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Social Epidemiology, Population Health and
Research Network Description
The research network (group) Social Epidemiology, Population Health and Violence (SEPHV)
aims at advancing research on the determinants of health inequalities and determinants of interpersonal violence globally. In addition it aims to promote research on interventions and policies to eliminate those inequalities (especially inequities). The network rely on different disciplines and methodologies such as Medicine, Epidemiology, Social
Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science.
The group‟s main goal is to increase understanding of the determinants of population health and health inequalities in developed and developing countries (low and middle income) which operate at multiple levels and promote effective action to improve overall population health. In addition, the group also investigates the impact of societal factors on interpersonal violence throughout the life span in developed and developing countries as well as violence across specific groups (e.g.homeless) and promote intervention research aimed at reducing violence, abuse and neglect.
Current Research Projects
A. Socio-Epidemiological Studies of Interpersonal Violence
There has been a long history in sociology of viewing social and economic conditions as general determinants of violence behaviour but recently epidemiologists have come to view socioeconomic factors as explanatory variables contributing to causations for violence instead of only use them as controlling variables. The SEPHV group is interested in understanding the mechanisms through which upstream determinants are related to victimization as well as physical and psychological health outcomes. We use data from European countries and middle and low-income countries to investigate the role of socioeconomic status, context, and neighbourhood deprivation on victimization and health outcomes across life span (childhood, adulthood and among elderly). Currently we are collecting data in Sweden and other EU countries (8), Sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. Mozambique), Latin America (Colombia); Asia ( e.g. Bangladesh).
B. Child Health in Developing Countries
Infant and child mortality has declined in many low-income countries. However in many parts of the world and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, childhood mortality still very high. We use data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS Measure+) to assess
social determinants of child morbidity and mortality. Current studies focus on child mortality and morbidity (diarrhea and acute respiratory infections) in children under the age of five in Mozambique) and the role of religion as a determinant of mortality and morbidity outcomes.
C. Social Inequalities in Coronary Heart Disease
Although cardiovascular mortality has decreased by approximately three-quarters over the past three decades in high-income countries, mortality rates have increased over the same period in many low- and middle-income countries. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of cardiovascular deaths will increase to 23 million, with about eighty-five percent occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Another greater cause of concern is the early age of cardiovascular disease in developing countries compared with developed countries. Our studies aim at investigating the mechanisms through which social and economic factors influence the risk of CVD in developing countries. Currently studies are underway in Iran using both hospital and population based data.
D. Health and Health Behaviour among Adolescents
There has been increased interest in understanding the determinants of health and health behaviour among adolescents throughout the world. However the bulk of knowledge on the issue comes from developed Countries. We are conducting a survey of health behaviour among school children (12-14 years of age) in Teheran, Iran to investigate the determinants of health behaviours, lifestyles and their perceptions of different aspects of family and school environment. The project will help to develop national information systems on health and lifestyles among young people.
E. Quality of Life and Congenital Heart Disease
Medical and surgical advances have resulted in most children with congenital heart disease surviving to adulthood. However, little is known about day to day functioning and wellbeing of adults with congenital heart disease in developing countries. Thus, the ongoing project on quality of life among adults with CHD is expected to provide the first insights on the overall quality of life among adults currently living with congenital heart disease in Iran.
C. Euro - Studies (EU- Projects)
The Research group is involved in 4 EU projects: (1)
EU-ABUEL Project (Sweden,
Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and Portugal) which investigated Abuse and
Neglect among elderly. The research group is the overall coordinator for this project; (2)
EU-PROMO Project which is investigating best practices in mental health among six
marginalised groups (UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Poland,
Check Republic, Lithuania, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Hungary). The research group is
a partner and coordinator for WP4; 3) EU-Dove Project (Portugal, Sweden, Hungary,
Belgium, UK, Germany) which investigates domestic violence in Europe whit the
research group as partner and coordinator of WP and (4) EUGATE Project (best practices
of mental health for immigrants in 14 EU countries). In addition, the research group is the
leading applicant partner of SEVHE (Violence against Homeless people in 8 EU
countries) and LOME (Mental Health of Lone Mothers in 12 EU countries) currently submitted to the EAHC.
