Ingrid Hellström

Associate Professor

The care focuses predominantly on the well-being of the person in question. The person often finds him/herself in a network of relationships with relatives and nursing staff, and in a variety of environments. These networks have long interested me.

Doing things together – relationships in cases of dementia

We do things together: A case study of couplehood (2005) is one of the studies providing the basis for my research domain. The basic concept is that people who live with a chronic illness or condition do things together with other people to make everyday life easier.

In my research, I have focused predominantly on couples living with dementia. Personhood is a well-established concept within the dementia field. The person is put in the forefront, not the dementia itself. I have developed the concept of couplehood, and, in employing this concept, a couple is not viewed as two separate individuals with different needs, but as a unit. Equal in importance to drawing attention to personhood is viewing couples or groups of people, e.g., families, as units who live with and respond to chronic ill health, serious illness and death. It is important not only to use a person-centred approach in care, but also one that takes relationships into account.

Other ongoing research projects

  • Att leva med celiaki [Living with coeliac disease], in collaboration with Susanne Roos, MD, and Associate Professor Gunilla Liedberg, Department of Social and Welfare Studies (ISV)
  • Upplevelse av identitet hos vuxna barn till personer med Alzheimers sjukdom [Sense of self expressed by adult children of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease], in collaboration with Ragnhild Hedman, MD, and Professor Emerita Astrid Norberg, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College
  • Development of a Dementia Core Outcome Set. Project leader Dr Siobhan Reilly, Lancaster University
  • Riktad primärvård för äldre [Strategic primary health care for the elderly]. Project leader Professor Jan Marcusson, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE)

Principal supervisor for:

  • Elzana Odzakovic, ISV, project: The Dementia-Friendly Neighbourhood: Understanding the changing relationship of people – practices – places.
  • Therése Bielsten, ISV, project: DemPower – Living life and doing things together 
  • Bodil Holmberg, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, project: Kroppslig omvårdnad för äldre personer på vård- och omsorgsboende [Physical care for elderly people in nursing homes], in collaboration with Jane Österlind, MD.
  • Susanne Larsson, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke högskola, project: Brukares makt i vardagen inom ramen för LSS-insats, in collaboration with Secondary Supervisor, Reader Kristina Engwall and Professor Maria Eriksson.

Cooperation with clinical practice

I am the head of research at Närsjukvården i östra Östergötland (NSÖ) – Local Public Health Services in Eastern Östergötland. This assignment includes work to stimulate research and development among NSÖ’s staff, in collaboration with Linköping University. I am also a member of NSÖ’s management team and am chair of NSÖ’s R&D council.

I maintain regular contact with clinical practice and am currently co-opted to the Geriatric Clinic at Vrinnevi Hospital in Norrköping. There are a number of ongoing projects at the clinic that I am also involved in, for example, Yoga och livskvalitet hos personer med en demensdiagnos och deras närstående [Yoga and quality of life for persons with a dementia diagnosis and their friends and family], in collaboration with registered nurse Betty Brandtberg and Head of Operations Ann Westöö, and Mitt liv - på mina villkor - Patient- och familjecentrerad vård utifrån CGA (Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment) [My life – on my terms – Patient and family-centred care based on CGA (Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment)], in collaboration with Ann Westöö.


I mainly teach in the Nursing Programme in fields such as caring for the elderly, with particular focus on dementia, and the scientific method. My assignments also include first, second and third-cycle supervision.
I collaborate with FoU Centrum, an R&D centre in the city of Linköping, on the Erasmus+ project Memory Media. This is a project involving partners from Scotland, Spain, China and Sweden that aims to develop teaching in the dementia field using media such as art or digital aids.

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Research theme
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Assignments and academic qualifications
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  • Member of the Editorial Board for Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice
  • Member of the management team for auditing the National Guidelines for care in dementia (Nationella riktlinjerna inom vård och omsorg av personer med demens), the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), 2015-2017
  • Member of the permanent examining board at the Faculty of Medicine 

Academic qualifications

  • Reg. nurse 1991
  • Degree of Doctor of Medical Science, 2005
  • Associate professor, palliative care, 2013
  • Associate professor of nursing, 2016

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Selected publications
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Collaboration with researchers within LiU
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External partners
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John Keady


  • The University of Manchester

Reena Lasrado

Research Associate

  • The University of Manchestr

Siobhan Reilly

Senior Lecturer

  • Lancaster University

Astrid Norberg

Professor emerita

  • Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College

Ragnhild Hedman

Senior Lecturer, PhD

  • Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College

Jane Österlind

Head of Department, RN, PhD

  • Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College

Bodil Holmberg

Assistant lecturer, PhD student

  • Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College

Susanne Larsson

PhD Student

  • Ersta Sköndal Bräcke högskola 

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