Psychological Stress and its Related Health Outcomes

The aim of my research is to study the health impact of severe psychological stress, especially for severely stressful life events focusing on bereavement and cancer diagnosis, as two major life events specifically.

Research description

Psychological stress is a powerful determinant of human behavior, physiology and health. Traditionally, studies have fairly consistently indicated that an experience of a traumatic life event significantly increases risks of various adverse health outcomes, both in the short and long term. Although a possible relationship between psychological stress and cancer risk has been a topic of interest since long, evidence remains rather inconclusive. Meanwhile, more compelling data have accumulated regarding the potential modifying effect of psychological stress on cancer progression.

Project leader

Senior researcher

Fang Fang

Phone: 852486131
Organizational unit: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB), C8
E-mail: Fang.Fang@ki.se

Research group

Our team was constructed in 2008 and has since been focusing on the dual relationship between psychological stress and cancer. First we are interested in the impact of cancer diagnosis, as a traumatic life event, on the well-being of the patients and their beloved ones. Second, we are interested in the roles of severe psychological stress, such as bereavement and other traumatic events, on cancer risk and prognosis. We are widely collaborating with researchers from Sweden, Iceland, United States, etc., on these research topics.

PhD student

Jianwei Zhu

Organizational unit: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB), C8
E-mail: jianwei.zhu@ki.se

PhD student

Qing Shen

E-mail: qing.shen@ki.se

Graduate Student

Qianwei Liu

E-mail: qianwei.liu@ki.se

Former PhD students in the project

Ruoqing Chen: Phd thesis 2016
Donghao Lu: Phd thesis 2016

Ongoing projects

Our research work is supported by the European Research Council (ERC), Swedish Research Council (VR), Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (Forte), Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden), Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF), China Scholarship Council, and Karolinska Institutet.

Selected publications

Psychology