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Christina Helging Opava

Professor/physical therapist

Visiting address : Alfred Nobels allé 23; A3, 14152 Huddinge, Sweden
Postal address : Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), H1, Division of Physiotherapy, Alfred Nobels Allé 23, 23 100 141 83 Huddinge, Sweden
Delivery address : Alfred Nobels allé 23; A3, 14152 Huddinge, Sweden

About me

I am a full professor in Physiotherapy since 2006, a registered physiotherapist since 1978 and formally specialised in physiotherapy in rheumatology since 1996. I have my clinical appointment at the Karolinska University Hospital, Department of Rheumatology. In 1999 I started my own research group with main focus on Physical Activity and Health in Rheumatic Disease.

I am the current vice president of the European League Against Rheumatism (www.eular.org) with Health Professional members in 23 European countries.

I am the chair of the Postgraduate School in Health Care Sciences at KI and director of the Strateic Research Area Health Care Research at KI/Umeå University.

I have strong iasons with patient organizations, i.e. the Swedish Rheumatism Association and People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE) and engage in projects regarding Patient Research Partners, World Arthritis Day and the PARE Annual Conference.

Education

University diploma, Physiotherapy, Lund University, 1978

Doctoral degree, Medical Science, Karolinska Institutet, 1993

Associate Professor (docent), Physiotherapy in Rheumatology, Karolinska Institutet, 1999

 

Research description

My research mainly focuses physical activity and exercise in the rheumatic diseases in intervention studies and implementation studies, development and adaptation of assessment methods and exploration of patients’ and care givers’ perspectives on physical activity. Studies on physical activity effects on mechanisms behind systemic and local inflammation, pain modulation and cardiovascular function are performed in collaboration with specilists in these areas. The research is translational and multiprofessional and performed in collaboration with researchers from multiple universities in Sweden and abroad.

Teaching portfolio

I am currently teaching 5-10% of full time, mainly by supervising and examining students performing their Bachelor theses or Master theses within the Physiotherapy program. I have previously been teaching at all levels at eight Swedish universities and in the USA, Italy, the Netherlands and India. I have developed and administered courses withing the Physiotherapy program and written textbook (chapter)s and other teaching materials in Swedish and English.

I am regularly invited by clinics and professional organizations to teach within my area of research and clinical experience. 

Academic honors, awards and prizes

- Distinguished Scholar Award, Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, USA 2002

- Nanna Svartz prize in Clinical Rheumatology Research, Pfizer/Swedish Rheumatology Association, 2004

- Ann Kunkel Advocacy Award, Association of Rheumatology Health professionals, USA, 2016

Links

Publications

Characterizing the concept of activity pacing as a non-pharmacological intervention in rheumatology care: results of an international Delphi survey
Cuperus N, Vlieland Tpmv, Brodin N, Hammond A, Kjeken I, Lund H, et al
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2016;45(1):66-74

Development of the Role and Scope of an Academic Mentorship Network for Health Professionals Working with People with Rheumatological and Musculoskeletal Conditions across Europe
Adams J, Geenen R, Moe Rh, Van Eijk-hustings Y, Opava C
Musculoskeletal care 2016;14(2):126-30

Effects of a one-year physical activity programme for women with systemic lupus erythematosus - a randomized controlled study
Boström C, Elfving B, Dupré B, Opava Ch, Lundberg Ie, Jansson E
Lupus 2016;25(6):602-16

High-intensity resistance training in multiple sclerosis - An exploratory study of effects on immune markers in blood and cerebrospinal fluid, and on mood, fatigue, health-related quality of life, muscle strength, walking and cognition
Kierkegaard M, Lundberg Ie, Olsson T, Johansson S, Ygberg S, Opava C, et al
Journal of the neurological sciences 2016;362():251-7

Mobile internet service for self-management of physical activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation of a test version
Revenäs Å, Opava Ch, Ahlén H, Brusewitz M, Pettersson S, Åsenlöf P
RMD open 2016;2(1):e000214-

