Bild av Pernilla Pergert tagen av Sara Malmberg

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.

Pernilla Pergert


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 Pediatric 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 pediatric nurse specialist and worked for approximately 13 years with pediatric 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 pediatric cancer care and I am still working on R & D issues and clinical ethics (e.g. as a member of the R & D group at Highly Specialized Pediatric Medicine and Pediatric Surgery, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Stockholm, and as a member of a Nordic working group in ethics in pediatric 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, Chairman 2014–2018), which aims to be a Nordic competence group that develops and disseminates knowledge and methods for ethical support in pediatric oncology.
  • Within SIOP (International Society of Pediatric Oncology) I am active in the Scientific Committee (2018–2021) and the Nursing Steering Committee (Member 2015–still, 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: pediatric oncology, nursing/healthcare research, intercultural care, clinical ethics, qualitative research, grounded theory.

Research description

My research aims to improve pediatric cancer care. In 2008 I defended my dissertation on transcultural caring relationships in pediatric 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, parents and interpreters in pediatric 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 and used in a national study. The questionnaire has been translated into the Nordic languages and data collection is ongoing.

Clinical ethics include studies on ethically difficult situations in care and how healthcare professionals can handle these through, for example, ethics case reflection rounds (ECRR) in the healthcare team. Questionnaires on the ethical climate (HECS-S) and moral distress (MDS-R) have, after translation and cultural adaptation, been used in a national study in pediatric cancer care. These questionnaires have been translated to the Nordic languages and data collection is ongoing. Furthermore, research is carried out to evaluate a training programme in facilitating ECRR, as well as specific outcomes of ECRR and the effects on patient care.

Teaching portfolio

I teach intercultural care, clinical ethics and qualitative methodology. In addition, I am course coordinator and lecturer of a national education in “Pediatric Oncology for Nurses” in cooperation with continuing professional development at Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. I am also responsible for a Nordic educational program in facilitating ECRR in the care team, organized by a Nordic working group on ethics in pediatric oncology, in collaboration with Bert Molewijk, VU University, Amsterdam.


Doctor of Philosophy in Pediatric Science, KI, 2008

Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing – Pediatric Care, KI, 60 hp

Universitety Diploma in Childhood Cancer Care, Gothenburg University, 2007, 

University Certificate in Nursing, Stockholm University College of Health Sciences, 1994

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