Maria Fjell


About me

I am a registred nurse and graduated from Karolinska Institutet in 2004. I started my nursing career at a department at Södersjukhuset specialized in emergency- and lung medicine. In the end of 2005, I started working at an outpatient clinic at Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital, mainly with patients with malignant melanoma and later with breast cancer. During my time at Radiumhemmet, I studied to be a specialist nurse in oncology nursing at Karolinska Institutet and graduated in 2009. Since I started working with patients with cancer, the breast cancer care and related research have always been close to my heart and has become a great interest. During my clinically active years, both as a nurse and also as section leader at the Breast- and sarcoma unit at Radiumhemmet, I had the privilege of working together with world-leading researchers in both oncology as well as oncology nursing. This laid the foundation for my interest in research. When the Doctoral School in Health Care Sciences at Karolinska Institutet announced for a PhD Student in a research project in 2014, it became the natural step to take in my career.

During my PhD studies I have also been process manager for breast cancer at the Regional Cancer Center Stockholm-Gotland between 2016 and 2017 and since 2016 I am a member of the Regional Care Program Group for breast cancer. Since 2019 I am a member of the steering committee of the National Quality Registry for Breast cancer (NKBC) and as a member responsible for nursing in the Swedish Breast Cancer Group (SweBCG).



Research description

I am a member of the research group ICare where the research focuses on interaction, information and communication technology (ICT), innovation, intervention and implementation.

My research project (PhONEME breast cancer) and future thesis is a randomized controlled trial in 150 patients with breast cancer. The aim is to evaluate the effects of an interactive app for symptom reporting during treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In short, the patients report symptoms in the app during the treatment period and have access to self-care advice. The health care professionals can monitor the symptoms reported via a connected web-interface as well as manage alerts which are generated if the patients report severe symptoms. Data collection was ungoing between June 2015 and ended in October 2017.

During many years of clinical work as a nurse I had the privilege to meet, support and help patients with breast cancer. When I became a PhD Student I faced a different perspective how this can be done and I was able to study, test and evaluate a tool that can improve both nursing care as well as reduce the distress the treatment causes these patients. This is both an exciting and interesting opportunity.


  • 2014-today Doctoral education, Karolinska Institutet  
  • 2007-2009 Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing – Oncology Nursing, Karolinska Institutet  
  • 2001-2004 Nursing education/Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Karolinska Institutet


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