Dr Braden Te Ao

Ph.D, MPH (Hons), BHSc


I am a Lecturer and Health Economist based in Health Systems section of the School of Population Health whose interest includes access, quality and efficiency of health care services. In particular I have strong interests in evaluating the cost effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing health disparities for vulnerable populations. I have conducted and published research in economic evaluations including a cost of illness study for traumatic brain injury, cost effectiveness evaluation of new drugs and technologies (e.g., genetic testing for patients with acute coronary syndrome, tiotropium treatment for bronchiectasis patients) and cost effectiveness of existing health services (e.g., hospital based services for stroke).


Some of my research has been published in various medical journals such as the American Academy of Neurology, International Journal of Stroke and recently been invited to contribute to a commissioned article on traumatic brain injuries with the European Center-TBI network for the Lancet Neurology. I received my PhD from the National Institute for Stroke & Applied Neurosciences through Auckland University of Technology (AUT) under the supervision of Professor Valery Feigin (Neurologist & Epidemiologist), Professor Paul M Brown (Health Economist, UC Merced) and Professor Denise Taylor (Rehabilitation Specialist). Previously I held an academic position with AUT with a part time secondment to the Middlemore Clinical Trials Team at Middlemore Hospital and is currently the NZ emerging researcher representative for the Health Services Research Association Australia New Zealand.

Research | Current

I am currently involved in National Institute for Stroke & Applied Neurosciences research projects (BIONIC, ARCOS IV, MD-PREV), National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research 'Gambling Intervention' trial and Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Centre 'Healthy Relationships' study at Auckland University of Technology. Prevalence of Status Epilepticus study in Auckland led by Auckland District Health Board and a Cost of Māori health inequalities study led by University of Auckland.

Research interest

  • Access to health care
  • Efficiency of healthcare services, intervention and treatment
  • Health inequalities and disparities
  • Unmet needs
  • Healthcare decision making

Teaching | Current

POPLHLTH 215: Dynamics of Health Systems

POPLHLTH 719: Health Economics

Postgraduate supervision

Master of Philosphy Supervision


Christin Coomarasamy  (2017) Cost effectiveness analysis of Tiotropium treatment for Bronchiectasis: Evidence from a crossover randomised trial (Primary supervisor with Associate Professor Alain Vandal and Dr Conroy Wong)

Hannaneh Safardokht (2018) Designing a forecasting model for inpatient occupancy in Middlemore Hospital, Auckland (Secondary supervisor with Associate Professor Alain Vandal)



Health Systems Pathway Champion for the BHSc programme

Areas of expertise

Cost effectiveness evaluation (trial-based and non trial based)

Health services research

Health economics

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • New Zealand Emerging Researcher Representative, Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand
  • Global Burden of Disease, Injuries and Healthcare Financing Collaborator

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Theadom, A., Rodrigues, M., Poke, G., O'Grady G, Love, D., Hammond-Tooke, G., ... Jones, K. (2019). A Nationwide, Population-Based Prevalence Study of Genetic Muscle Disorders. Neuroepidemiology, 52 (3-4), 128-135. 10.1159/000494115
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Greg O'Grady, Richard Roxburgh, Don Love
  • James, S. L., Theadom, A., Ellenbogen, R. G., Bannick, M. S., Montjoy-Venning, W., Lucchesi, L. R., ... Adsuar, J. C. (2019). Global, regional, and national burden of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Neurology, 18 (1), 56-87. 10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30415-0
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46136
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Khanh Tran, Suzanne Barker-Collo
  • Nunez, A., Te Ao, B., Brown, P., Krishnamurthi, R., Bhattacharjee, R., Barker-Collo, S., ... Arroll, B. (2018). COMPARING THE HEALTHCARE COST OF STROKE AND TIAS: EVIDENCE FROM THE ARCOS. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE. (pp. 1).
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Barker-Collo, Bruce Arroll
  • Bergin, P. S., Brockington, A., Jayabal, J., Scott, S., Litchfield, R., Roberts, L., ... Jones, P. (2018). EpiNet study of incidence of status epilepticus in Auckland, New Zealand: Methods and preliminary results. Epilepsia, 59 Suppl 2, 144-149. 10.1111/epi.14478
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stuart Dalziel, Peter Jones
  • Reid, P., Paine, S.-J., Te Ao, B., Willing, E., Wyeth, E., & Vaithianathan, R. (2018). Estimating the economic costs of ethnic health inequities: protocol for a prevalence-based cost-of-illness study in New Zealand (2003-2014). BMJ open, 8 (6)10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020763
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/44996
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah-Jane Paine, Papaarangi Reid
  • Bergin, P., Brockington, A., Jayabal, J., Litchfield, R., Roberts, L., Timog, J., ... Feigin, V. (2017). STATUS EPILEPTICUS IN AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND; A PROSPECTIVE, HOSPITAL-BASED INCIDENCE STUDY. Paper presented at 32nd International Epilepsy Congress, Barcelona, SPAIN. 2 September - 6 September 2017. EPILEPSIA. (pp. 1).
  • Maas, A. I., Menon, D. K., Adelson, P. D., Andelic, N., Bell, M. J., Belli, A., ... Chesnut, R. M. (2017). Traumatic brain injury: Integrated approaches to improve prevention, clinical care, and research. The Lancet Neurology, 16 (12), 987-1048. 10.1016/S1474-4422(17)30371-X
  • Theadom, A., Barker-Collo, S., Jones, K., Kahan, M., Te Ao, B., McPherson, K., ... BIONIC4you Research Group (2017). Work Limitations 4 Years After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 98 (8), 1560-1566. 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.01.010
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41679
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suzanne Barker-Collo, Alan Barber, Shanthi Ameratunga

Contact details

Primary office location

TAMAKI BUILDING 730 - Bldg 730
Level 4, Room 459
New Zealand