Kjerstin Stigmar

Kjerstin Stigmar

Senior Lecturer, PhD

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My research is focusing work and health, with primarily attention on individuals with mental or musculoskeletal disords. The setting is mainly in primary health care. I am interested in how we can maintain work ability or suppport individuals in return to work.



PI: Ass prof Birgitta Grahn from autumn 2020: Kjerstin Stigmar

Vice PI: Professor Ingemar Petersson

Funding: 5 499 000 SEK (REHSAM) and the corresponding amount from the participating regions (Skåne, Blekinge, Kronoberg)

Research group: PhD Kjerstin Stigmar, professor Gunvor Gard, PhD Sara Holmberg, PhD-student Malin Forsbrand, PhD-student Charlotte Post Sennehed

WorkUp is a cluster-randomized trial in primary health care (Skåne, Blekinge, Kronoberg). The interventions are directed to patients with back- and/or neck pain, who are applying for physioterapy. The patients must be in working age and not have sick leave more than 60 days. The main aim of the trial is to study how a dialogue with the employer, ass add-on to treatment as usual, can have an impact on work ability (primary outcome), health related quality of life and funciton. Qualitative interview studies has also been undertaken with physiotherapists, patients and employers.

The inclusion is closed and results on the primary and secondary outcomes and cost-effectiveness at 12-month are published. We are continuing with  qualitative data and furhter more register data. Two PhD-students have had their disserations in 2018 and 2020 respectively. A masterthesis is published and another one is examined. 



PI: PhD Maria Schelin

Vice PI: professor Ingemar Petersson

Funding: 1 905 000 SEK (FORTE)

Research group: PhD Kjerstin Stigmar, PhD Anna Jöud, PhD-student Elisabeth Bondesson

Regassa-reg is a research project with the main aim to study long-term effects of the research project Regassa, which was conducted in several regions in Sweden. In Regassa, patients with mental illness, such as depression and anxiety were randomized to treatment as ususal, internet CBT or physical activity. We will use register data in our follow-ups.



PI: ass professor Helen Pessah Rasmussen

Vice PI: professor Bo Norrving

Resarch group: PhD Anna-Maria Palsdottir, PhD Kjerstin Stigmar, professor Patrik Grahn, professor Ingemar Petersson

NASTRU is a randomized trial, directed to patients with stroke, suffering from post-stroke fatigue. Patients were directed to natur-based rehabilitation as add on to treatment as usual or treatment as usual only. The study has included 103 patients and a study of the main outcomes is published


Patient Education program in Osteo Arthritis

PI: ass professor Eva Ekvall Hansson

Research group: PhD Kjerstin Stigmar, PhD Anne Sunden, PhD-student Karin Åkesson

The research project focuses on patient education program for patients with OA and the setting is primary health care. Special attention is on patient enablement.


National rehabilitation programs for patients with musculoskeletal pain

Research group: Ass processor Birgitta Grahn, PhD Kjerstin Stigmar, PhD Sara Holmberg, PhD-student Charlotte Post Sennehed, data manager Pernilla Nilsson

The studies in this research program focuses o the outcomes of multimodal rehabiliation (MMR) in primary health care, directed to patients with musculoskeletal pain. The rehabilitations main aim is to support patients in return to work or to maintain work ability. We also keep attention on how health care provider factors can have an impact on refferalls to MMR. In this project, three studies are published; one observational cohort study, one organizational study and one feasability study.



PI: Ass prof Frida Ekk

Vice PI: Ass prof Eva Ekvall Hansson

Reserarch group: PhD Kjerstin STigmar, PhD Anita Santana, Professor Gunvor Gard.

GRANTS: Vetenskaprsrådet 3 000 000 SEK

Active@work is a randomized controlled trial i primary care, starting in 2017. We are focusing a workign age population with knee and hip osteoarthritis. The aim of the project is to optimize physical activity by using technical devices to monitor and give advices.


 Prevention of psychosocial health problems at work: an implementation study on organizational and management level (ISkol-projektet)

Funding:  3 485 000 SEK from AFA (2016), 7 150 000 SEK FORTE (2020)

Location: The Unit of Intervention and Implementation Research for Worker Health, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute.

PI: Associate professor Lydia Kwak.

Post-doc: PhD Caroline Lornudd.

The aim of this project is to study how a guideline on Mental health at work (Jensen et al, 2015) that was developed by the National Occupational Guideline Group (Kwak et al 2017), can be implemented at different schools in Sweden. The study has a randomized controlled design and follow-ups will be on employee-, management- and organizational level.   In April 2017 we started the inclusion of intervention and control groups. Data collection is completed and two publications (a study protocol and one outcome study) is available. The project has received a large research grant for the next phase. We start this planning in autumn 2020.




PI: Kjerstin Stigmar

Research group: PhD CHarlotte Post Sennehed, Ass prof CHarlotte Wåhlin, PhD Catharina Strid

FUnding: Region Skåne

THis project is conducted on a request from Region Skåne. The aim is to explore the impact on sick leave from rehabilitation coordinators. The studies are both interview studies and register data studies. One interview study is conducted as a master thesis in psychology. Data management and analysis on register data is ongoing. 

UKÄ subject classification

  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Physiotherapy


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