Elisabeth Björk Brämberg

Elisabeth Björk Brämberg

Principal researcher

Occupational medicine, mixed methods, common mental disorder, rehabilitation, return to work

About me

I'm docent/associate professor in occupational medicine, research group leader and currently hold a senior researcher position at the unit of intervention- and impelmentation research for worker health. 

2008 PhD in caring science. 

Research description

I'm a research group leader at KI, and the overall objective for my research group is to contribute to the development and evaluation of evidence based methods in the field of prevention of sickness absence and rehabilitation of persons on sick leave due to common mental disorders and back/neck pain, i.e. the two main areas dominating registered sickness absence. In addition, I've broad knowledge in qualitative methods and in identifying ethical issues that might arise when using new interventions within health care settings.  

I'm the PI of the project Effects on sick leave of a problem-solving intervention involving employees at risk of developing common mental disorders and their managers (PRIME). We will test a workplace intervention targeting first line managers. The aims are to 1) evaluate the problem solving intervention’s effect on sickness absence among employees at high-risk for future sickness absence due to common mental disorders; 2) evaluate whether and to what extent it was possible to adhere to the intervention’s protocol, the relationship between the intervention’s key elements and the effect outcome,  and to identify the facilitators and barriers to the intervention among supervisors and employees, 3) explore the supervisor’s organizational resources and the employee’s working/private life-balance and the impact on the effect outcome. The study will be conducted as a randomized controlled trial in private sector companies. Funded by AFA Insurance.  The project starts during the autumn 2020 and runs until end of 2023. 

I’m the PI of the project A problem solving based intervention as an intervention in primary health care for facilitating return-to-work among people suffering from common mental disorders – a cluster-randomized trial (PROSA). Problem solving therapy involving the workplace is an evidence-based intervention with promising effects on return-to-work among persons with common mental disorders. A key element is cooperation between the person on sick leave, his/her employer and health care professionals. The aim is to evaluate the effects of problem solving therapy in the Swedish primary health care system in an employed population on sick leave due to common mental disorders. In addition, we will conduct a systematic identification of ethical aspects from the perspectives of different stakeholders concerning a work-focused problem solving intervention and economic evaluation of a work-focused problem solving intervention, compared to care as usual.

The project is conducted by a multidisciplinary research group with researchers from Karolinska Institutet, University of Gothenburg, University of Linköping and University of Groeningen, the Netherlands.

I’m the project leader for Facilitators and barriers to coordination of return to work, and ethical issues which raises from such coordination among employees on sick leave due to common mental disorders. Qualitative design. A multidisciplinary research group with researchers from Karolinska Institutet, university of Uppsala and University of Linköping conduct the project, with funding from AFA Insurance.   

Together with researchers at the unit, I’ve performed evaluations of the national rehabilitation guarantee. In these, we have explored the effects of the guarantee on sick leave, how the guarantee has been implemented nationwide in Sweden and to what extent workplace interventions are implemented and used.  


1998 Reg Nurse

2001 Postgraduate diploma in specialist nursing, district nursing

2008 PhD in Caring Science