Equity and Health Policy

The group does interdisciplinary studies of social differentials and trends over time in health, health-related quality of life, morbidity, mortality, health care utilisation, social and economic consequences of disease and the impact of policy on health in specific groups in different contexts, using quantitative and qualitative methods. The aim is to facilitate equity-oriented health policy making.

The research group collaborates with the Health Outcomes and Economic Evaluation research group at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics.


Research areas

Members of the research group currently work on Swedish and international projects regarding inequalities in health and health-related quality of life; social differences in social consequences of disease; policies to include persons with chronic illness in the labour market; equity in health care utilisation; health among disadvantaged groups and among populations in disadvantaged areas. 

Ongoing research projects


Doctoral theses

Doctoral theses defended for the last 5 years

  • Johanna Falk (2015) - Social differentials in health-related non-employment and poverty: studies on consequences of limiting longstanding illness, musculoskeletal and mental disorders
  • Charlotte Björkenstam (2013) - Epidemiological studies of suicide – classification bias, drug use and social circumstances
  • Emma Björkenstam (2013) - Adverse life events, psychiatric morbidity and mortality. Epidemiological studies of socioeconomic inequalities from a life course perspective
  • Anna-Clara Hollander (2013) - Social inequalities in mental health and mortality among refugees and other immigrants to Sweden
  • Anneli Marttila (2012) - Managing adversity. Qualitative studies of long-term social assistance recipiency in Sweden in a resilience perspective
  • Sara Fritzell (2011) - Social differentials in health among lone mothers in different policy contexts. Financial difficulties and employment status in relation to health
  • Mona Backhans (2011) - Gender policy and gender equality in a public health perspective. Investigating morbidity and mortality in Sweden and 22 OECD countries

Scientific Publications

Family policy and inequalities in health in different welfare states.
Fosse E, Bull T, Burström B, Fritzell S
Int J Health Serv 2014 ;44(2):233-53

Borrell C, Marí-Dell'olmo M, Palència L, Gotsens M, Burström B, Domínguez-Berjón F, Rodríguez-Sanz M, Dzúrová D, Gandarillas A, Hoffmann R, Kovacs K, Marinacci C, Martikainen P, Pikhart H, Corman D, Rosicova K, Saez M, Santana P, Tarkiainen L, Puigpinós R, Morrison J, Pasarín MI, Díez E. Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality in 16 European cities. Scand J Public Health. 2014 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Trends in poverty risks among people with and without limiting-longstanding illness by employment status in Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom during the current economic recession--a comparative study.
Falk J, Bruce D, Burström B, Thielen K, Whitehead M, Nylén L
BMC Public Health 2013 ;13():925

Inequalities in avoidable hospitalisation by area income and the role of individual characteristics: a population-based register study in Stockholm County, Sweden.
Löfqvist T, Burström B, Walander A, Ljung R
BMJ Qual Saf 2014 Mar;23(3):206-14

Swedish experience-based value sets for EQ-5D health states.
Burström K, Sun S, Gerdtham U, Henriksson M, Johannesson M, Levin L, et al
Qual Life Res 2014 Mar;23(2):431-42

Diabetes duration and health-related quality of life in individuals with onset of diabetes in the age group 15-34 years - a Swedish population-based study using EQ-5D.
Sparring V, Nyström L, Wahlström R, Jonsson P, Ostman J, Burström K
BMC Public Health 2013 ;13():377

Hospitalisation for depressive disorder following unemployment--differentials by gender and immigrant status: a population-based cohort study in Sweden.
Hollander A, Bruce D, Ekberg J, Burström B, Ekblad S
J Epidemiol Community Health 2013 Oct;67(10):875-81

Keep going in adversity - using a resilience perspective to understand the narratives of long-term social assistance recipients in Sweden.
Marttila A, Johansson E, Whitehead M, Burström B
Int J Equity Health 2013 ;12():8

Socioeconomic differences in healthcare utilization, with and without adjustment for need: an example from Stockholm, Sweden.
Agerholm J, Bruce D, Ponce de Leon A, Burström B
Scand J Public Health 2013 May;41(3):318-25

Delayed and differential effects of the economic crisis in Sweden in the 1990s on health-related exclusion from the labour market: a health equity assessment.
Burström B, Nylén L, Barr B, Clayton S, Holland P, Whitehead M
Soc Sci Med 2012 Dec;75(12):2431-6

Is gender policy related to the gender gap in external cause and circulatory disease mortality? A mixed effects model of 22 OECD countries 1973-2008.
Backhans M, Burström B, de Leon A, Marklund S
BMC Public Health 2012 ;12():969


Other publications

Publication Author

Group members

Members A-Ö  
Janne Agerholm MPH and PhD student
Emma Björkenstam PhD (BA statistics) and post-doc
Bo Burström MD and Professor in Social Medicine
Kristina Burström BA, MPH, PhD and Associate Professor of Health Economics
Diana Corman PhD in Demography
Alessio Crippa PhD student
Bo Haglund Professor emeritus, editor SMT
Sara Fritzell MPH and PhD
Asli Kulane Senior lecturer, Associate Professor
Knut Lönnroth MD and Professor in Social Medicine
Edison Manrique Garcia PhD, post doc
Lotta Nylén MPH and PhD
Anneli Marttila PhD (MA in social policy)
Ashley McAllister PhD, post doc
Heidi Möller Editorial secretary SMT
Nicola Orsini PhD, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher
Antonio Ponce de Leon PhD, senior statistician
Pär Schön PhD, post doc
Douglas Sematimba Research assistant
Vibeke Sparring PhD
Björn Södergård PhD
Wenjing Tao MD and PhD student
Margaret Whitehead Visiting Professor
Mimmi Åström MPH, PhD student

Contact us


Bo Burström

Telefon: 08-524 801 60
Enhet: Institutionen för folkhälsovetenskap (PHS), K9
E-post: Bo.Burstrom@ki.se

Health economicsPolicyPublic HealthSocial Medicine