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Patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) may see a psychologist as part of their care. Psychologists help patients understand how psychological, social and behavioural factors impact upon recovery from poor health and illness. 

Psychologists at the RAH provide assessment, evidence-based treatment and consultation with other health professionals, conduct clinical research, and develop programs relating to the management of medical conditions and injury. 

For example, our psychologists may provide intervention targeted towards:

  • Improving the mental health, wellbeing and functioning of patients with illness, trauma, injury or disability.
  • Optimising patient participation in treatment, for example, teaching self-management skills and developing working relationships between the patient, their family and their health team.
  • Designing and implementing prevention, education and behaviour change programs.
  • Conducting neuropsychological assessments and providing opinions regarding cognitive functioning.


Psychologists provide a specialist service to inpatients and outpatients of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Burns Unit.

Our psychologists can help burns patients with:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Body image
  • Poor sleep and nightmares
  • Distressing memories about the trauma
  • Managing persistent pain
  • Strained relationships with loved ones
  • Coping with staring and negative comments
  • Return to work issues.


Cancer Services Psychology provides a specialist service to inpatients and outpatients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. There can be a waitlist and we triage according to patient needs. 

Common reasons for referral include:

  • Adjustment/grief and loss issues
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Depression
  • Pre transplant assessments
  • Medical phobias
  • Body image, confidence and self-esteem concerns
  • Coping with treatment
  • Sleep problems
  • Making choices about treatment
  • The impact of the disease on themselves and others.

There is a specialist psychology service for patients of the Youth Cancer Service SA/NT (patients aged 15-25 years).

Cystic Fibrosis

The Cystic Fibrosis Psychologist helps people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) manage emotional and psychological difficulties and make changes to their lives that help them feel better and achieve their goals.

The psychologist will often work with a person with CF about:

  • balancing the demands of treatment with achieving life goals
  • anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, helplessness
  • stress management
  • grief, loss and change
  • persistent worries, fears and phobias
  • sleeping problems
  • addictions
  • coping with transplant
  • chronic pain or discomfort
  • family and relationship concerns
  • eating and body-image.

Endocrine and Metabolic Service

A psychologist is currently running a group program on stress management and weight loss for this service as part of a research project. For further information, please contact 8222 5520.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Service offers psychological screening and support to outpatients to help address the psychological and emotional issues that are common in IBD.

Common challenges for people with IBD include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Managing symptom flare-up
  • Poor coping
  • Pain management
  • Fatigue
  • Social/communication issues
  • Medication adherence.

Psychological screening is available to patients at clinic appointments and can be discussed further with the consulting gastroenterologist or psychologist on the day. Psychological support options will be discussed based on the results of the screening measures.

Psychology Consult Service

The Psychology Consult Service (PsyCS) provides a specialist assessment, treatment and consultation service to inpatients of the RAH (excluding the clinical areas listed above).

Common reasons for referral to PsyCS include:

  • Difficulties coping with a recent traumatic event
  • Sadness or depression
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Grief or loss
  • Anger, irritability or frustration
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and despair, numbness, being overwhelmed
  • Difficulties coping with pain or painful procedures
  • Persistent sleep problems (including nightmares)
  • Feeling a lack of control or independence
  • Concerns with body image.

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