Maria Bergström

PhD student

I combine research with teaching on the occupational therapy programme, which I find incredibly stimulating. It gives me the opportunity to contribute to new findings, at the same time be involved in training the occupational therapists of the future

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their significant others

RA has a major impact on everyday life and often leads to less participation in activities.

Significant others also have a major effect on the everyday lives of these people, both in a positive and negative way. Often it is significant others who can provide the most important support, but they can also show a lack of understanding, which has a negative impact. How do we go about ensuring significant others provide that all-important support in the best way possible? And what support do the significant others themselves need to achieve this?

In my thesis, I would like to look at significant others as resources that enable people with RA to take part in everyday life.


I am involved in teaching on the Occupational Therapy programme, both as a base group tutor and contact person, and I also supervise essays. My work in these roles is with students in semester 4, on courses 6 and 7, and, as a contact person, I liaise during students’ work-based training. I also supervise students writing essays for their Bachelor's degrees. 

Professional qualifications, essays and presentations
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Professional qualifications

  • Arbetsterapeutprogrammet (The Occupational Therapy Programme), Linköping University, 2006
  • Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, Jönköping University, 2014


  • Perceptions of the vocational rehabilitation process among women with fibromyalgia
  • Bachelor’s thesis, 2006
  • 'Like the worst toothache you've had' – how people with rheumatoid arthritis describe and manage pain
  • Master’s thesis, 2014


Poster presentation of my Master’s thesis at the ACR/ARHP in Boston in 2014, at Reumadagarna 2014, and at Arbetsterapiforum (the Occupational Therapy forum) in Gothenburg in 2015.

Collaboration with researchers in Occupational therapy
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