Professor Nancy Pachana

Director, Healthy Ageing Initiative

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 56832


Dr Nancy A. Pachana is a clinical geropsychologist, neuropsychologist and professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland. She is Director, Healthy Ageing Initiative in the Health & Behavioural Sciences Faculty, and Program Lead of the Age Friendly University Initiative, at UQ. She is also co-director of the UQ Ageing Mind Initiative, providing a focal point for clinical, translational ageing-related research at UQ. She has an international reputation in the area of geriatric mental health, particularly with her research on late-life anxiety disorders. She is co-developer of the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory, a published brief self-report inventory in wide clinical and research use globally, translated into over two dozen languages. She has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books on various topics in the field of ageing, and has been awarded more than $25 million in competitive research funding, primarily in the areas of dementia and mental health in later life. Her research is well-cited cited and she maintains a clear international focus in her collaborations and research interests, which include anxiety in later life, psychological interventions for those with Parkinson’s Disease, nursing home interventions, use of assistance animals in later life, older adults and environmental sustainability, strategies for healthy ageing, driving safety and dementia, teaching and learning in psychogeriatrics and mental health policy and ageing.

Her edited book, Casebook of Clinical Geropsychology (Oxford University Press, 2010), has proven a popular text for clinical geropsychology training in North America. Her edited book, the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology (Oxford University Press, 2014), brings together an international perspective on a wide range of current and emerging topics in the field. Her Encyclopedia of Geropsychology (Springer, 2016) contains nearly 350 entries by international experts. Her text Ageing, A Very Short Introduction (2016), part of the popular Oxford University Press VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION series; this work has recently been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese. Most recently, she has edited Anxiety in older people: Clinical and research perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2021) with longstanding colleague Professor Gerard Byrne (UQ Psychiatry).

Nancy was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2014. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, and is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including an Australian Davos Connection Future Summit Leadership Award, for leadership on ageing issues in Australia. In 2020 she was named the recipient of the M. Powell Lawton Lifetime Acievement Award, from the American Psychological Association’s Society of Clinical Geropsychology, acknowledging considerable and sustained efforts, in scholarship, publishing, and service, to promote geropsychology in general and the well-being of persons living with dementia in particular.

She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Psychology and Aging (Q1). Originally from the United States, Nancy was awarded her AB from Princeton University in 1987, her PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1992, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA, Los Angeles, and the Palo Alto Veterans Medical Center, Palo Alto, California. She is an avid bird watcher and photographer and an intrepid traveller.

Research Interests

  • Current Research Interests
    Ageing; assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment of late-life anxiety; early detection of dementia; driving and dementia; women's health issues in later life; assessment and treatment of anxiety in Parkinson's Disease; assessment of competency in later life; psychosocial interventions in long-term care environments; therapeutic gardening and animal-assisted therapy, older adults and environmental sustainability, curriculum and teaching issues in psychology and interdisciplinary mental health training; attitudes to ageing; longitudinal research; healthy ageing; and mental health policy and ageing.

Research Impacts

Research Impact: Professor Pachana co-developed the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI), a published brief self-report inventory in wide clinical and research use globally, translated into two dozen+ languages, available commercially at and in commercial use in the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs nationwide.

Translation into Policy and Practice: Pachana contributes regularly to government and non-government programs relating to ageing research and health care for older persons. She was a member of the World Health Organisation Consultation Group on the Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders in Older Adults (2012-17), which reported to the International Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10 Mental and Behavioural Disorders. From 2009-2011 she was the only international member of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Dementia Assessment Guidelines, which serve as the US national guidelines for assessment of dementia and related conditions for the next 10 years. In 2006 she led a team publishing guidelines for the provision of psychological services for older adults, adopted as part of the Australian Psychological Society national ethical codes of practice for psychologists in Australia. She has co-authored several major reports to government from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, most recently on ageing.


  • Board Member, Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, Australian Psychology Accreditation Council
  • Fellow, Australian Psychological Society, Australian Psychological Society
  • Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia


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View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Solly, Kane and Pachana, Nancy A. (2023). An integrative perspective on positive ageing in later life. Toward an integrated science of wellbeing. (pp. 260-283) edited by Elizabeth Rieger, Robert Costanza, Ida Kubiszewski and Paul Dugdale. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780197567579.003.0012

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Hosseini, Charissa and Pinsker, Donna (2022). Psychiatric disorders in older adults. A handbook of geriatric neuropsychology: practice essentials. (pp. 161-177) edited by Shane S. Bush and Brian P. Yochim. New York, NY United States: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003100058-11

  • Liddle, Jacki and Pachana, Nancy A. (2021). Staying engaged: experiences and opportunities for diverse populations to age well in Australia. Handbook of active ageing and quality of life: from concepts to applications. (pp. 484-508) edited by Fermina Rojo-Perez and Gloria Fernandez-Mayoralas. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-58031-5_29

