I am a doctoral student in Public Health Science and my background is in Health Promotion and Health Economics. My research focuses on Tobacco Control and Tobacco Cessation.
My current research aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Tobacco Cessation on Prescription compared to current strategies for tobacco cessation in the primary healthcare setting in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Stockholm County.
- Ongoing - Doctoral Degree in Public Health Science, Karolinska Institutet
- 2014 - Master's Degree in Public Health Science with a specialization in Health Economics, Policy and Management, Karolinska Institutet
- 2010 - Bachelor's Degree in Public Health Science with a specialization in Physical Activity and Health Promotion, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and in Sweden it is estimated to cause approximately 10% of the total disease burden. Furthermore, it is associated with increased costs for the healthcare system and society at large. Since tobacco cessation has been found effective in reducing the risk of tobacco related morbidity and mortality, it is a prioritized target area in Swedish public health policy. National guidelines for how tobacco cessation should be tackled have been issued. Recommended treatment options include different types of counselling and pharmacotherapy. However, treatment practices vary between providers and the intensity at which tobacco cessation treatment is provided is considered low. The need for a more systematic approach to tobacco cessation treatment in Swedish healthcare has recently been emphasized, along with the need for improved access to cessation support for socioeconomically disadvantaged groups who are harder to reach with health promoting activities, and who have a higher prevalence of tobacco use, compared to the general population.
Studies conducted in Stockholm on healthcare consumption in different social settings show that socioeconomically disadvantaged groups often visit primary healthcare. In addition, the public has confidence in the healthcare system and most tobacco users seek care for different health problems in the primary healthcare setting. Therefore, primary healthcare may be seen as a potential platform to reach these groups with health promoting activities.
In a recent pilot study, conducted in 2014, the perceived acceptance and feasibility of, as well as the perceived benefits and challenges with, Tobacco Cessation on Prescription were explored based on semistructured interviews with tobacco users, healthcare providers and experts on other lifestyle interventions on prescription. In addition to suggestions regarding the content and the design of Tobacco Cessation on Prescription, the study found that the tool had a positive emotional meaning for tobacco users (e.g. regarding motivation and perceived "right" to seek care for tobacco cessation), while it had a more practical meaning for healthcare providers (facilitating planning, documentation, etc.).
The expectation is that Tobacco Cessation on Prescription will be implemented and prescribed in a similar manner as Physical Activity on Prescription, another lifestyle intervention on prescription that has been found effective and cost-effective in improving health and quality of life and that is already used to prevent chronic disease in Sweden. A prescription may increase the willingness among tobacco users to receive assistance and change behavior, as tobacco cessation would obtain a status like other medical care. It may also provide a more structured approach to tobacco cessation in the primary healthcare setting in general. Tobacco Cessation on Prescription may therefore be seen as a potential tool to facilitate and structure tobacco cessation support in Swedish primary healthcare according to existing guidelines. However, the method needs to be further developed and evaluated before it can be implemented. This is what my research aims to do.