On 25 November 2016, Lisa Hjelmfors, behavioural scientist and doctoral student at the Department of Social and Welfare Studies (ISV), received the Astrid Janzon scholarship of SEK 70,000. 

 “The scholarship constitutes a much-appreciated contribution to my postgraduate studies," says Lisa.
Together with her main supervisor Professor Tiny Jaarsma, assistant supervisor Professor Anna Strömberg, docent Maria Friedrichsen and Professor Jan Mårtensson, Lisa is doing research on improving communication about the prognosis of heart failure and the final stage of life.


The reasons for the awarding of the scholarship were as follows:

People with chronic coronary heart disease constitute one of the largest patient groups in Sweden. Having good communication skills is a very important part of being a nurse and thereby a central element of nursing, the main field of study. The planned study has a clear intervention that will be carried out in collaboration between the patient, relatives and staff. The study has been well-designed and the question at issue is very much in line with Astrid Janzon’s wishes.

Communication about heart failure and the final stage of life

Patients with heart failure and their family members are usually not prepared for the unpredictable consequences of heart failure. This can lead to the patient and relatives feeling uncertainty about the future, meaning poor quality of life for the patient in the final stage of his or her life. 
 "In order to try to improve communication between the patient/relatives and healthcare personnel about the prognosis and the final stage of life, we have designed an intervention which consists of communication training and a checklist," says Lisa.
"We used co-design and developed the intervention together with the future users; i.e. the patients, their relatives and healthcare staff. We now intend to test the effect of the intervention in a controlled and randomised 2-group intervention.”

Criteria for the scholarship

Postgraduate students with a connection to the Red Cross University College, Linköping University or Jönköping University can apply for the Astrid Janzon scholarship. The research in question must focus on nursing and applicants must be at the beginning or in the middle of their postgraduate studies. Of special merit this year, 2016, was the fact that the thesis included an intervention study.
The decision group was made up of:
Ann-Charlotte Egmar, Red Cross University College, Stockholm
Margareta Bachrach-Lindström, Linköping University
Lennart Christensson, Jönköping University
Picture above: Lisa Hjelmfors in Jönköping on 25 November 2016 when she received her scholarship from the Astrid Janzon Foundation (Photo: Tiny Jaarsma)