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About me

I am a part-time PhD-student at the Division of Nursing in the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) since 2013. My field of research is assessment of pain in preverbal children. My main supervisor is Leena Jylli (KI), and my three co-supervisors are the professors Ann Langius-Eklöf (KI), Tomm Bernklev (Telemark Hospital, Norway) and Britt Nakstad (Akershus University Hospital, Norway).

My background is in neonatal nursing and I’ve had an interest in pediatric and neonatal pain for the past decade. I completed my master’s degree (2 years/120 ECTS) at NVS in 2011 and wrote my master’s thesis on how clinicians’ understanding of observational pain assessment scales can be explored through cognitive interviews and the results used to improve these scales.


1992-93 Development studies (60 ECTS*) Agder College

1993 Examen philosophicum (30 ECTS) University of Oslo

1994-97 Nursing (bachelor’s degree) (180 ECTS) Telemark College

2002 Pediatric pain nursing (15 ECTS) Sør-Trondelag University College

2004 Research methods and statistics (15 ECTS) University of Oslo

2007-11 Master in clinical medical science (120 ECTS) Karolinska Institutet

2012 Statistical methods with R (7,5 ECTS) Karolinska Institutet

2013- Doctoral studies Karolinska Institutet

Degrees: Registered Nurse (RN), Master’s degree (MSc)

Research description

The purpose of this PhD-project is to contribute towards better treatment of pain in preverbal children by enhancing our knowledge on pain and assessment of pain in this vulnerable group.

Structured assessment of pain is an important prerequisite for sufficient treatment of pain. Small infants are unable to describe their pain experience in words and totally dependent upon clinicians’ ability to recognize and interpret indicators of pain.

The project consists of four sub-studies utilizing a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches:

(I) A systematic review on the methodological quality of reviews on measurement properties of observational pain assessment measures for use in children 0-18 years,

(II) Explore the usefulness of cognitive interviews in the translation and cultural adaptation of the COMFORT behavioral scale, and to demonstrate a structured approach to the analysis of data from cognitive interviews,

(III) Test validity of the COMFORT behavioral scale in toddlers undergoing minor surgery and determine inter-rater reliability among participating nurses, and

 (IV) Explore nurses’ opinions regarding pain and assessment of pain in preverbal children.

I am an active member in Pain in Child Health (PICH) – The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Strategic Training Program for graduate and post-graduate students within the field of pediatric pain as part of my PhD studies. The network is headed by some of the world’s foremost experts in pediatric pain research.


Assessment of continuous pain in newborns admitted to NICUs in 18 European countries
Europain Survey Working Group Of The Neoopioid Consortium, Anand Kjs, Eriksson M, Boyle Em, Avila-alvarez A, Andersen Rd, et al
Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992) 2017;106(8):1248-1259

Pain assessment practices in Swedish and Norwegian neonatal care units
Andersen Rd, Munsters Jma, Vederhus Bj, Gradin M
Scandinavian journal of caring sciences 2017;():-

PEARL-Pain in Early Life: A New Network for Research and Education
Andersen Rd, Axelin A, Kristjánsdóttir G, Eriksson M
The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing 2017;31(2):91-95

The measurement properties of pediatric observational pain scales: A systematic review of reviews
Andersen Rd, Langius-eklöf A, Nakstad B, Bernklev T, Jylli L
International journal of nursing studies 2017;73():93-101

Sedation and analgesia practices in neonatal intensive care units (EUROPAIN): results from a prospective cohort study
Europain Survey Working Group, Carbajal R, Eriksson M, Courtois E, Boyle E, Avila-alvarez A, et al
The Lancet. Respiratory medicine 2015;3(10):796-812

The COMFORT behavioural scale provides a useful assessment of sedation, pain and distress in toddlers undergoing minor elective surgery
Andersen Rd, Bernklev T, Langius-eklöf A, Nakstad B, Jylli L
Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992) 2015;104(9):904-9

Cultural adaptation of patient and observational outcome measures: a methodological example using the COMFORT behavioral rating scale
Andersen Rd, Jylli L, Ambuel B
International journal of nursing studies 2014;51(6):934-42

Skin-to-skin care in neonatal intensive care units in the Nordic countries: a survey of attitudes and practices
Olsson E, Andersen Rd, Axelin A, Jonsdottir Rb, Maastrup R, Eriksson M
ACTA PAEDIATRICA 2012;101(11):1140-6

The opinions of clinical staff regarding neonatal procedural pain in two Norwegian neonatal intensive care units
Andersen Rd, Greve-isdahl M, Jylli L
ACTA PAEDIATRICA 2007;96(7):1000-3