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About me

Post-doctoral researcher in the Division for Epidemiology and Public Health Intervention Research (EPHIR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.


PhD; Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2012)

Bachelor and post-graduate degrees in psychology (University of Melbourne,Australia; Federation University, Australia) and health promotion Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Research description

I am broadly interested in links between physical activity/inactivity and mental health. I'm also actively involved in trials of exercise for depression/anxiety, psychosis and substance abuse.

Recent publications (last 4 years)

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

Hallgren M, Vancampfort D, Schuch F, Lundin , Stuubs B. Move reasons to move: Exercise in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. Frontiers Psychiatry. 2017 August, 8:160.

Hallgren, M., Romberg, K., Bakshi A.S. & Andréasson, S. (2014) Yoga as an adjunct treatment for alcohol dependence: a pilot study. Journal of complementary and Alternative Medicine, 22(3):441-5.

Hallgren M. Sätt större fokus på fysisk aktivitet vid vård vid depression. Lakartidningen. 2017 Feb 7;114.

Hallgren M,  Stubbs B, Vancampfort D, Lundin A, Jääkallio P, Forsell Y. Treatment guidelines for depression: greater emphasis on physical activity is needed. European Psychiatry, 2016, 40;2:1-3.

Hallgren M, Stubbs B, Vancampfort D. Exercise is Medicine for Depression: even when the ‘pill’ is small. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2016, 25;12:2715-2721.

Hallgren M, Helgadóttir B, Herring MP, Zeebari Z, Lindefors N, Kaldo V, Öjehagen A, Forsell Y. Exercise and internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy for depression (Regassa): a multicenter randomised controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2016 Sep 8

Hallgren M, Nakitanda O, Herring M, Ekblom O, Owen N, Dunstan D, Helgadottir B, Forsell Y. Habitual physical activity levels predict treatment outcomes in depressed adults: a prospective cohort study. Preventive Medicine, Apr 7; 88:53-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.03.021.

Hallgren M, Herring M, Owen N, Dunstan D, Ekblom Ö, Helgadottir B, Nakitanda O, Forsell Y. Exercise, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the treatment of depression: broadening the scientific perspectives and clinical opportunities. Frontiers in Psychiatry, Mar 11;7:36. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00036.

Hallgren M, Kraepelien M, Öjehagen A, Lindefors N, Zeebari Z, Kaldo V & Forsell Y. Physical exercise and internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of depression: randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2015 Sep;207(3):227-34.

Hallgren M, Pope HG, Kanayama G, Hudson JI, Lundin A, & Källmén H. Anti-social behaviors associated with Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid use among adolescent males. European Addiction Research. 2015;21(6):321-6.

Hallgren M, Lundin A, Tee FY, Burström B, Forsell Y. Somebody to lean on: Social relationships predict post-treatment depression severity in adults. Psychiatry Res. 2017; 249:261-267.

Hallgren, M., Åhlén, J., Forsell, Y., & Öjehagen, A. (2014) Increased screening of alcohol habits among patients with depression is needed. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42(7):658-9.

Hallgren, M. (2014) Youth alcohol polarization effects in regional but not national data. Addiction, 109(8):1384-5.

Hallgren, M & Kallmén H. (2014).Monitoring the stability of risk factors for adolescent cannabis use. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 3(4).

Vancampfort D, Hallgren M, Firth J, Rosenbaum S, Schuch FB, Mugisha J, Probst M, Van Damme T, Carvalho AF, Stubbs B. Physical activity and suicidal ideation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2017 Aug 24;225:438-448.

Helgadóttir B, Forsell Y, Hallgren M, Möller J, Ekblom Ö. Long-term effects of exercise at different intensity levels on depression: A randomized controlled trial. Prev Med. 2017 Aug 16;105:37-46.

Stubbs B, Vancampfort D, Firth J, Hallgren M, Schuch F, Veronese N, Solmi M, Gaughran F, Kahl KG, Rosenbaum S, Ward PB, Carvalho AF, Koyanagi A. Physical activity correlates among people with psychosis: Data from 47 low- and middle-income countries. Schizophr Res. 2017 Jun 18.

Vancampfort D, Stubbs B, Hallgren M, Koyanagi A Physical activity correlates in heavy episodic drinkers: Data from 46 low- and middle-income countries. Mental Health and Physical Activity.

