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About me

Current position as Head of the Division of Intervention and Implementation Research, Institute of environmental medicine, Karolinska Institutet.  Member of the board at the department.  Has mainly pursued research in the area of back pain, rehabilitation, work place interventions concerning cost effective interventions and implementation of evidence based measures. Is currently developing a new research program with the focus of intervention and implementation research within occupational health services/corporate health  and workers health. To facilitate the translation of research into practice the research programme is developing an organisational model  for research based on partnership with employers, occupational health services and university.

Commisons of trust

Member of a scientific council and expert advisory board for the institute for evaluation of labour market and education policy
Member of a scientific council and expert advisory board for the Ministry of social affairs, Swedish government concerning rehabilitation and sick leave
Member of a scientific council and expert advisory board for the Ministry of Employment, Swedish government concerning work environment
Scientific advisor within the AFA Insurance program Work & Health
Member of the Scientific Council for the Development of Back Rehabilitation Centres in Stockholm County council
Board member of the Swedish Society of Behavioural Medicine
Member of Cochrane Collaboration Musculoskeletal Working Group on Back Pain.
Member in an international task force Sex, gender and Pain within IASP.
Member of expert group on sick leave in the the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care.
Member of an international expert group within EU of chronic back problems (COST).
Co-chair within a task force in the EU Work Life 2000. Implementation and dissemination of guidelines.


Psychologist, BSc. in 1985, Örebro University.  PhD in medical science, personal injury prevention. Thesis ‘Non-specific spinal pain. Multidisciplinary intervention, a cognitive-behavioural approach’, 1993 at Karolinska Institute. Associate professor at Karolinska Institutet in 1999. Professor in personal injury prevention in 2004 and Professor in corporate health in 2011,  at Karolinska Institutet.

Research description

Preventing work related illness

The aim of the research conducted in my group is to contribute to improve working conditions and environment for employers and employees where health, well-being and productivity goes hand in hand and further to facilitate an academic profile for occupational health services where evidence based practice is in use and where research is present as a career opportunity. This we will do by create an inspiring and productive research environment which produce high quality research with impact on everyday practice and educate with high quality continuing education for occupational health professionals.

Main contributions from our research is firstly that we have been able to show that a multimodal rehabilitation is the most cost-effective measure in improving health and work ability in back pain sufferers compared to conventional treatment and the single-mode treatments. The published studies are frequently included in systematic reviews and thus contribute to the international evidence for multimodal rehabilitation. The results of these studies became one of the cornerstones in the Swedish governments formulation of the type of rehabilitation that should be introduced for back pain in Sweden in the agreement with the county councils. Secondly results from our research have shown that using EBM methods in the work place to prevent illness and sick leave is not only cost effective in decreasing illness and sick leave but also increases productivity. Results from these studies are now being implemented on a very large scale in several private enterprises and in the public sector in Sweden.

Results and/or background to research

Occupational health service (OSH) in Sweden has a long history. However research and development of the OSH organisation are sparse and not systematically performed. The concept of healthy organisations is vital in defining the role of occupational health. The general definition of a healthy organisation is one that contributes to a healthy workforce and is financially successful. Most research has focused on organisational effectiveness, measured in terms of profit, productivity, service and continuity of goals. However, Jaffe (Jaffe 1995) extended organisational effectiveness with another dimension, i.e. how organisations treat their employees, and how effectiveness, health and well-being are connected. Thus, a healthy organisation is not only economically successful, but also contributes to healthy, motivated and satisfied employees. It gives employees well-designed and meaningful jobs and opportunities for career and work-life enhancement. It includes the structure of the organisation and how reorganisation can contribute to health and effectiveness.

Another main topic is research within health economics and implementation of evidence based methods. Focus has also been on the implementation of evidence-based early interventions in workplaces and in occupational health (the AHA-study) addressing four health areas: back and neck pain, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease and alcohol consumption.

developed in the AHA-study. AFA Insurance has invested about 500 million SEK in order to offer the implementation of the AHA-method to their customers and their occupational health clinics.

Research areas

  • Back and neck pain
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychosocial work environment
  • Workers health
  • Health economics
  • Implementation research



  • AFA
  • EU
  • Ministry of social affairs



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