Trauma Research Group


Research Overview

Phoenix Australia conducts research in a wide range of areas to advance trauma knowledge and answer questions with our research partners.

Epidemiological research: Our epidemiological research comprises two main arms: prevalence and vulnerability. Our research into the prevalence of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders in the general population and specific populations, such as injury survivors, is recognised internationally. Our vulnerability research includes large longitudinal studies of hospitalised injury survivors, people experiencing homelessness, compensation seekers, and veterans.

Phenomenological research: Our phenomenological research has examined the underlying (latent) factors which characterise PTSD and trauma-related disorders. We have investigated the development and testing of DSM-5 and proposed ICD -11 PTSD criteria, the effects of different types of trauma on PTSD symptoms, pain and trauma, delayed PTSD, and nightmares in PTSD.

Intervention research: Our intervention research focusses on two types of interventions: universal and indicated. Universal interventions are those given in the early aftermath of a traumatic event, and focus on enhancing the natural strengths of trauma survivors. Indicated interventions are designed to treat established mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, or substance use, and can only be provided by trained mental health professionals. Examples of our intervention research include landmark studies testing the effectiveness of early intervention for posttraumatic mental health, telephone therapy, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy and transdiagnostic therapy.

Veteran and military mental health research: Veteran and military mental health research explores mental health and wellbeing in the veteran and serving military populations, including studies of policy/program evaluation, research translation, and knowledge creation. We work closely with the Australian Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs to help improve health and wellbeing for serving and non-serving personnel. The studies we conduct in veteran and military mental health include contributions to conceptual and methodological issues as well as evaluations of programs, services, and innovative interventions (for example, website and digital products). The results of these studies naturally have broader application, and can inform work with other populations and services.



  • NHMRC program grant 1073041
  • NHMRC Partnership Project Grant in collaboration with DVA and Defence. Optimising mental health and quality of life for Australia’s military personnel and veterans with PTSD.

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Director, Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health Professor David Forbes

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Trauma Research Group

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