The research group provides three courses within its research domain: (1) Demography and Health; (2) Social and Economic Determinants of Health in Developing Countries and (3) Violence, Society and Health (Developed Countries). The three courses were approved by KI board of Education, are listed in the KI Catalogue and have been given since 2008. The group is currently developing other courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Gloria Macassa MD, MPH, PhD Epidemiology, Associate Professor in Public Health
Sciences and Social Medicine; Senior Lecturer, Leader of the Research Group
She is a medical doctor and holds a MPH with emphasis in Demography from Karolinska Institute and a PhD in Epidemiology from the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Karolinska Institute/ Stockholm University. Her research interest focus on social deter-minants of health and population health, determinants of interpersonal and collective violence in developed and developing countries. She is involved in several EU (e.g. ABUEL, PROMO, EUGATE and DOVE) and International projects. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health Sciences at the Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle and a guest researcher at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute and Department of Sociology at Mid-Sweden University; E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com
Joaquim Soares PhD, Professor in Psychology and Professor in Public Health
He is a PhD in Psychology, a licensed psychologist, psychotherapist and Professor in psychology and public health sciences at Mid-Sweden University and Karolinska Institute. He is currently the Academic Leader for the Division of Public Health Sciences at Mid-Sweden University. His research interests include musculoskeletal pain, man and women‟s health situation, violence, burnout, hopelessness and anxiety disorders in the general population. He is an expert in violence research and is involved in four EU-Projects (PROMO, DOVE, EUGATE and ABUEL). He is the coordinator of EU-ABUEL.
Örjan Sundin PhD, Professor in Clinical Psychology
He is currently the Research Council Faculty Chair at Mid-Sweden University and Academic Leader at the Division of Psychology, Mid-Sweden University. His research interests include emotion (anxiety, anger), pain,
psychophysiology. He is the Swedish Partner Coordinator for the EU-Dove project. Regarding domestic violence in 8 EU countries.
Eija Viitasara, PhD in Public Health
She holds a PhD in Social Medicine within Public Health Sciences from the Karolinska Institute. Her research interest focuses on violence in working life and determinants of health. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health Sciences and head of the Public Health Sciences Division at the Mid Sweden University.
Antonio Ponce de Leon, PhD, Professor in Statistics
He holds a PhD in Statistics from London School of Economics and Political Science and he is Professor in Statistics at the University of Rio de Janeiro (Institute of Social Medicine) and a Guest Associate Professor at the Division of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute. His research interests include the effects of air pollution on population health, multilevel modelling, analysis of longitudinal data and inequalities in health and health care in developed and developing countries
Ulla Wihlman, RPT, PhD in Public Health
She is a registered physiotherapist specialized in occupational health care and earned a
PhD in Public Health from the Nordic School of Public Health. Her main research
interests are leadership and strategic change including inter-organisational collaboration
and co-ordination of services to vulnerable groups of societ . She is involved in the
EUGATE project. She is currently a researcher at the Department of Public Health
Sciences KI (Section for Intervention and Implementation Research and Social
Medicine). She is an expert in Qualitative research. E-mail:
Giorgio Grossi, PhD, Associate Professor in Medical Psychology
He holds a PhD in Psychology from Stockholm University and he is an Associate Professor of Medical Psychology from KI. Currently he is a researcher at the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University. His research interests are stress, fatigue, burnout, gender differences, and intervention research, mainly involving cognitive behavioural therapy.
Hamid Reza Kankeh, RN, PhD, Associate Professor in Nursing
He is an Associate Professor in nursing education at University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation in Teheran. He is head of the Disaster Research Group the University University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation in Teheran and a guest researcher at the Division of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute. His research interests and expertise include qualitative research and health care services during disaster times.
Gebrenegus Ghilagaber, PhD, Professor in Statistics
Dr. Ghilagaber holds BSc and MSc degrees (AAU), and PhLic, and PhD degrees in Statistics (Uppsala University) as well as PhLic degree in Demography (Stockholm University). Currently, he is a Professor in Statistics and Director of the Department of Statistics as well as Graduate Studies at the Department of Statistics, Stockholm University. His research interests include Survival Models (Event-History Analysis), Multilevel and Multiprocess Models, Selection and Causality, Bayesian Methods, and applications of these models/methods in Demography, Public Health, and related areas in developing and developed countries.
