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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.

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