Vancampfort D, Stubbs B, Firth J, Hallgren M, Schuch F, Lahti J, Rosenbaum S, Ward PB, Mugisha J, Carvalho AF, Koyanagi A. Physical activity correlates among 24,230 people with depression across 46 low- and middle-income countries. J Affect Disord. 2017 Oct 15;221:81-88.

Lundin A, Leijon O, Vaez M, Hallgren M, Torgén M. Predictive validity of the Work Ability Index and its individual items in the general population. Scand J Public Health. 2017 Apr

Zeebari Z, Lundin A, Dickman PW, Hallgren M. Are Changes in Alcohol Consumption Among Swedish Youth Really Occurring 'in Concert'? A New Perspective Using Quantile Regression. Alcohol Alcohol. 2017 Apr 4:1-9.

Lavebratt C, Herring MP, Liu JJ, Wei YB, Bossoli D, Hallgren M, Forsell Y. Interleukin-6 and depressive symptom severity in response to physical exercise. Psychiatry Res. 2017 Mar 7;252:270-276.

Helgadóttir B, Dunstan D, Owen N, Ekblom Ö, Hallgren M, Forsell Y. Changes in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Associated with Exercise Interventions in Depressed Adults. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2017, May 30; 10-18.

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

Vancampfort D, Koyanagic A, Hallgren M, Probst M,  Stubbs B. The relationship between chronic physical conditions, multimorbidity and anxiety in the general population: A global perspective across 42 countries. General Hospital Psychiatry, November 2016.

Stubbs B, Koyanagi A, Hallgren M, Firth J, Richards J, Schuch F, Rosenbaum S, Mugisha J, Veronese N, Lahti J, Vancampfort D. Physical activity and anxiety: A perspective from the World Health Survey. J Affect Disord. 2016 Oct 25.

Vancampfort D, Mugisha J, Hallgren M, De Hert M, Probst M, Monsieur D, Stubbs B. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus type 2 in people with alcohol use disorders: a systematic review and large scale meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research. 2016 Oct 11;246:394-400.

Vancampfort D, Hallgren M, Mugisha J, De Hert M, Probst M, Monsieur D, Stubbs B. The Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in Alcohol Use Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.Alcohol Alcohol. 2016 Sep;51(5):515-21.

Helgadóttir B, Hallgren M, Ekblom Ö, Forsell Y. Training fast or slow - exercise for depression: a randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 2016 Aug 8;91:123-131

Lundin A, Hallgren M, Theobald H, Hellgren C, Torgén M. Validity of the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire in detecting depression in the general population. Public Health. 2016 Mar 31. pii: S0033-3506(16)00096-2. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.03.005.

Forsell Y, Hallgren M, Mattson M, Ekblom O, Lavebratt C. FitForLife: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Dec 4;16:553. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-1071-9.

Lundin A, Hallgren M, Forsman M, Forsell Y.Comparison of DSM-5 Classifications of Alcohol Use Disorders With Those of DSM-IV, DSM-III-R, and ICD-10 in a General Population Sample in Sweden. Journal of Studies in Alcohol and Drugs. 2015 Sep;76(5):773-80.

Åhlin J, Hallgren M, Öjehagen A, Källmén H & Forsell Y. Adults with mild to moderate depression exhibit greater alcohol related problems compared to the general adult population. BMC Public Health. 2015 Jun 9;15:542.

Lundin A, Hallgren M, Forsell Y. The validity of the Symptom Checklist Depression and Anxiety subscales: a general population study in Sweden. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2015 Sep 1;183:247-52.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Swedish Research Council for Health Workinglife and Welfare (FORTE) 2018-20: Effects of yoga on health and wellbing in elderly adults. Principal investigator.

Swedish Research Council for Health Workinglife and Welfare (FORTE) 2018-20: Novel treatments for substance abuse. Co-investigator.

Swedish Research Council for Health Workinglife and Welfare (FORTE) 2016; Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and depression. Visiting researcher grant.

Post-doctoral award 2015 and 2016: Exercise for Depression, Brain Foundation Sweden (Hjärnfonden):

PhD scholarship 2009-2012, Karolinska Institutet (KID).

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Oslo University, Norway: nvited seminar: Exercise for substance dependence (with Professor Egil Martinsen). April, 2017.

Physiotherapy Association Sweden, Section for Mental Health: Invited lecture on exercise for depression, Gothenberg, March 2016.

TV4 Sweden: I appeared on Swedish television to discuss the REGASSA project and how exercise can be used to treat depression; April, 2015.

Non-scientific articles/interviews (e.g. Medscape):