Dr Anna Pettican

Senior Research Officer
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences
Dr Anna Pettican



I am an occupational therapist with practice and research interests in working with marginalised groups (the seldom heard - such as disabled people and those with experience of mental distress), social and occupational justice, health inequities and physical (in)activity. I have a particular interest in participatory methodologies. My current academic appointment is as the post-doctoral researcher on the Essex Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) Evaluation Study. Essex is one of 12 LDP sites commissioned across England by Sport England, with the intention of rigorously evaluating the novel interventions and ways of working that each pilot develops. It is intended that this will enable potential scaling up and replication where applicable, to address the inequalities and social determinants that relate to physical inactivity. I combine my academic work with working as an occupational therapist at Sport for Confidence, a social enterprise that addresses physical inactivity and health inequities by placing health professionals and specialist sports coaches into leisure centres, to make them more accessible and inclusive. Since 2019 I have been a member of the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Public Health Expert Advisory Group convened by Public Health England, which has a particular remit for enacting the current UK AHP Public Health strategic framework across practice, research, and education. You can find out more about Sport for Confidence and the Essex Local Delivery Pilot via the web links below.


  • PhD Occupational Therapy University of Essex, (2019)

  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice University of Essex, (2011)

  • MSc Occupational Therapy (Distinction) Brunel University, (2008)

  • BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy (2:1) Coventry University, (2003)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer in Occupational Therapy (temporary cover post), School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex (1/11/2018 - 31/7/2019)

  • Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Social Sciences, University of Essex (1/11/2009 - 1/7/2017)


Journal articles (5)

Pettican, A., Speed, E., Kilbride, C., Bryant, W. and Beresford, P., (2021). An occupational justice perspective on playing football and living with mental distress. Journal of Occupational Science. 28 (1), 159-172

Pettican, A. and Prior, S., (2011). ‘It's a New Way of Life’: An Exploration of the Occupational Transition of Retirement. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 74 (1), 12-19

Pettican, AR. and Bostock, JL., (2009). UK research governance developments: Opportunities for therapy research?. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation. 16 (5), 289-297

Pettican, A., (2009). Mental health outcomes compendium. Mental Health Occupational Therapy. 14 (2), 70-71

Pettican, A. and Bryant, W., (2007). Sustaining a Focus on Occupation in Community Mental Health Practice. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 70 (4), 140-146

Book chapters (1)

Bryant, W., Pettican, AR. and Coetzee, S., (2016). Designing Participatory Action Research To Relocate Margins, Borders and Centres. In: Occupational Therapies Without Borders Integrating Justice with Practice. Editors: Sakellariou, D. and Pollard, N., . Elsevier. 73- 73. 070205920X. 9780702059209

+44 (0) 1206 872598


ESA.3.25, Colchester Campus

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