Photo of Maria Bergström

Maria Bergström

PhD student

My research concerns persons with rheumatic diseases, enablement of their participation in everyday life and, relationships with their significant others. I am also a tutor at the Occupational Therapy Programme.

Persons with rheumatic diseases and their significant others

Rheumatic diseases have a major impact on everyday life and often leads to participation restrictions in activities. Significant others also have a big impact on everyday life, in both poitive and negative ways. Significant others are often emphasized as the biggest and most important support for functioning well in everyday life, but can also be experienced as showing lack of understanding.

How can we ensure that significant others act as the best possible support for persons with rheumatic diseases, and thereby enable the patient’s participation in everyday life? What do the patients wish? What kind of needs are the significant others requesting? With my thesis, I would like to explore how significant others can be a resource in enabling participation in the everyday lives of persons with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

About me


  • Reg Occupational Therapist, Linköping University 2006
  • Master of Science with a major in Occupational Therapy 2014, Jönköping University

Field of teaching

  • I have been teaching at the Occupational Therapy programme since 2016
  • I am a tutor during the early course IPL 1 and during semester four
  • I am coordinator for the course Accessibility and Participation in Occupation, and a contact person during the students’ clinical education


  • I am part of the research group SWEDEwork, aiming towards sustainable participation in working life
  • I am also a board member of the Alliance for Musculoskeletal Diseases (ARoS)





Essays and presentations


  • 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