Bild av Pernilla Pergert tagen av Sara Malmberg

Pernilla Pergert

Principal researcher

I am an associate professor and the leader of the “Childhood Cancer Healthcare Research” group performing research in Intercultural Care & Clinical Ethics in paediatric cancer care.

About me

I am an associate professor of Paediatric Care Science and the leader of the “Childhood Cancer Healthcare Research” group at KI. I perform research in Intercultural Care & Clinical Ethics. The research aims at increasing knowledge about the relationships between patients/families and healthcare professionals with different cultures/languages ​​and how ethical difficult situations can be handled. I am also a paediatric nurse specialist and worked for approximately 13 years with paediatric cancer care at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital/Solna (KS). Since 2014, I am on leave from my clinical employment, but I am passionate about paediatric cancer care and I am still working with R & D issues and clinical ethics support (e.g. as a member of a R & D group at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital and as a member of a Nordic working group in ethics in paediatric cancer care).

I am active in several international collaborations, among other things:

  • I am active in the NOPHO/NOBOS working group in ethics (Member 2008-still, Chair 2014-2018), which aims to be a Nordic competence group that develops and disseminates knowledge and methods for ethical support in paediatric oncology.
  • Within SIOP (International Society of Paediatric Oncology) I am active in the Scientific Committee (2018–2021) and the Nursing Steering Committee (Member 2015-2021, Chairman 2016-2018); focused on “improving the lives of children with cancer and their families worldwide.”
  • In the European Clinical Ethics Network (ECEN) I am a member representing Sweden since 2018 and I am also a member of the steering committee (2019-still) 

Areas of interest/competence: paediatric oncology, nursing/healthcare research, intercultural care, clinical ethics, qualitative research, grounded theory.

Research description

My research aims to improve paediatric cancer care. In 2008 I defended my dissertation on transcultural caring relationships in paediatric cancer care. In the Childhood Cancer Healthcare Research group, we perform research in two closely related areas: intercultural care and clinical ethics.

Intercultural care includes studies on experiences of healthcare professionals, patients, parents, and interpreters in childhood cancer care. The results include different obstacles to intercultural care relationships and how they can be handled. A questionnaire on communication over language barriers (CoLB-q) has been developed, translated to the Nordic languages, and used in a Nordic study.

Clinical ethics includes studies on the ethical climate and moral distress, as well as research on ethics case reflection (ECR) rounds in the healthcare team and clinical ethics support for healthcare professionals, patients, and parents in childhood cancer care. Questionnaires on the ethical climate (HECS-S) and moral distress (MDS-R) have, after cultural adaptation and translation to the Nordic languages, been used in Nordic studies in paediatric cancer care. Furthermore, research is carried out to evaluate a training programme in facilitating ECR rounds, as well as specific outcomes of ECR rounds and the effects on patient care.

Teaching portfolio

I teach intercultural care, clinical ethics, and qualitative methodology. In addition, I am the educational leader and examiner of a national education in “Paediatric Oncology Nursing” in cooperation with continuing professional development at KI and The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. I am also responsible for a Nordic educational program in facilitating ECR rounds in the care team, organized by the NOPHO/NOBOS working group in ethics, in collaboration with Bert Molewijk, Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands.

I have completed 18 credits of pedagogical education in higher education.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Paediatric Science, KI, 2008
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing – Paediatric Care (60 credits), KI
  • University Diploma in Childhood Cancer Care (45 c), Gothenburg University, 2007
  • University Certificate in Nursing (120 + 30 c), Stockholm University College of Health Sciences, 1994