Trajectories of Physical Activity Over Two Years in Persons With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Demmelmaier I, Dufour Ab, Nordgren B, Opava Ch
Arthritis care & research 2016;68(8):1069-77

"A gift from heaven" or "This was not for me". A mixed methods approach to describe experiences of participation in an outsourced physical activity program for persons with rheumatoid arthritis
Demmelmaier I, Lindkvist Å, Nordgren B, Opava Ch
Clinical rheumatology 2015;34(3):429-39

An outsourced health-enhancing physical activity programme for people with rheumatoid arthritis: exploration of adherence and response
Nordgren B, Fridén C, Demmelmaier I, Bergström G, Lundberg Ie, Dufour Ab, et al
Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 2015;54(6):1065-73

Cost-effectiveness of a one-year coaching program for healthy physical activity in early rheumatoid arthritis
Brodin N, Lohela-karlsson M, Swärdh E, Opava Ch
Disability and rehabilitation 2015;37(9):757-62

Development of a web-based and mobile app to support physical activity in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the second step of a co-design process
Revenäs Å, Opava Ch, Martin C, Demmelmaier I, Keller C, Åsenlöf P
JMIR research protocols 2015;4(1):e22-

Fear-avoidance beliefs about physical activity in adults with rheumatoid arthritis
Lööf H, Demmelmaier I, Henriksson Ew, Lindblad S, Nordgren B, Opava Ch, et al
Scandinavian journal of rheumatology 2015;44(2):93-9

Promotion of health-enhancing physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis: a comparative study on healthcare providers in Italy, The Netherlands and Sweden
Brodin N, Hurkmans E, Dimatteo L, Nava T, Vliet Vlieland T, Opava Ch
Rheumatology international 2015;35(10):1665-73

The Swedish Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES-S): reliability and validity in a rheumatoid arthritis population
Nessen T, Demmelmaier I, Nordgren B, Opava Ch
Disability and rehabilitation 2015;37(22):2130-4

Criterion validation of two submaximal aerobic fitness tests, the self-monitoring Fox-walk test and the Åstrand cycle test in people with rheumatoid arthritis
Nordgren B, Fridén C, Jansson E, Österlund T, Grooten Wj, Opava Ch, et al
BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2014;15():305-

From clinical expert to guide: experiences from coaching people with rheumatoid arthritis to increased physical activity
Nessen T, Opava Ch, Martin C, Demmelmaier I
Physical therapy 2014;94(5):644-53

Lead users' ideas on core features to support physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis: a first step in the development of an internet service using participatory design
Revenäs Å, Opava Ch, Åsenlöf P
BMC medical informatics and decision making 2014;14():21-

Patients with regular physical activity before onset of rheumatoid arthritis present with milder disease
Sandberg Me, Wedrén S, Klareskog L, Lundberg Ie, Opava Ch, Alfredsson L, et al
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 2014;73(8):1541-4

Resistive home exercise in patients with recent-onset polymyositis and dermatomyositis -- a randomized controlled single-blinded study with a 2-year followup
Alexanderson H, Munters La, Dastmalchi M, Loell I, Heimbürger M, Opava Ch, et al
The Journal of rheumatology 2014;41(6):1124-32

Who makes it to the base? Selection procedure for a physical activity trial targeting people with rheumatoid arthritis
Nordgren B, Fridén C, Demmelmaier I, Opava Ch
Arthritis care & research 2014;66(5):662-70

Current and maintained health-enhancing physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional study
Demmelmaier I, Bergman P, Nordgren B, Jensen I, Opava Ch
Arthritis care & research 2013;65(7):1166-76

Higher pain sensitivity and lower muscle strength in postmenonpausal women with early rheumatoid arthritis compared with age-matched healthy women--a pilot study
Fridén C, Thoors U, Glenmark B, Kosek E, Nordmark B, Lundberg Ie, et al
Disability and rehabilitation 2013;35(16):1350-6

Long-term health-enhancing physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis - the PARA 2010 study
Nordgren B, Friden C, Demmelmaier I, Bergstrom G, Opava Ch
BMC PUBLIC HEALTH 2012;:397-

