Projects: Intervention and Implementation Research

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To evaluate economic effects of preventive interventions in the workplace – a method development

Mental ill-health and musculoskeletal disorders are the most common causes of sick leave in Sweden. Together these account for approx 68 percent of health insurance costs, or more than 43 billion SEK. The cost of ill-health from an employer's perspective is for many companies unknown. To prevent the occurrence of these disorders and future sick leave, it is important to an even larger extent than today perform effective preventive interventions in the workplace.

Economic incentives are important for many employers when deciding to invest in workplace interventions or not. As economics is essential for many companies proven economic benefits of interventions might lead to increased investment in workplace health promotion and preventive interventions and ultimately contribute to reduced ill health among employees.

In this project a method that can be used to calculate the economic benefits of preventive measures in the workplace is developed and tested. The method captures both the managers and employees views of health- and work environment-related problems and its effect on performance. The method will be available for companies offering workplace health interventions and for employers interesting in calculate the cost of work environment and health problems and evaluating the economic benefit of this type of intervention.


  • AFA Insurance

Contact persons

Assistant professor

Malin Lohela Karlsson

Phone: 08-524 832 14
Organizational unit: Intervention and implementation research

PhD student

Emmanuel Aboagye

Phone: 08-524 832 39
Organizational unit: Intervention and implementation research


Bullying in the academia and industry


Bullying in the workplace is a serious problem that occurs worldwide. In 1993, Sweden was the first country in the world to introduce an anti-bullying law. More research in this area is requested in order to develop effective interventions for both prevention as well as measures against bullying.

Studies conducted by the research group shows that individual and organizational factors such as, lack of support from co-workers, role conflicts, not being able to afford sick leave, employees' negative attitude to sickness absence, high preference for challenge and competition predicts the risk of being bullied. Emotional requirements and to get  a lower position in the workplace appeared to predict the risk of being exposed to threats of violence or violence in the workplace, which in turn predicted poor self-rated health, high consumption of tranquilizers in women, and poor sleep because of work and dissatisfaction with life in men.

Material and method

The overall purpose the study is to investigate individual, structural and organizational factors that explain bullying in academic environments and to compare bullying in academia with industrial environments. In addition, to further develop an intervention model for the prevention of workplace bullying and how it can be implemented in the workplace. The study is based on data obtained from the AHA study database with questions about the psychosocial work in academic environments and industries. The data collection was carried out in 2007 (nr = 4700), 2009 (nr = 4600) and 2011 (nr = 4700). In the study we will also compare four major industry organizations with the academic material.

The results of the present study are expected to help increase awareness of bullying as a phenomenon and the reasons behind this, and to provide guidelines to actively work against bullying in academic environments and in industry.


  • AFA


Senior researcher

Christina Björklund

Phone: 08-524 852 63
Organizational unit: Intervention and implementation research


Recurrent and persistent low back pain

Low back pain is a highly prevalent and costly condition. It is also a recurrent problem in most cases, and persistent (chronic) in some. However, little is known about the fluctuations, the course, over time. Further, a recurrent condition invites the idea of secondary prevention, in order to minimize the episodes of disability and pain. A persistent condition requires tertiary prevention, to stop deterioration and to minimize the effects of the problem. However, very few preventive strategies have been studied.

In order to investigate a large number of subjects, a new method of gathering frequent data is used: text messages and mobile phones. Weekly measurements provide a detailed picture of course over time, on an individual and a group level. The method is cheap and user-friendly and yields high response rates and good compliance.

In an on-going randomized controlled trial, two preventive strategies are being investigated. The outcome will focus on effect and cost-effectiveness.


  • European Chiropractors' Union
  • Swedish Chiroprators' Association
  • The Danish Chiropractic Association

Contact persons


Iben Axén

Phone: 08-524 832 28
Organizational unit: Intervention and implementation research


Intervention researchImplementation research