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Personal profile

Research Biography

Lisa Beatty is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University, and a visiting Consulting Clinical Psychologist in Medical Oncology at Southern Adelaide Local Health Network. She has over 18 years of research and clinical expertise in the field of psycho-oncology (the scientific exploration of the psychological impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment). Within this field, A/Prof Beatty specialises in digital psycho-oncology interventions, a strategy that aims to deliver evidence-based psychological treatments to those who may not be able to access them due to their health status, distance, or stigma.  Lisa has led or supervised the development of multiple evidence-based digital psycho-oncology programs, including Finding My Way, Finding My Way-Advanced, and Healthy Living after Cancer-Online. Finding My Way is now a freely available online resource for the Australian cancer community and has been trialled by researchers in UK and USA.

Key career achievements include attracting 4.5 years of fellowship funding from Cancer Council SA, and over $4.5M in competitive project grant funding from a range of funders including National Health and Medical Research Council, Cancer Australia, Medical Research Future Fund, Beat Cancer Project, NorthWest Cancer Research, and Flinders Foundation. Lisa has published over 60 journal articles and 2 book chapters.

Clinically, A/Prof Beatty sees adults affected by cancer at a public psychology outpatient clinic, and supervises provisional psychologists on placement there.

Research Expertise

  • Psycho-Oncology
  • Digital Mental Health Interventions
  • Cancer Survivorship

Research Interests

A/Prof Lisa Beatty's broad research interests include:

(i) Exploring the psychosocial adjustment concerns of people with cancer;

(ii) Developing and evaluating self-directed interventions to address these concerns.

(iii) Exploring how to optimise digital psycho-oncology interventions, through cancer-specific tailoring of content, adding human-support/guidance, identifying and targeting symptom clusters, and establishing the minimally effective dose for intervention efficacy.  

Key Programs of Work

Finding My Way

A/Prof Lisa Beatty's key program of research commenced during her PhD where she designed and evaluated two self-help workbooks for women with breast cancer (one for during treatment, one for post-treatment survivorship). During her postdoctoral fellowship, this research expanded into an online format, where her team developed and pilot tested a web-based self-help program for all people newly diagnosed with early-stage cancer, using a single site RCT. Following this, Lisa obtained National Health and Medical Research Council funding as Principal Investigator, to conduct a clinical trial of the second iteration/version of this website, in a multisite design. This trial was successfully completed in 2016, and the web-program is now available as a free-to-access resource for the Australian cancer community, with support from the Flinders Foundation and in partnership with the Cancer Council SA.

This program of research has since led to international scaling - with research groups in the USA, Romania, and the UK all trialling Finding My Way in their settings. Colleagues in New Zealand are currently co-designing an adaptation of the program to be appropriate for haematological cancer survivors, including being culturally sensitive for Maori cancer survivors. 

Most recently, this program of work has extended to metastatic (incurable) cancer populations. A/Prof Lisa Beatty's group received Beat Cancer Project funding, followed by Cancer Australia funding to adapt Finding My Way to be relevant for women with advanced/metastatic breast cancer: The multisite RCT of this program is currently underway. 

Healthy Living after Cancer Online (partnership with Cancer Council SA)

This project has involved co-designing an online version of an evidence-based telephone-coaching program for post-treatment cancer-survivors, Healthy Living after Cancer (, which provides information and strategies for improving physical activity, nutrition, and psychosocial wellbeing. The majority of this work has been led by HDR candidate, Ms Morgan Leske, under Lisa's supervision.

Optimising interventions

This is an emerging area of research interest for A/Prof Beatty's group - rather than solely focussing on establishing the efficacy of programs, it's important to establish (a) how much intervention is needed to achieve outcomes, (b) under what conditions these interventions can work best, and (c) for whom. HDR students under Lisa's supervision are exploring whether and how to add human support to self-directed interventions, to improve engagement and outcomes; and whether reduced-dose / single-session interventions can be equally efficacious. 

Career Highlights

  • 2023 Dean's Recognition of Teaching Award (Postgraduate Students), Flinders University College of Education, Psychology & Social Work
  • Australian Institute of Policy and Science, SA Young Tall Poppy award winner 2017
  • NHMRC, 2013 'New Investigator' Project Grant awarded 4-years post-PhD
  • Flinders University, 2012 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers


Supervisor Philosophy

Lisa's philosophy with mentoring and supervision is that there are two key components of research:

(1) Develop the Research (ie., providing support for the project itself), and (2) Develop the Researcher (i.e., develop/cultivate students and early career researchers' ability to conduct all aspects of research with increasing autonomy, and foster (hopefully) a love of it!). Lisa has a friendly, approachable and caring supervisory style, with a strong wellbeing focus.

Completed Supervisions

PhD (Clinical Psychology) - 1 completion

Team Members

Research Associate

Ms Morgan Leske, Project Manager for Finding My Way-Advanced Clinical Trial)

HDR Students 

Ms Morgan Leske (2020-2024), Developing an online healthy living program for cancer survivors

Ms Amy Rigg (2023-2026), Enhancing Finding My Way-Advanced with therapist support: establishing the optimal modality and dosing of guidance required to improve engagement and outcomes in women with metastatic breast cancer.

Ms Xingcheng He (2023-2025), Positive Body Image and Functionality Appreciation in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of China and Australia

Ms SuAnn Yeoh (2024-2027), An Adaptation of The Engagement, Lifestyle, and Meaning Study to The Context of Cancer

Master of Clinical Psychology Students

Elizabeta Brkic, Comparing the effectiveness of two writing interventions with a neutral writing control in increasing positive body image in female cancer populations: An RCT 

Research Collaborations

University Cross-College Collaborations (Cancer Survivorship Consortium)

Lead: Prof Bogda Koczwara

  • Caring Futures Institute - Cancer Care Program (College of Nursing and Health Sciences)

Leads: Prof Ray Chan, Prof Catherine Paterson

National Clinical Trials Group Collaborations

Current International Collaborations

  • Nick Hulbert-Williams, Edge Hill University, School of Psychology (UK) - Finding My Way-UK Trial lead
  • Deborah Raphael, University of Auckland - Finding My Way-NZ adaptation project lead




  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Clinical psychology
  • Psychology

Supervisory Interests

  • Digital health
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Cancer survivorship


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