Seyed Hesameddin Abbasi,
MD, Director of the Research Department,
Tehran Heart Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Topic: Social Inequalities in Coronary Heart Disease in Iran (Registered at Mid –Sweden University)
MB; BS, MSc Public Health,
Research Fellow, Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Birmingham, UK
: Childhood Sexual Abuse, Adolescent Sexuality and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa
(Registered at Mid –Sweden University)
MD, Researcher at Tehran Heart Center, Tehran University of Medical
Topic: Well-being among Adults with Congenital Heart Disease in Comparison with Healthy Persons in Iran (Registered at Karolinska Institute and Mid-Sweden University)
Diego Arturo Sarasti Vanegas,
MD, MPH, Professor of Social Paediatrics
Topic: The Impact of Social Stratification and Social Context on Family Violence in the Region of Medellín-Colombia (Registered at the University of Antioquia, Colombia)
MPH, Associate Professor, Maternal and Child Health Unit
Topic: Suicide Ideation among Adolescents in Rural Bangladesh ( Registered at Mid –Sweden University)
Msc Health Economics, Iran Ministry of Health
Topic: Determinants of Health and Health Behaviour among School Children in Teheran ( Registered at Mid –Sweden University)
Antonio Eugenio Zacarias
MD, Forensic Pathologist, Director of the Department of
Forensic Pathology, Ministry of Health Mozambique
: Interpersonal Violence against Women in Mozambique (Registered at Karolinska
BSc in Ethnology from Stockholm University and a BSc in Public
Topic: Social Position, Social Context and Interpersonal Violence in Stockholm County (Registered at Mid –Sweden University)
BSc in Public Health KI, Master Student in Statistics
Topic: Inequalities in Cause-Specific Mortality among Children Under-Five in Mozambique (Registered at Stockholm University)
Kingsley Ayuk- NSok
, BSc Anthropology, MPH (Health Promotion), Master Student in
Topic: Suicide Ideation and HIV among Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa (Registered at Karolinska Institute)
Guest Researcher (s)
Mariona Pons i Viques MSc, PhD student;
Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Social Inequalities in Breast Cancer
Harry Cepahs Charsamr
He holds a MPH from KI and MSc in Political Science (with major in International Politics and Relations) From Stockholm University. Currently he is MSc candidate in Demography at Stockholm University. He has worked as Research Assistant at University of Southern Denmark, Unit for Health Promotion Research. His research interests include Health and Safety Promotion, Politics of Health, Sovereignty and globalization, Migration and Health and Morbidity and Mortality decline in Developed Countries. He is currently investigating the “widening of the gap in life expectancy between women and men in high income countries” (with emphasis to Sweden).
Muhammad Navid Tahir, BSPT, MPH (Health Promotion)
He is Physiotherapist and holds a Masters Degree in Health Promotion from Karolinska
Institute. Currently; he is work as a Research Officer in Punjab Emergency Service
(Rescue 1122) in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. His research interests are HIV/AIDS,
Emergency Medicine, Emergency Services, Road Traffic Accidents, Road Safety,
Disaster Management, Fire Safety and any other health promotion topics.
The research projects carried out by the SEPHV group are funded among others by the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) and DG Sanko (for EU projects); SIDA-SAREC and through Local Governments (through Ministries of Health, Universities and Research institutes) for projects in developing countries.
The research network (group) maintains research collaboration with several partners around the world. Examples are:
- Mozambique Ministry of Health (National Institute of Health) and Eduardo
Mondlane University (Martinho Dgedge, PhD Public Health, National Director of Health
- Department of Public Health, Protestant University of Applied Sciences,
Ludwigsburg, Germany (Juta Lindert, PhD, Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health)
- School of Public Health, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
(Vincent Lorant, PhD, Professor in Medical Sociology
- Department of Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, University of Granada,
Spain ( Francisco Torres-Goncalvez, PhD, Professor in Psychiatry, Director of GAISAN
- National School of Public Health, Department of Sociology, Athens, Greece
(Elizabeth Ioannidi, PhD in Sociology
- Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Porto, Portugal
(Henrique Barros, PhD, Professor in Medical Sociology, National HIV/AIDS coordinator
- Department of Gerontological Research, Italian National Research Centre on
Aging, Ancona , Italy (Lamura Giovani, PhD Economics; Gabriella Melchiorre, PhD );
Teheran Heart Centre, Teheran University of Medical Sciences
- Department of Health Management and Department of Family Medicine, Kaunas
University of Medicine, Lithuania (Mindaugas Stankunas; PhD and Lina Jaruseviciene MD, MPH,PhD
- Theheran Heart Centre, Teheran University of Health Sciences (Department of
- National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine, NIPSON, Bangladesh
Macassa G, Ghilagaber G, Charsmar H, Walander A, Sundin Ö, Soares J. Geographical
Differentials in Under-Five Mortality in Mozambique 2003: Their Implications for the
Achievement of Millennium Development Goal 4. Journal of Health, Population and
Winersjö R, Ponce de Leon A, Soares JF, Macassa G. Violence and Self-Reported
Health: does Individual Socioeconomic Position Matter? Journal of Injury and Violence
Research In Press May 2011; Upcoming in JIVR VOL 4, No 2 (2012)
Tahir N, Macassa G, Nasser R, Durrani M, Hashmir W. Causes of Fire Emergency Managed by Rescue 1122 in Lahore, Pakistan. Fire Safety Journal 2011.