Reliability of the Fox-walk test in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Verberkt Ca, Friden C, Grooten Wja, Opava Ch
DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 2012;34(23):2001-6

The role of patient organisations in musculoskeletal care
Opava Ch, Carlsson A
Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology 2012;26(3):399-407

Physical activity coaching of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in everyday practice: a long-term follow-up
Sjöquist Es, Brodin N, Lampa J, Jensen I, Opava Ch, Para Study Group
Musculoskeletal care 2011;9(2):75-85

COMPREHENSIVE REHABILITATION OF PATIENTS WITH RHEUMATIC DISEASES IN A WARM CLIMATE: A LITERATURE REVIEW
Forseth Ko, Hafstrom I, Husby G, Opava Ch
JOURNAL OF REHABILITATION MEDICINE 2010;42(10):897-902

Physical-activity coaching and health status in rheumatoid arthritis: A person-oriented approach
Para Study Grp, Sjoquist Es, Almqvist L, Asenlof P, Lampa J, Opava Ch
DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 2010;32(10):816-25

Understanding how to determine the intensity of physical activity-An interview study among individuals with rheumatoid arthritis
Brodin N, Swardh E, Biguet G, Opava Ch
DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 2009;31(6):458-65

Aerobic capacity correlates to self-assessed physical function but not to overall disease activity or organ damage in women with systemic lupus erythematosus with low-to-moderate disease activity and organ damage
Bostrom C, Dupre B, Tengvar P, Jansson E, Opava Ch, Lundberg Ie
LUPUS 2008;17(2):100-4

Coaching patients with early rheumatoid arthritis to healthy physical activity: A multicenter, randomized, controlled study
Para Study Grp, Brodin N, Eurenius E, Jensen I, Nisell R, Opava Ch
ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM-ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH 2008;59(3):325-31

Views on exercise maintenance: Variations among patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Swardh E, Biguet G, Opava Ch
PHYSICAL THERAPY 2008;88(9):1049-60

Benefits of intensive resistance training in patients with chronic polymyositis or dermatomyositis
Alexanderson H, Dastmalchi M, Esbjornsson-liljedahl M, Opava Ch, Lundberg Ie
ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM-ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH 2007;57(5):768-77

Predicting physical activity and general health perception among patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Para Study Grp, Eurenius E, Brodin N, Lindblad S, Opava Ch
JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2007;34(1):10-5

Functional index-2: Validity and reliability of a disease-specific measure of impairment in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis
Alexanderson H, Broman L, Tollback A, Josefson A, Lundberg Ie, Stenstrom Ch
ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM-ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH 2006;55(1):114-22

Sensory and affective components of pain as recorded with the Pain-O-Meter (POM) among children with acute and chronic pain
Jylli L, Brostrom E, Hagelberg S, Stenstrom Ch, Olsson Gl, Langius-eklof A
ACTA PAEDIATRICA 2006;95(11):1429-34

Physical activity, physical fitness, and general health perception among individuals with rheumatoid arthritis
Para Study Grp, Eurenius E, Stenstrom Ch
ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM-ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH 2005;53(1):48-55

Variability within and between evaluations of sacroiliac pain with the use of distraction testing
Levin U, Nilsson-wikmar L, Stenstrom Ch
JOURNAL OF MANIPULATIVE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL THERAPEUTICS 2005;28(9):688-95

Characteristics of physiotherapy sessions from the patient's and therapist's perspective
Wottrich Aw, Stenstrom Ch, Engardt M, Tham K, Von Koch L
DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 2004;26(20):1198-205

[Moderate intensive exercise has a positive effect in rheumatoid arthritis]
Stenström Ch, Sturk N
Lakartidningen 2004;101(45):3516-7

The juvenile arthritis foot disability index: Development and evaluation of measurement properties
Andre M, Hagelberg S, Stenstrom Ch
JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2004;31(12):2488-93

