Josefin Wångdahl

Josefin Wångdahl

Assistant Professor
Telephone: +46852483619
Visiting address: Tomtebodavägen 18 A, 17177 Stockholm
Postal address: H1 Neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle, H1 ARC Socialgerontologi Lennartsson, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I have a MSc in Public Health Sciences and a PhD in medical science. My main area of interest is health literacy from a public health perspective. I have mainly carried out research that focused on health literacy and health promotion work linked to newly arrived migrants with a refugee background. What drives me is to produce and spread knowledge about how to reduce inequality in health and healthcare.

    Part-time I am doing research in Carin Lennartsson's group in the Social Gerontology Sector at the Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet &

  • Stockholm University on health literacy among older adults in the Forte financed project "Health literacy among older adults: Exploring older people´s prerequisites for understanding health information and making informed health choices" together with Janne Agerholm and others. We partly use data from the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD). I also work with Lena Dahlberg and others, within the FORTE-funded program "Aging, loneliness and mental health: understanding the connections and enabling change" (REALM), in which I lead working package 3. Based on interviews with care staff and previous research we will develop and pilot test a training program for care professionals on loneliness and mental health. Part-time I am teaching at the Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. I mainly teach about Health Literacy, Public Health, Health Promotion and Research Methods. 
  • In addition I work in the Erasmus+ project Skills4 Health Literacy which aims to meet the needs of Higher Education Institutions to reduce skills gaps of health and social professionals to promote health literacy capacity-building when supporting persons at risk of dementia with the aim to deliver personalized and relevant interventions.

    I am Sweden’s research representative in the Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy of WHO Europe (M-POHL) in which I am involved in the working group on mental health literacy and the M-POHLs project on organisational health literacy in primary care. In year 2024 we will translate M-POHLs instrument for assessing organisational health literacy in primacy care to Swedish and pilot test it a Swedish context. 
  • Further, I a member of the Research Standards Committee of the International Health Literacy Association (IHLA), and co-founder of the Swedish webpage on Health literacy. I do also often have external assignments regarding health literacy as an expert, trainer and lecturer outside Karolinska Institutet.

    Previously I have project lead and evaluated several EU funded research projects that focused on health-promoting activities for migrants
    with refugee backgrounds. For example the project MILSA educational platform for civic- and health communicators and MILSA psychosocialhealth project. I have also worked with translations of several health literacy instruments into Swedish and several languages that many migrants in Sweden speak, and studied how valid they are in a Swedish context. At the moment I am working with translation and validation of HLS19-Q12. For more information about health literacy instruments in Sweden, se the Swedish webpage on Health Literacy.


  • Public health, health promotion, health literacy, health communication, migration, health inequalities, pedagogy.


All other publications



  • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, 2022-2026

Degrees and Education

  • PhD, Social medicine, Health literacy among newly arrived refugees in Sweden and implications for health and healthcare., Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, 2018
  • Degree Of Master Of Medical Science 120 Credits, Karolinska Institutet, 2011

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