03 January 2022

A project involving several researchers with different backgrounds at Linköping University (LiU) has received SEK 30 million from the Swedish Research Council for research into better understandings of post-COVID as an urgent healthcare challenge. Several of the researchers are based at the Department of Culture and Society, and will contribute to the project with epistemological, philosophical and sociocultural perspectives.

White puzzle pieces against a white background. Mel Poole/Unsplash

Earlier research into post-COVID has had a primarily medicinal focus. This interdisciplinary project aims to study post-COVID from other angles. The project will be based at the Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics at LiU.

A total of 15 researchers from LiU and Region Östergötland are to participate in the project. Three of these researchers are from the Department of Culture and Society. They have their backgrounds in sociology, ethics and philosophy.

Socio-cultural factors are important for healthcare

Anna Bredström, associate professor in ethnicity and migration, is to study post-COVID as a diagnosis, combining socio-cultural, philosophical and clinical perspectives.

“My specific research interests lie in investigating the way in which ethnicity and other social categories affect patients’ experiences of illness, healthcare and rehabilitation, and how they affect the kind of healthcare given. In the project, we will also look at how public agencies deal with post-COVID”, she says.

The study builds upon a pilot study where people who have been affected by severe COVID-19 are interviewed. The patients’ close ones and healthcare staff also participate in interviews. The study was performed by several LiU researchers together with Physiotherapy Clinic at the Linköping University Hospital.

Views on knowledge and how mathematical models are used

Erik Gustavsson, a postdoc working on applied ethics, is to study which kinds of knowledge healthcare policies are based on, with a particular focus on the diagnosis of post-COVID. Erik is to look into what kind of knowledge is considered relevant when making health care policy, and how this is viewed from different epistemological perspectives.

“I’m interested in these epistemic underpinnings, and how models for health care policymaking better can account for insights from distinct epistemic fields including ethical considerations.”

Harald Wiltsche, professor of philosophy, is interested in how material, theoretical and mathematical tools are used to constitute different kinds of objectivities in different disciplines associated with COVID-19 research. His primary aim is to build a deeper understanding of how mathematical models work as cognitive filters that allow for varying ways of "world-making”. 

“This research is foundational in nature, but it is a necessary prerequisite for understanding the various interrelations between science, medicine, politics and the public perception of the pandemic.”

 

Transladet by Benjamin Davies.

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