Cultural Medicine

Our increasingly global and multicultural society alongside an egalitarian health care policy places new demands on us all. My research area is in multicultural health and care research. I give four projects as examples:

1. Early mental health promotion measures are needed. Events that elicit stress after arrival in the reception country, “postmigration stress”, have a negative impact on health-related quality of life among newcomers. An innovative model of culturally tailored health promotion groups for refugees have been performed by my research group among newcoming refugees and relatives in several Swedish contexts with promising results. The results are of significance not only for the individual and his/her relatives but also for healthcare and society as a whole. We have ongoing collaboration with health staff in Växjö. This intervention is also significant for chronic patients as foreign borns have higher amount of public health disorders (eg diabetes, heart problems, cancer) than the Swedish borns.

2. Technological progress and changes in health care practices, with an increased focus on clinical communication and contemplation, have successively led to the increased use of simulation models (Virtual patients including Virtual interpreter and Virtual supervisor) as a method of instruction, learning and clinical interviewing within the field of medicine. To achieve this, I and my research group have chosen a strategy of developing computerised patient simulations in national (SU) and international (Harvard) collaborations, where medical students and in future psychology students and resident doctors can practice and provide feedback to a virtual counsellor. A new project funded by FORTE and ALF-Ped is entitled “Virtual Clinical Encounters between doctors and refugee patients for medical assessment and follow-up: To develop, test and evaluate the impact on empathy” (Erica Rothlind, PhD in progress).

3. Serious parental illness is a risk factor of ill health in the children of the family. Health care staff in Sweden is legally obliged to ensure that the children of seriously ill parents are informed and have received advice and support regarding their parents’ illness. In primary health care, no method that can help parents communicate information about their illness to their children exists. The aim of this doctoral project (Charlotte Oja) is to test the safety and effects of the psycho-educational method “Let´s Talk about the Children” for use in primary health care for helping seriously ill parents to relate information about their illness to their children.

4. Translation/backtranslation and validation of General Medical Council Multi-Source Feedback Questionnaires for evaluation clinical competence among residence doctors in family medicin a pilot project  and supervisor in VESTA (residence doctors in Family Medicine (AT/ST unit at APC)


Research group leader

Adjunct professor

Solvig Ekblad

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 836 14
Organizational unit: Cultural Medicine


Research cooperation outside KI:

Internationally with reserachers from universities in Copenhagen, Denmark, London, UK, Harvard, USA


Supervision: Supervised (in transcultural psychiary and psychology, public health and pediatric care, medical education) 11 PhDs to dissertation (1 of them  as a co-supervisor), 2 licentiats

Now, the main supervisor of two doctoral studens (1 in progress)

Supervisor of postdocs and previously of 1 postdocs

Undergraduate level: 22 (D-level in medicine, psychology, public health 20 weeks/30 ECT), 29 (C-level 10 weeks/15 ECT), 32 medical students T7 or T11, own project, 7,5 hp,1 CHESS traineeship (7,5hp)

18 VESTA (CeFam, residence doctors in family medicine), 3 ongoing


External funding from e.g.

Ekblad: Intervention programs for new-coming asylum seekers and Refugees, HSN 0803-0349 (Folkhälsoanslaget), KI, 2,000 000 SEK (2008-11)

Ekblad: FAS-2009-1482, A scientific national and international network in migration, social medicine and global mental health, KI, 300 000 SEK (2009-13)

Ekblad: FAS-2007-1961, Immigrant women’s health, KI, 2 850 000 SEK + KID (2008-12)

Ekblad: scientific leader, Socialstyrelsen, Platform between Södertälje community and Stockholm county council regarding needs and care of new-coming refugees, KI, 960 000 (Carlén, M, PI, Psykiatricenter Södertälje) (2010), approved continuation 2011, 998 000 SEK and approved continueation 2012, 998 000 SEK (Hägglöf, C, PI, Södertälje municipality)

Ekblad: PI, Tailored interactive training with virtual advisor encounters to improve under-standing and retention of basic statistics in doctoral students – an individualised and inter-cultural collaborative learning framework. KI, Dnr 3532/10-509, (2011) 200 000 SEK

Ekblad: project partner, NIH Grant (Richard Mollica: PI, Harvard and foreign adjunct professor in psychiatry at KI,) Virtual encounters-an innovative research and collaborative education program in the field of caring for traumatized patients (pilot study 2011-2012) 89 000 US$, plan to apply for the main RCT study Spring 2014

Ekblad: PI, Webbased Health School for students and patients in Stockholm’s multicultural primary health care (Verktyg för att förbättra interkulturell kompetens över professionsgränser på verksamhetsförlagd utbildning i primärvården). ALF-ped  Diarienr SLL20110292 (2012) 300 000 SEK; Diarienr SLL20130186, 2014-2015, 350 000 SEK/year

1.6miljonerklubben (PI) (Ekblad, KI partner; L-O Larsson Angereds närsjukhus partner) Lifestyle course – for female new-comers as  third country nationals Integrationsfonden, 2012-2014 (june), 2 706 087 SEK

Ekblad, S (PI) Virtual Clinical Encounters between doctors and refugee patients for medical assesment and follow-up: To develop, test and evaluate the impact on empathy , 2014-0853FORTE, Approved 2014-09-25 2 580 000 SEK 2015-2017

Main supervisor project Primary health clinics facilities to detect and prevent health problems in children and young people whose parents are on long term sick leave (Primärvårdens möjligheter att upptäcka och förebygga ohälsa hos barn och unga vars föräldrar är långvarigt sjukskrivna). Sponsor: Capio

Expert “Health/lifestyle course to newcoming women”, to Växjö municipality by primary health care and Rehab centre and Public health unit, Landstinget Kronoberg (contacgt person: Erica Ericsson),  1/8 2014-juni 2015, total 680 000 SEK