Lisa Ekstam

Lisa Ekstam

Associate Professor, PhD, Occupational therapist (registered), Senior lecturer

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Personal profile


I am Associate Professor in occupational therapy at the Department of Health Care Sciences at Lund University. I am registered occupational therapist since 2001 and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy from Karolinska Institutet (KI), 2009. My research interest is about everyday doing and its relation to health, primarily targeting older adults and aging. 

Current research

I am involved in research that develops and evaluates the effect of interventions that aims to enhance activity, participation, health and quality of life. Of particular interest is how people deal with changes that occur in everyday life, home and life related to aging and/or disability.

I am part of the research group Applied Gerontology at the Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University.

Samverkan för ökad kompetens I äldreomsorgen (SÖK-äldre) is a long-term collaboration project focusing on collaboration with the health care professionals in a municipal context and academia to increase the competence within Swedish elderly care. The initiative focuses on the licensed health care staff in elderly care and their need for competence development. The project aims to create a long-term sustainable platform with a focus on integrating academic education and research in aging and health with municipal activities and community planning. The goal is to develop and implement evidence-based health-promoting and preventive community initiatives to support active and healthy aging for the elderly who have initiatives from municipal health and care.

Dementia-friendly city. Since 2020, the City of Helsingborg, in collaboration with me and another researcher (Yvonne Johansson) at Lund University, has developed a research-based approach in the form of a hypothesis lab. The lab is part of the project the researching city, (Den (ut)forskande staden DUS), which is run by the Research and Development Unit for Social Sustainability in the city of Helsingborg and consists of five hypothesis labs where the research is funded through the city's innovation initiative H22. The need for a dementia - friendly society is well known and is part of the national strategic plan for care for people with dementia. Based on the World Health Organization's factors for what creates age-friendly societies, we are working with two tracks that are further explored in the hypothesis lab; dementia-friendly outdoor environments and dissemination of knowledge about dementia diseases.

Simul-Age-project where the overarching objectives are to: 1) Assessing and evaluating societal gains of a more accessible ordinary housing stock; 2) Comparing potential housing adaptations policies against other possible aging in place policies (e.g. additional home care, meals-on-wheels etc.) and 3; Providing policy makers with powerful tools for preparing and making the most informed housing policy decisions.

Natural Establishment; Nature-Based Vocational Rehabilitation for Migrants Participating in the National Scheme of Integration. This is an evaluation project at Alnarps rehabilitation garden lead by Anna Maria Palsdottir, researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU Alnarp). The project is focusing on evaluating a nature-based vocational rehabilitation programme for newly arrived migrants.  My contribution within this project is my occupational perspective and my methodological knowledge and skills in using both quantitative and qualitative methods including mixed methods. We are currently finalizing the findings of this project.


Earlier research

The Research Strategy for Housing Adaptation
(ResHA) project is evaluating standardized intervention towards housing adaptation. The project also includes a process evaluation and a health economic evaluation. Housing adaptations and mobility devices – Evaluation of a new practice strategy 

“Doing age” at senior camps is an interdisciplinary project Pensioner camps as a phenomena where the phenomena “senior camps” are being studies from three perspectives:

  •  History of ideas: How age is put into context in the organization of the senior camps.
  • An ethnographic perspective: How age is constructed at the camps.
  • An occupational perspective: Implications of the visit to a senior camp for older people's everyday life and health.

Rehabilitation after stroke

In my dissertation which I defendend in 2009 at the Karolinska Institutet I explored changes in everyday life during the first year after stroke. The title of my thesis is: Changes in daily life after stroke: Older persons and couples' daily activities during the first year at home after stroke

After the disseration I was a postdoc in the research group "Health in Everyday Life among people with neurological Disorders" (HELD) at the Division of Occupational Therapy, KI. I was involved in two projects. A prospective observational study of the rehabilitation process after stroke and a cluster randomized controlled multicenter study evaluating the effect of a client centered ADL intervention.

Collaboration and clinic
I collaborate in my research projects with several municipalities in Skåne.

Thesis (in Swedish)
Ekstam, Lisa (2009): Förändringar i vardagslivet efter stroke: Äldre personers och pars dagliga aktiviteter under det första året hemma efter stroke, Karolinska Institutet



I am currently the Program Director at the undergraduate programme in occupational therapy at Lund University. I am an Associate Professor and senior lecturer in occupational therapy  and teach at the undergraduate program in occupational therapy and master program in medical science. I supervise students at bachelor, master and doctoral level. I have previous teaching experience from the occupational therapy program at KI (2003-2012). I was the co-supervisor  for PhD Björg Þórðardóttir who graduated in 2016.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

UKÄ subject classification

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
  • Health Sciences

Free keywords

  • CASE - Centre for Ageing and Supportive Environments


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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