Evidence for the benefit of aerobic and strengthening exercise in rheumatoid arthritis
Stenstrom Ch, Minor Ma
ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM-ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH 2003;49(3):428-34

Force and time recording for validating the sacroiliac distraction test
Levin U, Stenstrom Ch
CLINICAL BIOMECHANICS 2003;18(9):821-6

Development of the myositis activities profile - Validity and reliability of a self-administered questionnaire to assess activity limitations in patients with polymyositis/dermatomyositis
Alexanderson H, Lundberg Ie, Stenstrom Ch
JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2002;29(11):2386-92

[Rehabilitation in temperate climate for persons with pelvospondylitis. Accessed disease activity and general well-being is gradually improving]
Cronstedt H, Stenström Ch
Lakartidningen 2002;99(8):793-6

Balance assessment in patients with peripheral arthritis: applicability and reliability of some clinical assessments
Norén Am, Bogren U, Bolin J, Stenström C
Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy 2001;6(4):193-204

Education in the management of juvenile chronic arthritis - Changes in self-reported competencies among adolescents and parents of young children
Andre M, Hagelberg S, Stenstrom Ch
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2001;30(6):323-7

Variability of forces applied by experienced physiotherapists during provocation of the sacroiliac joint
Levin U, Nilsson-wikmar L, Harms-ringdahl K, Stenstrom Ch
CLINICAL BIOMECHANICS 2001;16(4):300-6

Reliability and validity of a Swedish version of the Revised Leeds Disability Questionnaire for patients with ankylosing spondylitis
Stenstrom Ch, Hellstrom S, Hultgren M, Wikstrom M
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2000;29(4):243-8

The safety of a resistive home exercise program in patients with recent onset active polymyositis or dermatomyositis
Alexanderson H, Stenstrom Ch, Jenner G, Lundberg I
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 2000;29(5):295-301

Exercise and variations in neuropeptide concentrations in rheumatoid arthritis - A pilot study
Stenstrom Ch, Alexanderson H, Lundberg I, Lundeberg T, Theodorsson E, Nisell R
NEUROPEPTIDES 1999;33(4):260-4

Muscle relaxation training and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis - A randomized controlled clinical trial
Lundgren S, Stenstrom Ch
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 1999;28(1):47-53

Perceived ability to manage juvenile chronic arthritis among adolescents and parents: Development of a questionnaire to assess medical issues, exercise, pain, and social support
Andre M, Hedengren E, Hagelberg S, Stenstrom Ch
ARTHRITIS CARE AND RESEARCH 1999;12(4):229-37

Safety of a home exercise programme in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis: a pilot study
Alexanderson H, Stenstrom Ch, Lundberg I
RHEUMATOLOGY 1999;38(7):608-11

The Swedish version of the Bath ankylosing spondylitis disease activity index. Reliability and validity
Waldner A, Cronstedt H, Stenstrom Ch
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 1999;:10-6

The Swedish version of the Bath ankylosing spondylitis functional index. Reliability and validity
Cronstedt H, Waldner A, Stenstrom Ch
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 1999;:1-9

Reproducibility of manual pressure force on provocation of the sacroiliac joint
Levin U, Nilsson-wikmar L, Stenström Ch, Lundeberg T
Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy 1998;3(1):1-14

Assessment of disease consequences in rheumatoid arthritis: A survey of methods classified according to the international classification of impairments, disabilities, and handicaps
Stenstrom Ch, Nisell R
ARTHRITIS CARE AND RESEARCH 1997;10(2):135-50

Home exercise and compliance in inflammatory rheumatic diseases - A prospective clinical trial
Stenstrom Ch, Arge B, Sundbom A
JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 1997;24(3):470-6

Why exercise?: a preliminary investigation of an exercise motivation index among individuals with rheumatic conditions and healthy individuals
Stenström Ch, Boestad C, Carlsson M, Edström M, Reuterhäll A
Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy 1997;2(1):7-16

Dynamic training versus relaxation training as home exercise for patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases - A randomized controlled study
Stenstrom Ch, Arge B, Sundbom A
SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 1996;25(1):28-33

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