Macassa G, Hallqvist J, Lynch JW. Inequalities in Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa : A Social Epidemiologic Framework. African Journal of Health Sciences 2011; 18 (1-2 January-June):14-26.
Zacarias A E, Macassa G, Soares J. Women as Perpetrators of IPV: The Experience of Mozambique. International Journal of Conflict and Violence International Journal of Conflict and Violence 2011 (in Press)
Johanna Thomtén, J., Soares, J.J.F. & Örjan Sundin, O. (2011). The influence of psychosocial factors on Quality of life among women with pain: A prospective study in Sweden. Quality of Life Research
Priebe, S., Sandhu, S., Dias, S., Gaddini, A., Greacen, T., Ioannidis, E., Kluge, U., Krasnik, A., Lamkaddem, M., Lorant, L., Puigpinós i Riera1, R., Sarvary, A., Soares, J.J.F., Stankunas, M., Straßmayr, C., Wahlbeck, K., Welbel, M., & Bogic, M. (2011). Good practice in health care for migrants: views and experiences of care professionals in 16 European countries. BMC
, BMC Public Health, 11:187.
Devillé W, Greacen T , Bogic M, Dauvrin M, Dias S, Gaddini A, Jensen NK, Karamanidou C, Kluge U, Mertaniemi R, Puigpinós i Riera R, Sarvary A, Soares JJF, Stankunas M, Straßmayr C, Wahlbeck K, Welbel M, Priebe S. (2011). Health care for immigrants in Europe: is there still consensus among country experts about principles of good practice? A Delphi study. BMC Health Service Research
(in press). Lindert, J., Luna, J., Torres-Gonzales, F., Barros, H., Ioannidi- Kapolou, E., Quattrini, S., Stankunas, M., & Soares, J.J.F. (2011). Study design, sampling and assessment methods of the European study „abuse of the elderly in the European region‟. The European Journal of Public Health
Stankuniene A, Radziunas R, Stankunas M, Soares J, Baranauskas A, Ioannidi-Kaolou E, Barros H, Lamura G, Lindert J, Torres-Gonzales F. (2011). Causes of refraining from buying prescript medication among elders in Kaunas (Lithuania). Medicina
Antai D, Guilagaber G, Vreden S, Macassa G, Moradi T. Inequities in under-five mortality in Nigeria: differentials by ethnic affiliation of the mother. Journal of Religion and Health 2009;48:290-324
Awuba J, Macassa G. HIV/AIDS in Cameroon: Rising gender issues in policy-making matters. AJHS 2007;14:118-128.
Soares JJF, Macassa G, Fandino-Losada A. Psychological experiences among female and primary care patients with and without pain. The Pain Clinic 2007;19:58-70
Soares JJF, Macassa G, Miranda J, Viitasara E. Health among victimized men. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 2007;66:351-364
Soares JJF, Macassa G, Grossi G, Viitasara E. Psychosocial correlates of hopelessness among men. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2008;37:50-
Soares JJF, Grossi G, Macassa G, Fandino-Losada A. Social support among life-time victimized men. Victims and Offenders 2008;3:275-288
Csöf M-R, Macassa G, Lindert J. Somatic Complaints amon Elderly Migrants in Germany. Psychiatrie, Psychologie und Psychotherapie 2010;58:199-206 (My role: data analysis). .
Lindert, J., Mueller-Nordhorn, J., & Soares, J.J.F. (2009). Mental Health of Women in Different Age Groups - Results of a Representative Population based Study. Archives of Women's Mental Health,
Grossi, G., Thomtén, J., Fandino-Losada, A., Soares, J.J.F., & Sundin, G. (2009). Does burnout predict changes in pain experiences among women living in Sweden? A longitudinal study. Stress and Health
, 25, 297–311.
Söderman, E., Lisspers, J. & Sundin, Ö. (2007) Impact of Depressive Mood on Lifestyle Changes in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease. J OUR NAL OF R EHAB ILITA TION MEDIC INE, 39(5), 412-417.
