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Irene Jensen


About me

My current position is professor of corporate health and head of the Division of Intervention and Implementation research for worker health. The aim of the research conducted in my group is to contribute to improve working conditions and environment for employers and employees where health, well-being and productivity goes hand in hand. Facilitating this supports the development of  healthy work places. To enable the translation of research into practice my group work in close cooperation with partners, i.e. end users of our research results, organized as practice based research network.  My special area of interest is work place interventions to prevent work related illness and the promotion of work ability. A further interest is work-health economics, an area where the economic aspects from an employer perspective is considered.

Commisons of trust

Member of a scientific council and expert advisory board for the institute for evaluation of labour market and education policy Member of a scientific council and expert advisory board for the Ministry of social affairs, Swedish government concerning rehabilitation and sick leave Member of a scientific council and expert advisory board for the Ministry of Employment, Swedish government concerning work environment Scientific advisor within the AFA Insurance program Work & Health Member of the Scientific Council for the Development of Back Rehabilitation Centres in Stockholm County council Board member of the Swedish Society of Behavioural Medicine Member of Cochrane Collaboration Musculoskeletal Working Group on Back Pain. Member in an international task force Sex, gender and Pain within IASP. Member of expert group on sick leave in the the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care. Member of an international expert group within EU of chronic back problems (COST). Co-chair within a task force in the EU Work Life 2000. Implementation and dissemination of guidelines.

Research description

The research is multidisciplinary and focused on developing and evaluating interventions in order to identify cost-effective methods for improving occupational health, and to scientifically study how methods can be implemented cost-effectively in society. Implementation of research findings in to society - so-called evidence-based practice (EBP) - is a relatively new and undeveloped research area. Implementation research is about studying processes for implementation and developing effective methods for changing and introducing new ways of working. Evaluation of implementation into everyday practice is essential and a tool for improving processes and compliance with new methods. Evaluation of implementation should include both process analysis, effect evaluation in terms of behavioral change and quality of performance, as well as measurement of the effects the intervention is expected to generate i.e employee sickness absence, lifestyle, health, etc. My research team has developed methods for cost-effective interventions for back pain and methods for reducing sick leave while increasing productivity in companies. Our research is conducted in close collaboration with occupational healthcare, the parties of the labor market, industry, insurance companies, municipalities, county councils, and more, as a prerequisite for successful implementation of new methods is that research is conducted close to those who will use the methods. I hold Sweden's first professorship in research on occupational healthcare methods, as well as a program support to develop this research area.


Research areas

  • Back and neck pain
  • Stress related illness and common mental disorders
  • Rehabilitation
  • Work site health promotion
  • Psychosocial work environment
  • Workers health
  • Health economics
  • Work health economics
  • Implementation research



  • AFA Försäkring
  • EU
  • Ministry of social affairs
  • MynAK



Psychologist, BSc. in 1985, Örebro University.  PhD in medical science, personal injury prevention. Thesis ‘Non-specific spinal pain. Multidisciplinary intervention, a cognitive-behavioural approach’, 1993 at Karolinska Institute. Associate professor at Karolinska Institutet in 1999. Professor in personal injury prevention in 2004 and Professor in corporate health in 2011,  at Karolinska Institutet.

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