About me

My clinical work as a specialist in general practice in primary care (Stuvsta Primary care Center AB since 2009) informs my choice to do research - multimorbidity is the norm but healthcare today is often designed for one condition at a time, causing a problematic gap between research and practice. I have a special interest in the interaction between mental wellbeing and physical health. 


Research description

My primary care research aims to understand and improve the health of individuals with multiple chronic conditions in primary care from a patient-centered perspective. I apply both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in my work and strive to do research that has a practical clinical application that is meaningful and useful for the people affected by it. During my post-doctoral fellowship, I led the user-centred design of a complex intervention for a new model of depression care in primary care, using the Medical Research Council framework as a guide. This intervention has now been tested in a trial for which I contributed to design. My continuing research here in Sweden includes the current development and piloting of an intervention to improve wellbeing for individuals with multimorbidity and common mental conditions in primary care. I am also involved in the design and evaluation of several trials of complex interventions.

Publications of interest

  1. Fletcher S, Chondros P, Densley K, Murray E, Dowrick C, Coe A, Hegarty K, Davidson S, Wachtler C, Mihalopoulos C, Lee Y, Chatterton M, Palmer VJ. PhD, Gunn J. Matching depression management to severity prognosis in primary care: Results of the Target-D randomised controlled trial. British Journal of General Practice. 11 January 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2020.0783
  2. Fernholm R, Wachtler C, Malm-Willadsen K, Holzmann MJ, Carlsson AC, Nilsson GH, Pukk Härenstam K. Validation and initial results of surveys exploring perspectives on risks and solutions for diagnostic and medication errors in primary care in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, DOI: 10.1080/02813432.2020.1841531.
  3. Rajan G, Wachtler C, Lee S, Wändell P, Philips B, Wahlström L, Carl Göran Svedin CG, Carlsson AC. A one session treatment of PTSD after single sexual assault trauma. A pilot study of the WONSA MLI project: a randomized controlled trial. J Interpers Violence. 2020. DOI: 10.1177/0886260520965973
  4. Forslund T, Carlsson AC, Ljunggren G, Ärnlöv J, Wachtler C. Patterns of multimorbidity and pharmacotherapy:  A total population cross-sectional study. Fam Pract. 2020. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmaa056.
  5. Fernholm R, Holzmann MJ, Wachtler C, Szulkin R, Carlsson AC, Pukk Härenstam K. Patient-related factors associated with an increased risk of being a reported case of preventable harm in first-line health care: a case-control study. BMC Fam Pract 21, 20 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-020-1087-4
  6. Fernholm R, Holzmann MJ, Malm-Willadsen K, Pukk Härenstam K, Carlsson AC, Nilsson GH, Wachtler C. Patient and provider perspectives on reducing risk of harm in primary health care: a qualitative questionnaire study in Sweden, Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 2020 DOI: 10.1080/02813432.2020.1717095
  7. Fernholm R, Pukk Härenstam K, Wachtler C, Nilsson GH, Holzmann MJ, Carlsson AC. Diagnostic errors reported in primary healthcare and emergency departments: A retrospective and descriptive cohort study of 4830 reported cases of preventable harm in Sweden. Eur J Gen Pract. 2019 Jul;25(3):128-135. doi: 10.1080/13814788.2019.1625886. Epub 2019 Jul 1.
  8. Ruge T, Malmer G, Wachtler C, Ekelund U, Westerlund E, Svensson P, Carlsson Age is associated with increased mortality in the RETTS-A triage scale. AC.BMC Geriatr. 2019 May 23;19(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1157-4. PMID: 31122186.
  9. Wachtler C, Coe A, Davidson S, Fletcher S, Mendoza A, Sterling L, Gunn J. Development of a Mobile Clinical Prediction Tool to Estimate Future Depression Severity and Guide Treatment in Primary Care: User-Centered Design. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018;6(4):e95. URL: http://mhealth.jmir.org/2018/4/e95; DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.9502; PMID: 29685864.
  10. Gunn J, Wachtler C, Fletcher S, et al. Target-D: a stratified individually randomized controlled trial of the diamond clinical prediction tool to triage and target treatment for depressive symptoms in general practice: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2017;18:342. doi:10.1186/s13063-017-2089-y.
  11. Davidson S, Harris M, Dowrick C, Wachtler C, Pirkis J, Gunn J. Mental health interventions and future major depression among primary care patients with subthreshold depression. J of Affective Disorders. 2015 May 15; 177:65. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.014
  12. Liberg B, Klauser P, Harding IH, Adler M, Rahm C, Lundberg J, Masterman T, Wachtler C, Jonsson T, Kristoffersen-Wiberg M, Pantelis C, Wahlund B. Functional and structural alterations in the cingulate motor area relate to decreased fronto-striatal coupling in major depressive disorder with psychomotor disturbances. Front Psychiatry. 2014 Dec 4;5:176. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00176. eCollection 2014.
  13. Kristiansson MH, Brorsson A, Wachtler C, Troein M. Pain, power and patience-a narrative study of general practitioners' relations with chronic pain patients. BMC Fam Pract. 2011 May 15;12:31. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-12-31.
  14. Hök J, Wachtler C, Falkenberg T, Tishelman C. Using narrative analysis to understand the combined use of complementary therapies and bio-medically oriented health care. Soc Sci Med. 2007 Oct;65(8):1642-53. Epub 2007 Jul 9.
  15. Wachtler C, Lundin S, Troein M. Humanities for medical students? A qualitative study of a medical humanities curriculum in a medical school program. BMC Medical Education  2006 Mar 6;6:16.
  16. Wachtler C, Brorsson A, Troein M. Meeting and treating cultural difference in primary care: a qualitative interview study. Fam Pract. Feb 2006; 23: 111-115.
  17. Wachtler C, Troein M. A hidden curriculum: mapping cultural competency in a medical program. Med Educ. 2003;37:861-868.

