Dr Elizabeth Anne Broadbent

Bachelor of Engineering degree with Honours (Electrical and Electronic) Canterbury University. Graduate Diploma in Arts (Massey).MSc and PhD in Health Psychology, University of Auckland.


Elizabeth initially trained as an electrical and electronic engineer at Canterbury University to pursue her interest in robotics. She then worked at Transpower, Électricité de Tahiti, and Robotechnology. After becoming interested in the psychological aspects of robotics and in psychoneuroimmunology, she obtained her MSc and PhD in health psychology, supported by a Bright Futures Top Achiever Doctoral Award.

She received an Early Career Award from the International Society of Behavioural Medicine and Early Career Research Excellence Award from the University of Auckland. She was a visiting academic at the school of psychology at Harvard University and in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA. In August 2017, she will return to Boston with a Fulbright award for four months.

Her current research interests include how stress affects our health, how our body posture affects our mood, interventions to help patients make sense of and cope with illness, and human-robot interaction in health contexts. Her work has been supported by grants from many agencies including the Health Research Council, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Heart Foundation, Oakley Mental Health Research Foundation, Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust, and the Foundation of Research Science and Technology.


Research | Current

Research interests
  • Stress and wound healing
  • Coping with chronic illness
  • Illness perceptions
  • Risk perceptions
  • Patients’ drawings of their illness
  • Human-robot interactions
  • Embodied cognition

Teaching | Current

HLTHPSYC 715 Research Methods in Health Psychology (course coordinator)

HLTHPSYC 714 Health Psychology (guest lecturer)

HLTHPSYC 122 Behaviour, Health and Development (guest lecturer)

HLTHPSYC 744 Research topic

Postgraduate supervision


Hayley Robinson, Amy Richardson, Claire O'Donovan


Debbie Johanson, Hemisha Priya, Jessee Fia'Ali'i, Randi Collin

Areas of expertise

Health Psychology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Associate Editor: Journal of Behavioral Medicine

Editorial Board: British Journal of Health Psychology; Psychology & Health

Director Health Psychology Programme

Research Committee


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Robinson, H., Norton, S., Jarrett, P., & Broadbent, E. (2017). The effects of psychological interventions on wound healing: A systematic review of randomized trials. British journal of health psychology, 22 (4), 805-835. 10.1111/bjhp.12257
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Jarrett
  • Liang, A., Piroth, I., Robinson, H., MacDonald, B., Fisher, M., Nater, U. M., ... Broadbent, E. (2017). A pilot randomized trial of a companion robot for people with dementia living in the community. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 18 (10), 871-878. 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.05.019
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruce MacDonald
  • Richardson, A. E., Tennant, G., Morton, R. P., & Broadbent, E. (2017). A self-regulatory intervention for patients with head and neck cancer: Pilot randomized trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51 (5), 629-641. 10.1007/s12160-017-9885-1
  • Robinson, H., Ravikulan, A., Nater, U. M., Skoluda, N., Jarrett, P., & Broadbent, E. (2017). The role of social closeness during tape stripping to facilitate skin barrier recovery: Preliminary findings. Health Psychology, 36 (7), 619-629. 10.1037/hea0000492
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Jarrett
  • Koschwanez, H., Robinson, H., Beban, G., MacCormick, A., Hill, A., Windsor, J., ... Broadbent, E. (2017). Randomized clinical trial of expressive writing on wound healing following bariatric surgery. Health Psychology, 36 (7), 630-640. 10.1037/hea0000494
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34530
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: John Windsor, Mia Jullig, Andrew MacCormick, Andrew Hill, Roger Booth
  • Robinson, H., Jarrett, P., Vedhara, K., & Broadbent, E. (2017). The effects of expressive writing before or after punch biopsy on wound healing. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 61, 217-227. 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.11.025
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33249
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Jarrett
  • Wilkes, C., Kydd, R., Sagar, M., & Broadbent, E. (2017). Upright posture improves affect and fatigue in people with depressive symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 54, 143-149. 10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.07.015
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30135
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robert Kydd, Mark Sagar
  • Broadbent, E. (2017). Interactions with Robots: The Truths We Reveal About Ourselves. Annual Review of Psychology, 68, 627-652. 10.1146/annurev-psych-010416-043958
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32094


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 12, Room 12005
New Zealand

Web links