Dr Kristen McCarter

Dr Kristen McCarter

What are your research interests?

  • Comorbidity - I’m interested in supporting people with comorbid (co-existing) mental health and substance misuse problems (including tobacco, alcohol and other drugs)
  • Oncology – I’m also interested in improving treatment and support for cancer patients

Why did you get into research?

As a clinical psychologist, I’m passionate about supporting people to make positive changes in their lives. Research gives me the opportunity to design and test the best ways that we can help patients to make healthy changes and support clinicians to deliver the best possible care.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

Right now, my ultimate goal is to support patients with cancer to quit smoking. I hope to find an effective intervention that can be implemented widely and change outcomes for as many patients with cancer as possible.


Dr McCarter received a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours I from UON in 2012 and a PhD (Clinical Psychology) from UON in 2017. Dr McCarter’s research and clinical practice involves improving the mental and physical health of complex populations, including those with severe mental illness and patients with cancer. She has made significant contributions to understanding and promoting the delivery of cancer patient care in particular, distress screening and referral and patient experiences. This work led to the improvement of oncology dietitian adherence to best practice guidelines across five hospitals in Australia.

Future Focus

My future focus is to better understand how I can help improve the lives of those people that live with complex co-occurring problems, like mental ill-health, substance misuse and chronic diseases.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Implementation science
  • Clinical trials