Teaching portfolio


I currently teach for 50% of my full-time position. I have over 450 hours of teaching hours not including planning, implementation and evaluation, with more than 50% percent of those being teaching hours at KIs Medical Program at the undergraduate level. During the past 2 years I have spent more than 1000 hours involved in teaching or teaching related activities. I have had course leadership responsibility for the current introductory course to KIs medical program, Upptakt: Introduktion till läkaryrket (2LK153, 6hp), since April 2018. In this role, I was responsible for the course curriculum design and development, examination design and development, and course evaluation.     


  • Dr. Caroline Kappelin, PhD student. 
  • Dr Märta Kron 2020 VESTA Videobesök: Allmänläkares attityder och erfarenheter (Video consultatations: experiences and attitudes of primary care physicians.)
  • Dr. Karolina Lundberg 2020 VESTA Kartläggning av förskrivning av Zopiklon och Zolpidem på Stuvsta vårdcentral under 2018 (Mapping preciptions of Zolpiklon och Zolpidem at Stuvsta Primary Care Center 2018)
  • Dr. Magnus Scheele 2019 VESTA Finns det fördelar med telefontriagering i primärvården? (Is telephone triage positive for primary care?)
  • Dr. Emma Hanfot, 2018 VESTA Process evaluation of the Lifespan Integration for sexual trauma treatment study
  • Dr. Malin Ellner 2018 VESTA Förbättrar vegansk kost HbA1c hos patienter med typ 2 diabetes? En systematisk litteraturgenomgång. (Does a vegan diet improve Hb1AC for patients with type 2 diabetes? A systematic review.)
  • Dr.Frida Emilsson, 2018 VESTA Continuity for the elderly in primary care: effects on emergency and in-patient health care use and health.
  • Ms. Sanjana Kumar 2017 Masters in Global Health, Karolinska institutet. “Art is an injection that cures us”-The perception of art based interventions for patients with severe mental illness at community mental health centers in Southern India
  • Dr. Eric Norlander 2017 VESTA Farmakologisk behandling av patienter med kronisk hjärtsvikt på Ekerö Vårdcentral. (Pharmacological treatment of patients with chronic heart failure at Ekerö Primary Care Center)
  • Dr Peter Olszamowski 2016 VESTA "Finns det evidens för att lokal kortisoninjektion är den bästa behandlingsmetoden, avseende smärta och rörlighet, vid adhesiv kapsulit? En litteraturgenomgång av översiktsartiklar" Main supervisor.
  • Dr Maria Gavelin 2016 VESTA "Gynnsamt samarbete? Några öppenvårdsgynekologers syn på samarbetet med primärvården i Stockholmsregionen." Main supervisor.
  • Ms Bridget Fernando 2014-2015 Scholarly Selective “Between a rock and a hard place”: Management of Hazara refugee mental health in General Practice. Co-supervisor with Dr Phyllis Lau
  • Ms Sahema Saberi 2014 Honours degree Understanding primary mental health care access and utilisation among young Hazara refugees living in Melbourne Co-supervisor with Dr. Phyllis Lau


Doctor of Philosophy 2006
The University of Lund (Sweden), Faculty of Medicine
Thesis title: Cultural Discord in a Medical Context: A Challenge for Physicians. Supervisor: Dr Margareta Troein


Doctor of Medicine 2006

University of Lund, Sweden, Faculty of Medicine


Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology)1999
New York University, School of Arts and Sciences, New York, NY USA
• Graduated magna cum laude
• NYU Scholars Award, Deans List of Honors

Academic honours, awards and prizes


  • Research Travel Grant 2013 Swedish Society of Medicine
  • The Hennerlofska Fund 2004 Swedish Society of Medicine
  • NYU Scholars Award, Deans List of Honors 1999 New York University, School of Arts and Sciences, New York, NY USA
  • Graduated magna cum laude 1999 New York University, School of Arts and Sciences, New York, NY USA