The epistemic roles of clinical expertise: An empirical study of how Swedish healthcare professionals understand proven experience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Clinical expertise has since 1891 a Swedish counterpart in proven experience. This study aims to increase our understanding of clinicians’ views of their professional expertise, both as a source or body of knowledge and as a skill or quality. We examine how Swedish healthcare personnel view their expertise as captured by the (legally and culturally relevant) Swedish concept of “proven experience,” through a survey administered to a simple random sample of Swedish physicians and nurses (2018, n = 560). This study is the first empirical attempt to analyse the notion of proven experience as it is understood by Swedish physicians and nurses. Using statistical techniques for data dimensionality reduction (confirmatory factor analysis and multidimensional scaling), the study provides evidence that the proven experience concept is multidimensional and that a model consisting of three dimensions–for brevity referred to as “test/evidence”, “practice”, and “being an experienced/competent person”–describes the survey responses well. In addition, our results cannot corroborate the widely held assumption in evidence-based medicine that an important component of clinical expertise consists of experience of patients’ preferences.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 2
Publication categoryResearch