Musculoskeletal disorders from a biopsychosocial perspective

Our research focus is on musculoskeletal pain and clinical interventional advances devoted to improve prevention and patient management. This includes development and evaluation of clinical diagnostics and prevention methods with the aim to improve health and work ability.

Grooten research group

We currently have three main translational research programs in our group: one that incorporates chronic or recurrent pain conditions in the primary, secondary and tertiary care sector, a second with a focus on occupational health, especially the military community, and a third that concerns sports medicine currently with an emphasis in extreme sports.

Our main programs include several defined research projects with different principal investigators (PI:s). In these projects, we handle a wide range of scientific methods that deal with registry, clinical, empirical and laboratory data, as well as qualitative methods. Our group is interdisciplinary and we work actively to understand and critically evaluate health-related variables from a bio-psycho-social perspective. The long-term goal is to develop and implement updated knowledge into clinical actions to meet the challenge of tomorrow's patients with musculoskeletal pain.

Research programs and projects

Research on pain

  • ​SBU rapport: Arbetsmiljöns betydelse för ryggproblem
  • Multi-disciplinary approach rehabilitation in patients with chronic pain
  • Musculoskeletal disorders in primary and secondary health care
  • Expectations related-research
  • Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain

Research in musculoskeletal and rheumatological disorders

  • Non-pharmacological management of autoimmune connective tissue diseases

Research in occupational health

Research in sport medicine

  • Parachute opening shock in skydiving
  • Motor control and movement control tests

Clinimetric research

  • ICF classification of sickness certificates
  • Cross-cultural adaptation and validation of instruments of MSDs

Research group leader

Wim Grooten

Lecturer senior
H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

Selected scientific publications


Detecting Prolonged Sitting Bouts with the ActiGraph GT3X.
Kuster RP, Grooten WJA, Baumgartner D, Blom V, Hagströmer M, Ekblom Ö
Scand J Med Sci Sports 2019 Nov;():

What Biopsychosocial Factors are Associated With Work Ability in Conservatively Managed Patients with Cervical Radiculopathy? A Cross-Sectional Analysis.
Abbott A, Allard M, Kierkegaard M, Peolsson A, Dedering Å
PM R 2020 01;12(1):64-72

Probing the mechanisms underpinning recovery in post-surgical patients with cervical radiculopathy using Bayesian networks.
Liew BXW, Peolsson A, Scutari M, Löfgren H, Wibault J, Dedering Å, et al
Eur J Pain 2020 May;24(5):909-920

Neck-related headache in patients with cervical disc disease after surgery and physiotherapy: a 1-year follow-up of a prospective randomized study.
Svensson J, Hermansen A, Wibault J, Löfgren H, Dedering Å, Öberg B, Zsigmond P, Peolsson A.
Accepted Spine 2020

Experiences of physical activity and exercise in individuals with systemic sclerosis: A qualitative study.
Pettersson H, Nordin A, Svenungsson E, Alexanderson H, Boström C
Musculoskeletal Care 2020 Jun;18(2):150-160

Implementation of Physical Activity into routine Clinical pracTice in Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disease: The IMPACT-RMD study protocol and rationale.
Metsios GS, Fenton SA, Moe HR, van der Esch M, van Zanten JV, Koutedakis Y, et al
Mediterr J Rheumatol 2019 Dec;30(4):231-236

Refugees and Rehabilitation: Our Fight Against the "Globalization of Indifference".
Landry MD, van Wijchen J, Jalovcic D, Boström C, Pettersson A, Alme MN
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2020 01;101(1):168-170

2018 update of the EULAR recommendations for the role of the nurse in the management of chronic inflammatory arthritis.
Bech B, Primdahl J, van Tubergen A, Voshaar M, Zangi HA, Barbosa L, et al
Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2020 01;79(1):61-68

Prognostic factors for improved physical and emotional functioning one year after interdisciplinary rehabilitation in patients with chronic pain: Results from a national quality registry in Sweden.
Tseli E, Vixner L, LoMartire R, Grooten WJA, Gerdle B, Äng BO
J Rehabil Med 2020 02;52(2):jrm00019

Exercise-Induced Neuroplasticity in Parkinson's Disease: A Metasynthesis of the Literature.
Johansson H, Hagströmer M, Grooten WJA, Franzén E
Neural Plast. 2020 ;2020():8961493

Reliability and validity of a novel Kinect-based software program for measuring a single leg squat.
Ressman J, Rasmussen-Barr E, Grooten WJA
BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 2020 ;12():31

High self-efficacy - a predictor of reduced pain and higher levels of physical activity among patients with osteoarthritis: an observational study.
Degerstedt Å, Alinaghizadeh H, Thorstensson CA, Olsson CB
BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2020 Jun;21(1):380


Physiotherapy after anterior cervical spine surgery for cervical disc disease: study protocol of a prospective randomised study to compare internet-based neck-specific exercise with prescribed physical activity.
Peolsson A, Peterson G, Hermansen A, Ludvigsson ML, Dedering Å, Löfgren H
BMJ Open 2019 02;9(2):e027387