  • Scott, Theresa, Liddle, Jacki and Pachana, Nancy A. (2021). Driving and community mobility for people living with dementia. Dementia rehabilitation: evidence-based interventions and clinical recommendations. (pp. 129-147) edited by Lee-Fay Low and Kate Laver. London, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-818685-5.00008-8

  • Amanda Salmon and Nancy A. Pachana (2020). Animal-assisted interventions for promotion of mental health and wellbeing in older ddults. Animal-assisted interventions for health and human service professionals. (pp. 339-359) edited by Carlie J. Driscoll. New York, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Burton, Nicola W., McLaughlin, Deirdre and Depp, Colin A. (2018). Resilience in Later Life. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. (pp. 1-30) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.609

  • Scott, Theresa L. and Pachana, Nancy A. (2016). Therapeutic gardens and expressive therapies. Complementary, alternative, and integrative interventions for mental health and aging: research and practice. (pp. 529-546) New York , NY, United States: Oxford Univerisity Press.

  • Pachana, Nancy A. (2015). International trends in geropsychology. APA handbook of clinical geropsychology, Vol. 1: history and status of the field and perspectives on aging. (pp. 421-441) edited by Peter A. Lichtenberg and Benjamin T. Mast. Washington, DC, United States: American Psychological Association. doi: 10.1037/14458-017

  • Pachana, Nancy A. and Jetten, Jolanda (2015). Social Identity Change and Driving in Later Life. Encyclopedia of Geropsychology. (pp. 1-5) Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_12-1

  • Pachana, N. A. (2014). Ageing and psychological disorders. Abnormal Psychology: Leading Researcher Perspectives. (pp. 421-457) edited by Elizabeth Rieger. Australia: McGraw-Hill Education Australia.

  • Miloyan, Beyon, Byrne, Gerard J. and Pachana, Nancy A. (2014). Late-life anxiety. The Oxford handbook of clinical geropsychology. (pp. 470-489) edited by Nancy A. Pachana and Ken Laidlaw. Oxford, United Kingom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199663170.013.049

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Ford, Jessica H., Andrew, Brooke and Dobson, Annette J. (2014). Relations between companion animals and self-reported health in older women: Cause, effect or artifact?. An Exploration of the Health Benefits of Factors That Help Us to Thrive: A Special Issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. (pp. 103-110) edited by Gail Ironson and Lynda H. Powell. New York, United States: Taylor and Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781315799315-8

  • Pachana, Nancy A. (2014). Why we need an international clinical geropsychology. The Oxford handbook of clinical geropsychology. (pp. 1064-1081) edited by Nancy A. Pachana and Ken Laidlaw. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199663170.013.027

  • Jetten, Jolanda and Pachana, Nancy A. (2012). Not wanting to grow old: A Social Identity Model of Identity Change (SIMIC) analysis of driving cessation among older adults. The social cure: Identity, health, and well-being. (pp. 97-113) edited by Jolanda Jetten, Catherine Haslam and S. Alexander Haslam. Hove, East Sussex, United Kingdom: Psychology Press.

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Baillie, Andrew, Helmes, Edward, Halford, W. Kim, Murray, Greg, Kyrios, Mike, O’Donovan, Analise, O’Brien, Mia, Schwartz, Steven and Sofronoff, Kate (2012). Taking clinical psychology postgraduate training into the next decade: aligning competencies to the curriculum. Teaching psychology around the world. (pp. 72-86) edited by Sherri McCarthy, K. Laurie Dickson, Jacquelyn Cranney, Annie Trapp and Victor Karandashev. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Massavelli, Bronwyn M. and Robleda-Gomez, Sofia (2011). A developmental psychological perspective on the human animal bond. The psychology of the human-animal bond: A resource for clinicians and researchers. (pp. 151-166) edited by Chris Blazina, Güler Boyraz and David S. Shen-Miller. New York, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-9761-6_9

  • Pachana, N. A. (2011). Ageing and psychological disorders.. Abnormal psychology : Leading researcher perspectives. (pp. 449-490) edited by Elizabeth Rieger. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill.

  • Pachana, Nancy and Poulsen, Emma (2011). Thinking outside the box: Novel uses of technology to promote well-being in older populations. Intelligent Technologies for Bridging the Grey Digital Divide. (pp. 111-121) edited by Jeffrey Soar, Rick Swindell and Philip Tsang. Hershey, PA, U.S.A.: Information Science Reference (IGI Global). doi: 10.4018/978-1-61520-825-8.ch008

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Squelch, Natasha S. and Paton, Helen (2010). The importance of feedback and communication strategies with older adults: Therapeutic and ethical considerations. Casebook of clinical geropsychology: International perspectives on practice. (pp. 155-178) edited by Nancy A. Pachana, Ken Laidlaw and Bob G. Knight. New York, NY, United States: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/med/9780199583553.003.0010

  • Pachana, Nancy A. (2008). Ageing and Psychological Disorders. Abnormal psychology: an Australasian perspective. (pp. 421-457) edited by E. Rieger. Australia: McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd.

