History and future goals
The research group leader Pernilla Lagergren defended her thesis in 2006. Since 2011 she is a tenured professor of Surgical Care Sciences. Since 2006, 5 PhD students have defended their theses and at present there are 3 registered PhD students, 1 master student, 1 postdoctoral research fellows, 1 biostatistician, 1 research nurse and 1 project coordinator in the group.
The group focuses on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), symptoms, weight development and psychological aspects in patients with diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract, with a particular focus on cancer of the oesophagus. To study all these aspects the group use patient-reported outcome measures which means that it is the patient who responds to questionnaires based on how he or she feels. Identification of factors associated with HRQOL impairments, risk of symptoms, weight loss, psychological reactions and recovery following disease and treatment is a priority. There is a need to further develop the use and processing of patient-reported outcomes, and the group has intensified their focus on methodological research in this area. In addition, research is conducted on how different factors (e.g. morbidity, weight, physical activity, reflux and sleep) affect the well-being of the general population.
The overarching aims of the research activities within the group are to
- Identify ways to improve the HRQOL and emotional well-being in patients with diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
- Demonstrate ways to a better life after surgery for oesophageal cancer by a deeper understanding of experiences of these patients and their families.
- Gain a deeper understanding of, and to further develop, the methodology of patient-reported outcome research.
- Identify modifiable factors that can be used to improve well-being and health in the Swedish population at large.
To achieve these goals, are range of methodologies are employed to test the hypotheses, including epidemiological and observational clinical studies. Prospective and nationwide data collections are ongoing and planned.