About SFO-V

Research in health care science is essential to advance knowledge of health promotion, prevention, nursing and rehabilitation as well as organization and management of care.

Today, more people survive injuries and conditions that were previously fatal, people are living longer, and new methodologies are raising hopes for improved quality of life - yet the individual and societal costs of care remain high.

SFO-V's vision

The overall vision for the Strategic Research Area Health Care Science is to ensure that the development and provision of healthcare services is based upon high quality research. The program presents a strategy for a new organization of health care science research at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University, increased collaboration with healthcare providers and the business sector, and the renewal and expansion of advanced education (Masters/PhD).

SFO-V at Umeå Universitet

SFO-V promotes collaboration and invites stakeholders to take an active role in its work. The research area is strengthened and supported by the active engagement of the two universities' partner organizations: Stockholm and Västerbotten County Councils. It is governed by a board that includes representatives from the community, academia, and from national bodies related to health and welfare.

Our 4 core research areas

Research within SFO-V is focused on four main areas:

  • Co-creation - of services, processes and products refers to collaborative activities and approaches that strive to facilitate users, i.e. any stakeholder in issues related to health, disease and illness, working together on equal terms to create value, based on their different types of knowledge and experience.
  • Self-management - refers to a person’s ability to manage the symptoms, treatment, physical and psychological consequences, and life-style changes inherent in living with a health condition.
  • eHealth - refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health and health-related fields, including health care services, health surveillance, health communication, health education and research.
  • Bio-behavioural health care science - refers to the intercept of health care sciences with biological and behavioural sciences, to study the complex interactions among biological, social, behavioural and environmental factors and their effects on outcome to address issues of relevance for health care sciences.


Executive management and coordinator

The members in the executive management represent the surrounding society, academia and national organisations in the field of health care service, as well as Stockholm and Västerbotten county council.


Yvonne Wengström

Professor / Director SFO-V
H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

In short

Yvonne Wengström is an oncology nurse and professor of Nursing. She has a clinical combination position at KI as a professor of nursing and in Tema Cancer at Karolinska University Hospital, where she works as Nursing Manager with responsibility for strategic development of care. Yvonne also leads a multidisciplinary research group at KI with a focus on symptom relief during cancer.


Yvonne's research group studies people's risk of ill health both from a prevention perspective and in the event of illness or injury. Innovative interventions are being tested to relieve symptoms during and after ongoing treatment in a number of projects focusing on physical activity (OptiTrain, EFFECT), but also with apps (Interactor) as support for symptom reporting and support with self-care during treatment. Two studies on colorectal cancer prevention (SCREESCO study) and the experience of screening are ongoing and a study focused on screening for breast cancer, risk perception (KARMA risk) and how European women view individualized screening based on risk of breast cancer.

Helena Lindgren

Lecturer / Board member SFO-V
K6 Department of Women's and Children's Health

In short

Helena Lindgren is a midwife and associate professor with a focus on reproductive health. As a midwife, she has mainly been active in obstetrics and for many years taught students in the midwifery program. Helena is now head of the reproductive health department. She has a strong international commitment and works for women's health in several low-income countries and is a member of the Midwives' Association's international council.


Women who cannot speak Swedish more often receive suboptimal care during pregnancy and childbirth. Improving their opportunities through various measures, which are designed in consultation with the women, their families and the caregivers, is an area that is close to Helena's heart (the Södertälje Bridge and the cultural interpreter doula project). Reducing the incidence of birth defects and providing the right treatment when injuries have occurred is another of her areas (the MIMA project) and that commitment is now being taken further to study in low-income environments (Malawi, Ethiopia and Bangladesh).

Ingeborg Nilsson

Professor / Board member SFO-V

Umeå University, Institutionen för samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, enheten för arbetsterapi.

In short

Ingeborg Nilsson is a registrated occupational therapist with her clinical background working in community-based health promotion and rehabilitation of older adults.  Ingeborg defended her dissertation in occupational therapy in 2006 and now works as a professor of occupational therapy at Umeå University. She leads the research group UME-ACT with focus on developing knowledge about occupations (meaningful activities) and its impact on health and well-being in older adults. In addition to this, she is involved in teaching at basic and advanced level at the Occupational Therapist program in Umeå. Ingeborg is the chairman of SFO-V in Umeå and furthermore adviser to the Dean, board member of the eHealth board and artificial intelligence board (MAI) at the Medical faculty, Umeå University.



