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Dr Evelien Spelten Senior Lecturer, Public Health LTRHS

Dr. Evelien Spelten' s research interests in health sciences are driven by curiosity and by the aspiration to connect research and practice, which is also known as knowledge translation, or evaluation, applied, and implementation research.

She was happy to join LTU's Department of Public Health in 2016. Prior to that she co-coordinated the Social Work program for La Trobe in Mildura. Her move from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to rural Mildura in Australia, sparked an interest in rural health and well being and in increasing academic opportunities in the regions.

With a background in organisational psychology, she has worked as a researcher, a consultant and a trainer. She supervised Master students in the UK and Master and PhD (by publication) students in the Netherlands.

As co-investigator of the National Study into Nursing and Midwifery in the UK, she focused on improving the health and well-being of 24/7 workers. Her PhD was on older women in shiftwork, an under-researched group in a male-dominated knowledge base.

In psychosocial oncology, she was one of the first to research cancer patients returning to work. Here, her interest in knowledge translation developed and resulted in several projects, e.g. on patients' access to interventions.

Next, she established a new department of Midwifery Science at VU University. Primary care midwifery in the Netherlands lacked an 'own' knowledge base on the physiology of birth. She was PI for the Deliver study, a nationwide study into primary care midwifery (10+ PhD projects, > 50 peer reviewed papers). The study looked at both clients' and care providers' perspectives on maternity care.

Having worked in an eclectic range of health research, her passion is still the same, not so much on bridging the gap between research and practice, but more on 'making the connection' and on thus contributing to increased equity.

Connecting also involves encouraging (regional) students to undertake Graduate Research work, to develop themselves and to contribute to the knowledge base of their profession.

Currently, she supervises PhD and Master students at La Trobe and is involved in various regional research projects on a wide array of subjects, e.g.: violence against health care workers, palliative care for terminally ill patients, collective community impact to improve rural health and well being, cyber bullying, rural male adolescents' gender identity development.

She was the editor in chief for the Dutch Journal for Psychosocial Oncology, assistant editor for Social Science and Medicine and editor for the national Dutch Psychology Journal.

Teaching (Organisational) Psychology, Medicine, Social work, Business, Health Science, Nursing and Midwifery.


selected publications