Intervention | Research at the EPiCSS group

The research in the EPiCSS group is broadly focused on interventions to reduce substance use, including alcohol, cannabis and other illicit drugs. Interventions studied include physical activity, internet-based treatment, and brief interventions in primary and specialist healthcare.

The goal is to broaden the array of effective treatments, increase help-seeking, and ultimately reduce substance use. Another aim is to identify factors that increase the risk of substance use, and factors associated with successful treatment outcomes.

Research projects

Livsstilens betydelse för hälsan – LIV-studie (in Swedish)

I projektet “Livsstilens betydelse för hälsan” (LIV) vill vi studera vilken betydelse vår behandling på mottagningen för alkohol och hälsa har på längre sikt och vilken betydelse förändringar i alkoholvanorna och livsstilen har för hälsan.

Evidence-based interventions for alcohol use disorders

Contact: Sven Andreasson, Anna-Karin Danielsson

There is an underuse of evidence-based interventions, including screening and brief intervention as well as treatment for alcohol use disorders. The overall aim with this project is to study innovative approaches to improve measurement of alcohol consumption and whether new technology can improve outcomes of treatment of alcohol use disorders.


Effect of Screening and Advising on Alcohol Habits in Sweden: A Repeated Population Survey Following Nationwide Implementation of Screening and Brief Intervention.
Lundin A, Danielsson AK, Hallgren M, Torgén M
Alcohol Alcohol. 2017 Mar;52(2):190-196

Preferences regarding treatment for alcohol problems.
Andréasson S, Danielsson AK, Wallhed-Finn S
Alcohol Alcohol. ;48(6):694-9

Alcohol consumption, dependence, and treatment barriers: perceptions among nontreatment seekers with alcohol dependence.
Wallhed Finn S, Bakshi AS, Andréasson S
Subst Use Misuse 2014 May;49(6):762-9

Web-Based Self-Help for Problematic Alcohol Use: a Large Naturalistic Study.
Johansson M, Sinadinovic K, Hammarberg A, Sundström C, Hermansson U, Andreasson S, et al
Int J Behav Med 2017 10;24(5):749-759

Rethinking alcohol interventions in health care: a thematic meeting of the International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol & Other Drugs (INEBRIA).
Glass JE, Andréasson S, Bradley KA, Finn SW, Williams EC, Bakshi AS, et al
Addict Sci Clin Pract 2017 05;12(1):14

Treatment for Alcohol Dependence in Primary Care Compared to Outpatient Specialist Treatment-A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Wallhed Finn S, Hammarberg A, Andreasson S
Alcohol Alcohol. 2018 Jul;53(4):376-385

Mindfulness and maternal depression/anxiety

Contact: Maria Niemi

Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBI:s) have been included in the Swedish national guidelines for depression and anxiety management, and are increasingly being used in health-care. Our research on MBI:s encompasses two research projects:

A novel mindfulness parental programme has in our Randomized Controlled Trial shown good effects on reducing stress and depression in participating parents from pre- to post-intervention. The aim of this study was to examine whether this parental programme is more effective than usual maternal care in preventing adverse psychosocial and health consequences for the infant.

We have also conducted an implementation study of MBP:s in Swedish health care settings. A survey among providers in 20 of Sweden’s 21 regions showed that implementation is often not in line with national guidelines from Socialstyrelsen – MBPs are modified in various ways that is not in line with the evidence base for these programs and a recommendation from our research to support integrity and fidelity of MBP implementation in Sweden, is that a strategic plan and good practice guidelines seem necessary. Also, an evidence-based stepped care model for implementation may work to ensure intervention fidelity in cases where time and funding constraints permit.


Effects of a mindfulness based childbirth and parenting program on pregnant women's perceived stress and risk of perinatal depression-Results from a randomized controlled trial.
Lönnberg G, Jonas W, Unternaehrer E, Bränström R, Nissen E, Niemi M
J Affect Disord 2020 02;262():133-142

A Scoping Review and Conceptual Model of Social Participation and Mental Health among Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Niemi M, Manhica H, Gunnarsson D, Ståhle G, Larsson S, Saboonchi F
Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 10;16(20):

What is learned from Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Education? - Participants' experiences.
Lönnberg G, Nissen E, Niemi M
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2018 Dec;18(1):466


Exercise and mental health

Contact: Mats Hallgren

Two ongoing projects in the EPiCSS research group focus on links between physical activity, wellbeing and mental health. The first project 'FitForChange' is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigating effects of a 12-week exercise programme on alcohol consumption (primary outcome) and health-related variables (stress, depression/anxiety, sleep quality, etc) in alcohol dependent adults. This study is run at 'Riddargatan1', an outpatient clinic located in central Stockholm.

The second project, FitForAge, also an RCT, aims to better understand the effects of yoga-based exercise on subjective wellbeing (primary outcome), health related outcomes in older adults (65-85 years). In addition to self-report measures of health, both studies include biological markers to assess intervention effects; e.g. cortisol, inflammatory markers.


Physical activity as treatment for alcohol use disorders (FitForChange): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
Hallgren M, Andersson V, Ekblom Ö, Andréasson S
Trials 2018 Feb;19(1):106

More Reasons to Move: Exercise in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders.
Hallgren M, Vancampfort D, Schuch F, Lundin A, Stubbs B
Front Psychiatry 2017 ;8():160

Exercise as treatment for alcohol use disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Hallgren M, Vancampfort D, Giesen ES, Lundin A, Stubbs B
Br J Sports Med 2017 Jul;51(14):1058-1064

Study protocol FitForChange