Renata Kokanović's research focuses on the intersection of health, society and medicine.
Renata Kokanović is Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University. She has extensive expertise in interdisciplinary health research, and specialises in narrative research examining health and illness experiences. Renata’s research focuses on the lived experiences of psychiatric diagnoses, disability, and chronic conditions, as well as experiences of informal support and care. She is also interested in diagnostic technologies, health decision-making, experience-based co-production, and digital media in health communication.
Based in the Social and Global Studies Centre, Renata leads the Health, Society and Medicine Research Program which generates critical understandings of lived experience of health and illness in diverse social contexts. Combining empirical research with interdisciplinary theoretical scholarship that has real world relevance, Renata collaborates with a broad range of industry partners and contributes research on health service users’ experiences in the co-design of healthcare and policy improvements. Her most recent work has involved industry collaborations with Healthdirect Australia, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Mind Australia Limited, Wellways, Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council, Tandem Carers, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Women’s Health Victoria, and Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Renata has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, including in Social Science & Medicine, Sociology of Health & Illness, and Social Theory & Health. She is also co-editor of the collection Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenting, published by Palgrave MacMillan.
For a current list of Renata’s publications see:
Research Gate: Renata Kokanović
Renata leads the Health, Society and Medicine Research Program and co-convenes a network of Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellows and research-focused academics within RMIT’s Social Change Enabling Capability Platform (ECP). She is also member of the Biomedical and Health Innovation, Design & Creative Practice, Urban Futures, and Global Business Innovation ECPs, and co-convenes the RMIT HEALTH network.
Renata is also Adjunct Professor, Patient Experience, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Monash Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University
Renata has received ARC, NHMRC and industry funding for her research. She is currently Chief Investigator on two ARC Linkage Grants (Mental Health and Supported Decision Making: Lived Experience and Carers’ Perspectives and The Intersection of Cancer and Culture: A Sociological Study); and one NHMRC Partnership Project Grant (Early Menopause: Experiences and Perspectives of Women and Health Practitioners).
Renata is Foundation Director of Healthtalk Australia, a research consortium which conducts narrative narrative research in health and illness experiences and uses the findings to produce publicly available digital resources. These resources are tailored to support people experiencing a variety of health conditions and their families and friends, and can also be used as educational tools for health practitioners and to inform policy development.
- Health, Society and Medicine Research Program
- Mental Health and Supported Decision Making
- Mental Health: Carers’ Experiences
- Emotional Experiences of Early Parenthood
- Professor Stuart Thomas
- Dr Chris Maylea
- Dr Kate Johnston-Ataata
- Dr Jacinthe Flore
- Dr Anna Urbanowicz
- Dr Nicholas Hill
- PhD, Department of Sociology, Murdoch University, 2002
- BA (Hons), Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Since 2004 Renata has held several research-focused fellowships, including two internationally competitive fellowships. She has led and been involved in national and international cross-disciplinary collaborative research, with colleagues from humanities and health humanities, psychiatry/cultural psychiatry, critical psychology, medicine, cultural studies, health anthropology, narrative health research, health sociology and neuroscience. In addition to her role as Healthtalk Australia Foundation Director, Renata is a Board member of DIPEx International (DI). A collaboration of universities and health research organizations across 13 countries, DI conducts rigorous and systematic qualitative research into people’s experiences of health and illness to inform the production of digital resources.
Renata’s previous positions include:
- Sir John Monash Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University
- Senior Research Fellow, Mental Health Research Group, Primary Health Care Academic Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
- Research Fellow, Centre for International Mental Health, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
Editorial and Advisory Appointments
- Director, Healthtalk Australia
- Board Member, DIPEx International
- Associate Editor, Journal of Mental Health
- Associate Editor, BMC Psychiatry
- Member – Research Translation Faculty, NHMRC
- Member – The Enabling Supported Decision Making Committee, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (Victorian Branch)
- Broom, A.,Kirby, E.,Kokanovic, R.,Woodland, L.,de Souza, P.,Koh, E.,Lwin, Z. (2019). Individualising difference, negotiating culture: Intersections of culture and care In: Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, , 1 - 20
- Broom, A.,Parker, R.,Kirby, E.,Kokanovic, R.,Woodland, L.,Lwin, Z.,Koh, E. (2019). A qualitative study of cancer care professionals' experiences of working with migrant patients from diverse cultural backgrounds In: BMJ Open, 9, 1 - 10
- Flore, J.,Kokanovic, R.,Callard, F.,Broom, A.,Duff, C. (2019). Unravelling subjectivity, embodied experience and (taking) psychotropic medication In: Social Science and Medicine, 230, 66 - 73
- Dilkes-Frayne, E.,Savic, M.,Carter, A.,Kokanovic, R.,Lubman, D. (2019). Going Online: The Affordances of Online Counseling for Families Affected by Alcohol and Other Drug Issues In: Qualitative Health Research, , 1 - 13
- Brophy, L.,Kokanovic, R.,Flore, J.,McSherry, B.,Herrman, H. (2019). Community Treatment Orders and Supported Decision-Making In: Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 1 - 12
- Barbosa Neves, B.,Sanders, A.,Kokanovic, R. (2019). "It's the worst bloody feeling in the world": Experiences of loneliness and social isolation among older people living in care homes In: Journal of Aging Studies, 49, 74 - 84
- Stone, M.,Kokanovic, R.,Callard, F.,Broom, A. (2019). (In Press) Estranged Relations: Coercion and Care in Narratives of Supported Decision-Making in Mental Healthcare In: Medical Humanities, , 1 - 11
- Johnston-Ataata, K.,Kokanovic, R.,Michaels, P. (2018). 'One of the Most Vulnerable Times in Your Life': Expectations and Emotional Experiences of Support in the Early Postnatal Period In: Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenting, Springer, Singapore
- Michaels, P.,Kokanovic, R. (2018). The complex and contradictory emotional paths to parenthood In: Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenting, Springer, Singapore
- Stone, M.,Kokanovic, R. (2018). Narrating and disrupting postnatal depression In: Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey Through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenting, Springer, Singapore
3 PhD Current Supervisions
- Centre for Research Excellence on Women�s Health in Reproductive life (CRE- WHIRL) (Administered by Monash). Funded by: NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (Ongoing) from (2019 to 2024)
- Early Menopause: Implementation Research using the Experiences and Perspectives of Women and Health Professionals to Translate Evidence into Practice (Administered by Monash University; NHMRC). Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grants 2016 from (2017 to 2019)
- Early menopause after Breast Cancer: implementation research using the experiences and perspectives of women and health professionals to translate evidence into practice (admin by Monash; NBCF). Funded by: National Breast Cancer Foundation - research grant from (2017 to 2020)
- Options for Supported Decision-Making to Enhance the Recovery of People with Severe Mental Health Problems. Funded by: ARC Linkage Grant 2013 from (2004 to 2018)