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University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Emmylou Rahtz

Dr Emmylou Rahtz

Research Fellow

 01872 258153

 Knowledge Spa 


University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, TR1 3HD


Emmylou’s research addresses the relationships between physical health and wellbeing and the social, cultural and environmental contexts which affect these relationships. She has explored these in varied settings, from the influence of street violence on psychological wellbeing and distress, to the role of the ethic of care in the third sector, to urban greenspaces shaping health and wellbeing inequalities at individual and community levels. She is currently working on GroundsWell, a PRP-funded project with a focus on exploring the decision-making arrangements and contexts of urban greenspace and urban bluespace initiatives for health, co-benefits and inequalities.

She is a mixed methods researcher with a strong interest in developing novel and creative methods, and a fundamentally interdisciplinary approach. Methods used to date include short story and arts-based qualitative enquiry, and qualitative surveys as well as quantitative approaches. Emmylou is also passionate about research engagement and impact, and has been involved in creating hospital exhibitions, experiential science events at festivals and workshops to disseminate and interrogate research findings.


  • PhD (Queen Mary University of London): The trauma of trauma: a prospective study of psychological distress following physical injury
  • MA (King's College London)

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Journal articles

Rahtz E, Bell SL, Nurse A, Wheeler BW, Guell C, Elliott LR, Thompson CW, McDougall CW, Lovell R (2023). What is known about what works in community-involved decision-making relating to urban green and blue spaces? a realist review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 12(1). Abstract.
Dieppe P, Rahtz E, Goldingay S, Warber S (2021). "Many marvels take place every day, in the spirit and in the heart". Bulletin de L'association Medicale Internationale de Notre-Dame de Lourdes, Summer 2021, no 352, 42-51.
Rahtz E, Warber SL, Goldingay S, Dieppe P (2021). Transcendent Experiences Among Pilgrims to Lourdes: a Qualitative Investigation. J Relig Health, 60(6), 3788-3806. Abstract.  Author URL.
Rahtz E, Child S, Knight S, Warber SL, Dieppe P (2019). Clients of UK healers: a mixed methods survey of their demography, health problems, and experiences of healing. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 35, 72-77. Abstract.
Skinner HK, Rahtz E, Korszun A (2019). Interviews following physical trauma: a thematic analysis. International Emergency Nursing, 42, 19-24. Abstract.
Rahtz E, Warber SL, Dieppe P (2019). Understanding public perceptions of healing: an arts-based qualitative study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 45, 25-32. Abstract.
Rahtz E, Bhui K, Hutchison I, Korszun A (2018). Are facial injuries really different? an observational cohort study comparing appearance concern and psychological distress in facial trauma and non-facial trauma patients. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 71(1), 62-71.
Rahtz E, Bonnell S, Goldingay S, Warber S, Dieppe P (2017). Transformational Changes in Health Status: a Qualitative Exploration of Healing Moments. Explore (NY), 13(5), 298-305. Abstract.  Author URL.
Rahtz E, Bhui K, Smuk M, Hutchison I, Korszun A (2017). Violent injury predicts poor psychological outcomes after traumatic injury in a hard-to-reach population: an observational cohort study. BMJ Open, 7
Shiraz F, Rahtz E, Bhui K, Hutchison I, Korszun A (2014). Quality of life, psychological wellbeing and treatment needs of trauma and head and neck cancer patients. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 52(6), 513-517. Abstract.  Author URL.


Goldingay S, Dieppe P, warber S, Rahtz E (2021). Nourishing Exchanges: Care, love and chronicity in Lourdes. In Roger K, Hatala A (Eds.) Spiritual Religious and Faith-Based Practices in Chronicity, Routledge, 100-147. Abstract.


Goldingay S, Dieppe P, Harriman N, Nathoo A, Rahtz E, Warber S (2022). Heartfelt. VISUAL EXPRESSIONS OF HEALTH, ILLNESS AND HEALING 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Anthropology and Medicine (AGEM) in Cooperation with the Austrian Ethnomedical Society and Weltmuseum Wien. 2nd - 4th Jun 2022. Abstract.
Rahtz E, Szaboova L, Guell C, Bell S (2022). P38 Nurturing and negotiating health and wellbeing in small businesses during Covid-19: a qualitative study. SSM Annual Scientific Meeting.
Rahtz E (2013). Psychological distress following traumatic facial injury in an East London population.  Author URL.

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