Emma Granström, postdoctoral researcher at SOLIID at MMC

Emma Granström defended her thesis "From patient to person – Perspectives on the role of quality data, patient experience and patient involvement in the improvement of chronic care" during Spring. We talk to her about her research and the future.

Emma Granström
Emma Granström Photo: Bildmakarna

Hi there Emma Granström and congratulations to recently defending your thesis "From patient to person – Perspectives on the role of quality data, patient experience and patient involvement in the improvement of chronic care".
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your research?

"I have a background in public health and a master's degree in health economics, policy and management. I have a research interest in understanding how the health care system is connected, from policy level to individuals, and everything in between.", says Emma Granström.

What is your thesis about? 

The thesis concerns how patients can be a resource in the effort to improve chronic care. I examine this overall question in four studies that range from national-, regional-, organizational- to individual level. The thesis also highlights that the view on the patient's role in improvement has changed over time. I have specifically focused on chronic care by studying patients' and staff's experiences at a rheumatology unit which actively work to involve patients both in their own care and in the unit's development work.

What are the most important findings? 

Patients can have several roles in improvement and one needs to apply a systems view to include several perspectives. The dissertation highlights patients as an important resource for relevant data on outcomes (patient-reported measures) to act upon, but also that patients' perspectives play a role in improvement efforts, and not least, patients' role in their own care. However, the results also show that there is more to do, and several challenges, in order to achieve improved care by involving patients at different system levels.

How can this knowledge be useful for improving people’s health? 

Chronic care can be improved in collaboration with patients through better follow-up and adaption to patients' needs and perspectives. In the thesis, I study how patients can be involved in both their own care and in care development, and how it can be promoted through access to outcome information and appropriate support structures. It will hopefully benefit people by providing conditions for better care, and self-care, leading to better health.

What do you like to do when you are not studying/doing research? 

I am pretty good at separating work and private life and I like to engage in my interests in food, physical exercise and nature experiences, as well as spending time with my family.

What are your plans for the future? 

I will continue to work in two projects that I am already involved in. In one project, we retrospectively compare three large national initiatives to improve healthcare, and we hope to find lessons to learn for future large-scale initiatives. The second project is about maternity care and women's health, and there I will specifically investigate how to improve person-centred and integrated care, as well as the role of digital services.