  • Pachana, Nancy A. and Kazantzis, Nikolaos (2008). Effective use of therapeutic homework assignments. The professional counselors' desk reference. (pp. 165-173) edited by Irmo Marini and Mark A. Stebnicki. New York, U.S.: Springer.

  • Pachana, Nancy A., Knight, B., Karel, M. J. and Beck, J. S. (2008). Training of Geriatric Mental Health Providers in CBT Interventions for Older Adults. Handbook of behavioral and cognitive therapies with older adults. (pp. 295-308) edited by Dolores Gallagher-Thompson, Ann Steffen and Larry W. Thompson. New York, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-72007-4_19

  • Pachana, N. A. (2007). Psychological contributions to an understanding of age-related cognitive ability and dysfunction. Lessons on aging from three nations. (pp. 29-40) edited by Carmel, S, Morse, C. A. and Torres-Gil, F. M.. United States: Baywood Publishing.

  • Pachana, Nancy A. and Sofronoff, Kate (2005). Sexual problems. Using Homework Assignments in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. (pp. 252-267) New York, NY United States: Taylor and Francis.

  • Dulin, P and Pachana, N. A. (2005). Older adult mood functioning: Developmental changes and factors associated with positive and negative outcomes. Mood State and Health. (pp. 175-194) edited by Anita V. Clark. New York, USA: Nova Science.

  • Pachana, N. A. and Sofronoff, K. (2005). Sexual problems. Using homework assignments in cognitive behavior therapy. (pp. 307-328) edited by Nikolaos Kazantzis, Frank P Deane, Kevin R Ronan and Luciano L'Abate. New York, USA: Brunner-Routledge.

  • Pachana, N. A. (2002). Designing therapeutic environments for residential care facilities. Geriatric Residential Care. (pp. 209-226) edited by R. D. Hill, B. L. Thorn, J. Bowling and A. Morrison. USA: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Pachana, N. A., Marcopulos, B. and Takagi, K. A. (2000). The Influence of Depression on Cognitive Rehabilitation in Older Adults. Cognitive Rehabilitation in Old Age. (pp. 174-203) edited by R. D. Hill, L. Backman and A. S. Neely. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Van Lancker, D. and Pachana, N. A. (1998). The influence of emotions on language and communication disorders. Handbook of neurolinguistics. (pp. 301-311) edited by Stemmer, B. and Whitaker, H. A.. New York, NY: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-012666055-5/50024-1

  • Pachana, N. A., Marcopulos, B. A., Yoash-Gantz, R. and Thompson, L. W. (1997). California older adult STROOP test (COAST): Pilot test results for subjects with non-insulin-dependent Type II diabetes mellitus and age-matched normal controls. Looking back and moving forward: 50 years of New Zealand psychology. (pp. 171-178) edited by Habermann, G. M.. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Psychological Society.

  • Pachana, N. A., Gallagher-Thompson, D. and Thompson, L. W. (1994). Assessment of depression. Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics: focus on assessment techniques. (pp. 234-256) edited by Lawton, M. P. and Teresi, J. A.. New York, NY: Springer.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

  • Nykiel, Luke and Pachana, Nancy (2022). Volunteering Motivations and Outcomes. The University of Queensland. (Dataset) doi: 10.48610/0ff5a8a

  • Harpur, Paul, Verreynne, Martie-Louise and Pachana, Nancy (2018, 04 18). How fake assistance animal users are gaming the system and increasing prejudices. The Conversation

  • Mishra, Gita D., Loxton, Deborah, Anderson, Amy, Hockey, Richard, Powers, Jenny, Brown, Wendy J., Dobson, Annette Jane, Duffy, Luke, Graves, Anna, Harris, Melissa, Harris, Sheree, Lucke, Jayne C., McLaughlin, Deirdre P., Mooney, Rosemary, Pachana, Nancy A., Pease, Stephanie, Tavener, Meredith, Thomson, Clare, Tooth, Leigh R., Townsend, Natalie, Tuckerman, Ryan and Byles, Julie (2014). Health and wellbeing of women aged 18 to 23 in 2013 and 1996: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Canberra, ACT, Australia: Australian Government Department of Health.

  • Holden, Libby (Elizabeth), Dobson, Annette Jane, Byles, Julie, Loxton, Deborah, Dolja-Gore, Xenia, Hockey, Richard, Lee, Christina E., Chojenta, Catherine, Reilly, Nicole, Mishra, Gita D., McLaughlin, Deirdre P., Pachana, Nancy A., Tooth, Leigh R. and Harris, Melissa (2013). Mental health: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. ALSWH Major Reports St Lucia, QLD, Australia: Women's Health Australia.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision