Photo of Elin Ekbladh

Elin Ekbladh

Senior Lecturer

To be excluded from the labour market implies an increased risk of ill health for the individual and a cost for society. Development of methods for assessing work ability and identifying individual rehabilitation needs are central of my research.

Assessment of work ability and person-centred vocational rehabilitation interventions

My research field is vocational rehabilitation, with particular focus on assessment of work ability and individual rehabilitation needs

A central element of my research is the processing, development and psychometric testing of the Swedish versions of the instrumentsWorker Role Interview (WRI) and Work Environment Impact Scale (WEIS). WRI and WEIS are work-related interview instruments with the accompanying rating scale, and have been developed with the aim of assessing the influence of subjective psychosocial and environmental factors on work ability. Using WRI, an estimate can be obtained of how a person’s motivation, daily habits and routines, and the surrounding social environment influence that person’s work potential. WEIS focuses on person-environment interaction, and the assessment includes identifying the person’s experience of impeding and supportive psychosocial and physical work environmental factors, and their effect on the person’s sense of satisfaction and well-being at work.

The instruments have achieved a notable distribution and are used in various authorities including the Swedish public employment agency, primary care and insurance-medical investigation units as well as at various private, municipal and county council/region-based work rehabilitation centres in Sweden. 

  • WRI – Worker Role Interview
  • WEIS – Work Environment Impact Scale

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Research themeShow/Hide content

Assessment instrumentsShow/Hide content

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Further research projectsShow/Hide content

Transition to work and further studies after upper secondary school 

Pupils in upper secondary education who need special support, both those with and those without diagnoses, are disproportionately represented among pupils that go directly from school into unemployment. Their difficulties at school can be due to various forms of learning disabilities, e g reading and writing difficulties or neuropsychiatric functional disorders such as ADHD. The common factor is that cognitive disabilities have a negative effect on the ability to concentrate, to follow instructions, and to organise and plan activities. I am part of research projects investigating whether individually designed measures in the form of technology adaptation and support give pupils with disabilities greater possibilities to manage their upper secondary education, and whether the intervention has any effect on the transition to work and further studies after completion of upper secondary school.


Returning to work – person-centred rehabilitation after stroke

I am also involved in the project Person-centred rehabilitation for return to work after stroke, based at Karolinska Institutet (KI). This project is about evaluating a new method of person-centred rehabilitation which aims to get persons back into work after stroke. Among the instruments used in the project, WRI, WEIS and AWP are used. The research project leader is Gunilla Eriksson MD.

Assistant supervisor

I am assistant supervisor of Moa Yngve, who is a doctoral student on the research programme “An intervention to facilitate school attendance and the transition to work and further studies for pupils needing special support in upper secondary school”. This research project is part of the research theme Disability in school – transition to work.

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Occupational Therapy programme 

  • Course coordinator of Degree project in occupational therapy, first cycle
  • Course coordinator of Occupational therapy in vocational rehabilitation, second cycle
  • Examiner during semester 1 and of the degree project course at Bachelor level
  • Supervisor of first and second-cycle students
  • Other teaching appointments: PBL group tutor, lectures on vocational rehabilitation, scientific methods and the Model of Human Occupation.

Educational development 

I am interested in educational issues and have an appointment to work on curriculum development for the Occupational Therapy programme.




Appointments, networks I belong to, academic qualificationsShow/Hide content


• Deputy member of the faculty board, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

• Convener of the Curriculum group, Occupational Therapy programme

• Deputy member of the programme committee, Occupational Therapy programme

Networks I belong to

• International network for Model of Human Occupation scholars

• National psychometric network for Health Sciences researchers

*SPID – National research network in the area of health insurance

Academic qualifications

• Registered Occupational therapist 1997

• Master of Science degree 1999

• Doctor of Medical Science 2008

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Selected publicationsShow/Hide content

Moa Yngve, Elin Ekbladh (2015)

Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy , Vol.22 , s.417-423 Continue to DOI

Elin Ekbladh, Chia-Wei Fan, Jan Sandqvist, Helena Hemmingsson, Renée Taylor (2014)

Work , Vol.47 , s.213-219 Continue to DOI

Elin Ekbladh, Lars-Håkan Thorell, Lena Haglund (2010)

Work , Vol.35 , s.163-172 Continue to DOI

Collaboration with researchers in Occupational therapyShow/Hide content