Postoperative structured rehabilitation in patients undergoing surgery for cervical radiculopathy: a 2-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial.
Peolsson A, Löfgren H, Dedering Å, Öberg B, Zsigmond P, Hedevik H, et al
J Neurosurg Spine 2019 03;31(1):60-69

Patients' ideas, concerns, expectations and satisfaction in primary health care - a questionnaire study of patients and health care professionals' perspectives.
Freilich J, Wiking E, Nilsson GH, Olsson C
Scand J Prim Health Care 2019 Dec;37(4):468-475

Clinical assessment and patient-reported outcome measures in low-back pain - a survey among primary health care physiotherapists.
Östhols S, Boström C, Rasmussen-Barr E
Disabil Rehabil 2019 10;41(20):2459-2467

Mapping a measure of physical ability for persons with long-term musculoskeletal pain to the ICF and ICF Core Sets.
Fresk M, Brodin N, Grooten WJ, Joseph C, Kiessling A
Eur J Public Health 2019 04;29(2):286-291

Prognostic Factors for Physical Functioning After Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation in Patients With Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Tseli E, Boersma K, Stålnacke BM, Enthoven P, Gerdle B, Äng BO, et al
Clin J Pain 2019 02;35(2):148-173

The effects of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiovascular physiology in rheumatoid arthritis.
Metsios GS, Moe RH, van der Esch M, van Zanten JJCSV, Fenton SAM, Koutedakis Y, et al
Rheumatol. Int. 2020 Mar;40(3):347-357

Aspects influencing clinical reasoning and decision-making when matching treatment to patients with low back pain in primary healthcare.
Widerström B, Rasmussen-Barr E, Boström C
Musculoskelet Sci Pract 2019 06;41():6-14

Visual assessment of movement quality in the single leg squat test: a review and meta-analysis of inter-rater and intrarater reliability.
Ressman J, Grooten WJA, Rasmussen Barr E
BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 2019 ;5(1):e000541

Non-participation in initial and repeated health risk appraisals - a drop-out analysis based on a health project.
Grooten WJA, Hansson A, Forsman M, Kjellberg K, Toomingas A, Müller M, et al
BMC Health Serv Res 2019 Feb;19(1):130

Elaborating on the assessment of the risk of bias in prognostic studies in pain rehabilitation using QUIPS-aspects of interrater agreement.
Grooten WJA, Tseli E, Äng BO, Boersma K, Stålnacke BM, Gerdle B, et al
Diagn Progn Res 2019 ;3():5


Inter- and intra-rater reliability for measurement of range of motion in joints included in three hypermobility assessment methods.
Schlager A, Ahlqvist K, Rasmussen-Barr E, Bjelland EK, Pingel R, Olsson C, et al
BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2018 Oct;19(1):376

The Effects of Neck-Specific Training Versus Prescribed Physical Activity on Pain and Disability in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Dedering Å, Peolsson A, Cleland JA, Halvorsen M, Svensson MA, Kierkegaard M
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2018 12;99(12):2447-2456

Resistance Training for Professional String Musicians: A Prospective Intervention Study.
Lundborg B, Grooten WJ
Med Probl Perform Art 2018 06;33(2):102-110

How does exercise dose affect patients with long-term osteoarthritis of the knee? A study protocol of a randomised controlled trial in Sweden and Norway: the SWENOR Study.
Torstensen TA, Grooten WJA, Østerås H, Heijne A, Harms-Ringdahl K, Äng BO
BMJ Open 2018 05;8(5):e018471

Reliability and validity of a novel Kinect-based software program for measuring posture, balance and side-bending.
Grooten WJA, Sandberg L, Ressman J, Diamantoglou N, Johansson E, Rasmussen-Barr E
BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2018 01;19(1):6

Strengthening Health Systems for Persons With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in South Africa and Sweden: A Protocol for a Longitudinal Study of Processes and Outcomes.
Conradsson D, Rhoda A, Mlenzana N, Nilsson Wikmar L, Wahman K, Hultling C, et al
Front Neurol 2018 ;9():453

Anatomical landmarks of the intra-pelvic side-wall as sources of pain in women with and without pregnancy-related chronic pelvic pain after childbirth: a descriptive study.
Torstensson T, Butler S, Lindgren A, Peterson M, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Eriksson M, et al
BMC Womens Health 2018 03;18(1):54

Inter- and intra-rater reliability for measurement of range of motion in joints included in three hypermobility assessment methods.
Schlager A, Ahlqvist K, Rasmussen-Barr E, Bjelland EK, Pingel R, Olsson C, et al
BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2018 Oct;19(1):376

Measuring Sedentary Behavior by Means of Muscular Activity and Accelerometry.
Kuster RP, Huber M, Hirschi S, Siegl W, Baumgartner D, Hagströmer M, et al
Sensors (Basel) 2018 Nov;18(11):