychology.

What is your most significant contribution to research?

I think my strength is in bringing a practical, here-and-now approach to research into improving patient care. Working in psycho-oncology, I'm not hoping to discover a cure for cancer one day, but in our work we can do a lot, right now, to improve patients' experiences.

What research achievement are you most proud of?

Having the QUICATOUCH program of screening for pain, distress and other symptoms acknowledged with local and national awards and an invitation to present it internationally.

What inspires you?

The opportunity to make a difference for people when they're vulnerable.

What did you do before coming to work at the Calvary Mater Newcastle?

I did a PhD in behavioural science and worked in health promotion and suicide prevention.

What did you do before you became a researcher?

I spent a year working in banking straight out of school and quickly realised we weren't suited. I went to Uni to be a biochemist but got hooked on psychology and went on to do a PhD.

What made you decide to do research?

I love the discipline of working out how to test an idea and I love finding out new things. Analysing a data set and seeing something no-one else has ever seen is exciting. There's always something new to do in research.

What was your first / worst / best / strangest / memorable /etc job in research?

I was interviewing patients about their experience of mammography, when it first came to Australia. An older lady in a small country town said to me "Geez love, I haven't had a squeeze like that since my husband died!"

What do you do to relax?

Spend time with my children. Read fiction. Horse ride. Plan to garden.


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