Mörtberg, E.M., Clark D.M., Sundin, Ö., Åberg-Wisted, A. (2007) Intensive group cognitive treatment and individual cognitive therapy vs. treatment as usual in social phobia: a randomized controlled trial. AC TA PS YCHIATR SCAND, 142 – 154
Sackey, P.V., Martling, C.R., Carlswärd, C., Sundin, Ö., Radell, P.J (2008) Short- and long term follow-up of ICU patients after sedation with isoflurane and midazolam - a pilot study. CR ITIC AL CARE MEDIC INE, 801 – 806
Högberg, G., Pagani, M., Sundin, Ö., Soares, J., Åberg-Wistedt, A., Tärnell, B., Hällström, T. (2008) Immediate outcome of EMDR treated PTSD subjects remain stable in a 35 months follow-up. PSYCHIATR Y R ES EARCH
Yahaya I, Uthman AO, Uthman MMB. Interventions for HIV-associated nephropathy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007183
Uthman O, Yahaya I, Ashfaq K, Uthman M. A trend analysis and sub-regional distribution in number of people living with HIV and dying with TB in Africa, 1991 to 2006. International Journal of Health Geographics 2009; 8(1):65.
Uthman OA, Uthman MB, Yahaya I. A population based study of the effect of multiple births on infant mortality in Nigeria. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Khankeh HR, Masoud F, Ahmadi FA, Rakhshandeh A. Health care services at time of natural disasters: a qualitative study.Quarterly Jounal of Nursing 2007
Khorasani-Zavareh, Khankeh HR et al. Post-crash management of road traffic injury victims in Iran. Stakeholders' views on current barriers and potential facilitators. BMC Emerg Med 2009;9 (doi 10.11.86/1471-227X-9-8)
Khorasani-Zavareh, Mohamed R, Khankeh HR , Laflame L, Bikmoradi A, Haglund BJ. The requirements and challanges in preventing of road traffic injury in Iran: A qualitative study 2009;9:486
Poorhosseini H, Sadeghian S, Abbasi K, Hosseini S, Abbasi, HS et al. Comparison of in-hospital and mid-term outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention between patients aged over 65 and younger. Postepy W Kardiologi InterwencyjneJ 2009;5:18-24.
Salehiomran A, Ahmadi H, Karimi A, Tazik M, Dowlatshahi S, Sheikhfatollahi M, Abbasi HS: Transfusion associated in-hospital mortality and morbidity in isolated Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery. Central European Journal of Medicine 2009;4(3):286-292.
Seyed-Hesameddin Abbasi, Haleh Behpournia, Aboulfazl Ghoreshi, Bahman Salehi, Maedeh Raznahan, Shams-Ali Rezazadeh, Farzin Rezaei, Shahin Akhondzadeh: Schizophrenia Research
Seyed Kianoosh Hoseini, Abbas Soleimani, Abbasali Karimi, Saeed Sadeghian, Sirous Darabian, Seyed Hesameddin Abbasi, Seyed Hosein Ahmadi, Arezoo Zoroufian, Mehran Mahmoodian, Ali Abbasi: Clinical features, management and in-hospital outcome of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in young adults under 40 years of age2009;72:71-6.
Hakimeh Sadeghian, Farzaneh Ahmadi, Masoumeh Lotfi-Tokaldani, Rezvanyieh Salehi, Reyhane Zavar, Mahmood Sheikhfatollahi, Seyed Hesameddin Abbasi. Longitudinal tissue velocity and deformation imaging in infrobasal left ventricular aneurysm. Echocardiography 2010 (Accepted)
Hafezi R, Abolhallaje M and Ramezanian M. Designing New Financial Management System in Health Sector of Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian journal of public health, 2009;38(Suppl.1):173-178.
Wihlman U, Stålsby Lundborg C, Holmström I, Axelsson R. Organising vocational rehabilitation through interorganisational integration – a case study in Sweden.
(2010 In Press)
Wihlman U, Stålsby Lundborg C, Axelsson R, Holmström I. Barriers of interorganisational integration for vocational rehabilitation - a project in Sweden.
International Journal of Integrated Care 2008;8:e.
Sandström U, Stålsby Lundborg C, Axelsson R, Holmström I. Variation in views on clients in interprofessional work for vocational rehabilitation in Sweden.
Journal of Interprofessional Care 2007; Oct;21(5): 479-89.
Högh, A. & Viitasara, E. (2005). A systematic review of longitudinal studies of non-fatal workplace violence. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 291-313.
Viitasara, E., Sverke, M., & Menckel, E. (2003). Multiple risk factors for violence to seven occupational groups in the Swedish caring sector. Relations industrielles/ Industrial Relations
, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 202-231.
Menckel, E., & Viitasara , E. (2002). Threats and violence in Swedish care and welfare – magnitude of the problem and impact on municipal personnel. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
, Vol. 16, pp. 376-385.
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