Dr Bena Brown

Academic Title - Senior Lecturer

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Dr Bena Brown is the Principal Allied Health Research Fellow in the Division of Cancer Services and an Advanced Speech Pathologist (Cancer Care) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital; and Senior Lecturer and Affiliate of the School of Health and Rehabilitaiton Sciences at UQ. Bena is a clinician-researcher with a passion for caring for people with cancer and their families, patient-centred research, and research exploring novel service delivery models using technology. Since the awarding of her PhD, Bena has worked part-time sharing motherhood with her research and clinical career. Bena is also a member of the Human Research and Ethics Committees at Metro South Health and The University of Queensland, and serves on statewide committees for the Queensland Collaborative for Cancer Survivorship, Queensland Youth Cancer Service, Strategic Advisory Committee, and COSA Patient-Reported Outcome Working Group. She has over 45 peer-reviewed publications, has presented at multiple national and international conferences, and has been awarded over $3.5 million in research grants. Bena is mum to 2 boisterous boys, a keen yogi, and passionate student and board member at Vulcana Circus.

Research Interests

  • Cancer Care
  • Survivorship
  • Novel service delivery models using telehealth
  • Patient-centred care

Research Impacts

Through the marriage of Bena's research to clinical cancer care, a number of service delivery improvements, changes in clinical practice, and models of care have been developed to optimise the healthcare received in Queensland hospitals. Bena's PhD examined the impact of novel, intensive radiotherapy regimens on swallowing, nutrition, and quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer. The outcomes of this body of work defined the altered fractionation radiotherapy regimen adopted at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Bena's work in developing an electronic patient-reported outcome platform "ScreenIT" has given patients, and their families, a voice to drive the cancer healthcare they need, when they need it, by the professional most able to support them. This has resulted in streamlined clinical care, reduction in low value care, and cost-efficiencies of $400,000 per year for the PA Hospital. Through the supervision of Bena's clinician-research RHD students, further changes to health professional communication skills training in cancer care have been adopted, assessment and management of distress during cancer treatment has been optimised, and the identification and assessment of lymphoedema better managed.

All of Bena's research endeavours are aimed at improving the experience and outcomes of Queenslanders with cancer - either by direct translation of research findings into clinical care, or optimising the care provided by health professionals.


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2020) Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Nund, Rebecca L., Scarinci, Nerina A., Cartmill, Bena and Ward, Elizabeth C. (2015). Dysphagia and the family. Seminars in Dysphagia. (pp. 159-175) edited by Renee Speyer and Hans Bogaardt. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech - Open Access Publisher. doi: 10.5772/58665

  • Cartmill, Bena, Nund, Rebecca L. and Ward, Elizabeth C. (2014). Managing survivorship: issues for the patient and carer. Head and Neck Cancer: Treatment, Rehabilitation and Outcomes. (pp. 525-539) edited by Elizabeth C. Ward and Corina J. van as Brooks. San Diege, CA, United States: Plural Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision