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Debbie SnellDirector of Clinical Trials Canterbury Orthopaedic and Bone Research Association (COBRA)

Research Associate Professor

MSc(Cant) PhD (Otago)


Based at the Burwood Hospital Campus, Deborah co-ordinates clinical trials and oversees data collection by the COBRA team, for people undergoing hip and knee replacements in Canterbury.

She is a registered clinical psychologist and has worked in the area of neuropsychological rehabilitation for many years. She leads the Concussion Clinic at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service at Burwood Hospital and locums for the QRS Concussion Service in Auckland once a month.

Deborah enjoys collaboration with research colleagues around New Zealand and internationally and is involved in researching outcomes after traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and osteoarthritis. She is the treasurer for both the NZ Rehabilitation Association and the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (Canterbury Branch).

She is focused on ensuring clinical relevance is maintained in her research activities and enjoys the dual role of working both as a practising clinician and as a health researcher.

Research interests

  • Injury rehabilitation (e.g., traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, musculoskeletal injuries)
  • Health and surgical outcomes for people living with chronic conditions
  • Patient reported outcomes
  • Psychological models of health and wellness


Griffiths, G. S., Thompson, B. L., Snell, D. L., & Dunn, J. A. (2023). Experiences of diagnosis and treatment for upper limb Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A qualitative analysis. Pain Medicine, 24, 1355-1363. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnad111

Dunn, J. A., Boyce, C. D., Nunnerley, J. L., Martin, R. A., & Snell, D. L. (2023). Describing pathways for return to work following spinal cord injury. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 59(3), 345-354. doi: 10.3233/JVR-230050

Faulkner, J. W., Theadom, A., Snell, D. L., & Williams, M. N. (2023). Network analysis applied to post-concussion symptoms in two mild traumatic brain injury samples. Frontiers in Neurology, 14, 1226367. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2023.1226367

Faulkner, J. W., Snell, D. L., Theadom, A., de Terte, I., & Low, R. (2023). Patterns of post-traumatic stress symptoms in mild traumatic brain injury and their relationship with outcomes: A latent profile analysis. Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2023.2227401

Griffiths, G. S., Thompson, B. L., Snell, D. L., & Dunn, J. A. (2023). Person-centred managment of upper limb complex regional pain syndrome: An integrative review of non-pharmacological treatment. Hand Therapy, 28(1), 16-32. doi: 10.1177/17589983221138610

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