Ingeborg's research interest is about activity involvement and the relationship between involvement in activity, participation and health among older adults. She is responsible for several research projects that in various ways contribute to the development of knowledge in this area. Methods for measuring activity and participation, understanding factors that influence activity involvement as well as developing and evaluating intervention strategies (for example by using digital technology) to support involvement in activities among older adults are particularly interesting.

Ing-Mari Dohrn

Postdoctoral researcher / Board member SFO-V
H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

In short

Ing-Mari Dohrn is a licensed physiotherapist / physiotherapist and doctor of medicine in physiotherapy at KI. She has been an SFO-V Fellow and postdoctoral fellow at the Aging Research Center, KI, and at the University of Queensland. Ing-Mari conducts research at the Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society with a focus on physical activity and sedentary life in the elderly, as well as measurement methods for physical activity.


In her research, Ing-Mari has studied the relationship between health and physical activity or sedentary with the help of movement meters, so-called accelerometers, in two large Swedish observational studies, Attitude, Behavior and Change study (ABC) and Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K). She has also evaluated physical activity and health-related quality of life in the elderly who have participated in challenging balance training. Through her research, Ing-Mari wants to contribute to increased knowledge about the interplay between biological and behavioral factors. Knowledge that can form the basis for health-promoting recommendations on physical activity for both patients and the general public.

Lars E Eriksson

Lecturer / Board member SFO-V
H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

In short

Lars E. Eriksson has a background as a registered nurse, master of science in chemistry and doctor of medicine in nursing and is an associate professor in care sciences and senior lecturer in nursing at Karolinska Institutet where he is division and research group lead at the Division of Innovative Care Research at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Lars has a clinical affiliation to the Medical Unit Infectious Diseases at Karolinska University Hospital and he also has a part-time position as a professor at the School of Health Sciences at the City, University of London, United Kingdom.



Lars' scientific profile has developed towards the branch of healthcare science that is established as biobehavioural or translational healthcare science. Early in his research career, he combined scientific work in nursing and biomedicine, mainly in HIV and sexual health. After the dissertation, his research line has expanded to also include studies on populations with other long-lasting or chronic conditions. He is PI of studies that explore quality of life, stigma and illness perception in people living with HIV. In addition, he is the PI of a translational research project on early signs and symptoms and biomarkers as predictors of lung cancer and is the PI for the Swedish part of an EU-funded intervention project, Magnet4Europe, which aims to improve mental health and well-being for healthcare staff in acute care hospitals.

Staffan Josephsson

Professor / Board member SFO-V
H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

In short

Staffan Josephsson has been a professor of occupational therapy at Karolinska Institutet (KI) since 2011. He received his undergraduate education in occupational therapy at the then Stockholm School of Health Sciences and the education in pedagogy and theater studies is from Stockholm University. Staffan's dissertation on "Everyday activities as meeting places for dementia" he defended at Karolinska Institutet in 1994.

The starting point in Staffan's work is the research group Activity and participation when aging (APEL), which focuses on how participation is established together with older people in different circumstances and with different conditions.

Another node in Staffan's work is the group Health in Context at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, with which he has a long-term collaboration on issues concerning participation in everyday life.

In his role as a teacher, he has the ambition to challenge elitist pedagogy and work for relevant forms of teaching that include student participation and creativity. Staffan has learned a lot from working with European colleagues in The European Master in Occupational Therapy and from his Chilean colleagues at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile.


Susanne Rautiainen Lagerström

Medical doctor / Board member SFO-V
K9 Department of Global Public Health

About me

Susanne is a researcher at the Global and Sexual Health (GloSH) Research Group and research fellow at the Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA. 

Susanne has research experience in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and clinical- and lifestyle-related risk factors from small- and large-scale clinical trials and obsevational studies gained from her PhD training at Karolinska Institutet and 4-year postdoc at Harvard Medical School.  

Susanne's main research goal is to identify new strategies to tackle malnutrition, infectious, and NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. 


Research description

Current project:

The open population-based Rakai Community Cohort in Uganda: Understand the interplay between nutrition and microbiome in NCDs and infectious diseases

WelTel study: Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), HIV/AIDS care in Kenya - mobile phone intervention

The Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) trial http://www.cosmostrial.org  

Physicians' Health Study (PHS) II

the Vitamin D and Omega-3 TriaL (VITAL)-HT trial https://www.vitalstudy.org/index.html

Aterenon trial: Testing lycopene supplementation on changes in key cardiovascular biomarkers


More here

Marina Olsson


Department: H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society