Dr Stuart Ekberg

Find Stuart Ekberg on

Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) (University of Adelaide), Graduate Certificate in Science & Technology Communication (University of Adelaide), Bachelor of Psychology with First Class Honours (University of Adelaide)

Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead, Research: School of Psychology & Counselling

Research Areas

My research explores social interaction across diverse settings:

  • Clinical interactions (psychotherapy, paediatric palliative care, paediatric speech-language pathology, community aged care). I am a founding member of QUT’s Paediatric Palliative & Supportive Care Research Group (PPSCRG)
  • Online interactions (videoconferencing, text-based ‘chat rooms’)
  • Mundane interactions (i.e. everyday conversations between family members and friends)
  • Educational interactions (e.g. in preschools)

Most of my research is within a field known as Conversation Analysis (CA), which analyses naturally occurring (‘real world’) social interactions. This allows for fascinating – and sometimes very surprising – insights into the way we interact with each other.

Funded Research Projects

Ekberg, S., Stevenson, J., Martinez, K., Win, M.M., Lord, S., Yates, P. & Sansone, H. (2019). Managing expectations and information needs in initial palliative care consultations. The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation (INV2019-27).

Bradford, N., Ekberg, S., Brain, D. & Yates, P. (2018). Addressing survivorship and palliative care needs in children and adolescents with brain cancer. Children’s Hospital Foundation (CCABCR011)

Danby, S., Ekberg. S., Rendle-Short, J., Yates, P., Bradford, N., Herbert, A., Bluebond-Langner, M. (2017). Extraordinary yet mundane talk: Children navigating palliative care. Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP180101941).

Ekberg, S. (2016). Talking about Troubles: A comparison of everyday and therapeutic talk. Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE170100026).

Ekberg, S., Yates, P., Danby, S., Herbert, A. & Bradford, N. (2016). The ‘So Many Questions’ Project. Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd.

Leydon-Hudson, G., Little, P., Moore, M., Ekberg, S., Heritage, J., Drew, P., Stuart, B., Stevenson, F., Ogden, J., Chew-Graham, C., Mercer, S. & Brindle, L. (2012). A proof of concept trial to improve elicitation of patients’ concerns in primary care consultations, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research (UK).

Research Impact

By working with recordings of real-world social interactions, my research is easily applied to ensure real-world impact. My experience of real-world engagement includes:

  • Development of an eLearning module to support effective communication with families of children with life-limiting conditions (developed for the Quality of Care Collaborative for Australia in Paediatric Palliative Care, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health).
  • Development and nationwide dissemination of prompt lists (available here and here) that can be used by families of children with life-limiting conditions to enhance their consultations with healthcare professionals (funded by Gilead Sciences Europe Ltd.).

Additional information