Susanne Pettesson

Susanne Pettersson

Affiliated to research

About me

I am a RN, and have been working in rheumatology since 1991. In 2004 I became involved in a clinical research project following the cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the Karolinska University Hospital. In 2012 I defended my thesis “Fatigue, perceived, described and assessed in systemic lupus erythematosus” at KI.

In 2013 I began as Postdoc at Uppsala University, where I stayed for 15 months in the research group of Professor Åsenlöf (Department of Neuroscience, Physiotherapy).

I returned to Karolinska University hospital in April 2014, and got a position as University nurse at the Rheumatology clinic in November the same year. This position was a three year project facilitating the combination of clinic, teaching and research, with affiliation to the research group of Professor Christina Opava. During this period I was also involved in e-Health projects under 4D arthritis, Bridging the gap between health-care and research  .

In 2021 I returned to the reseach group of Professor Elisabet Svenungssons

Between 2017 - 2022 I had the position as Director of Nursing Development, Inflammation and Ageing Theme Karolinska University Hospital.



Additional information:

Vårdsakkunnig sjuksköterska, RPO Reumatiska sjukdomar 2020-2022 sjukdomar 

Research description

My main reseach focus is "Patients' perceptions of concequences of living with chronic conditions", with special interest on illness perceptions and educational needs. I am currently focusing on the patients groups: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antineutrophilic cytoplasmatic antibody associated vasculitis (AAV), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and pulmonary fibrosis. Additionnaly I am participating in a qualitative study with  patients recovering from aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH), and there family members.


Ongoing supervision of PhD-students:

Title: Patient perspective in vasculitis. PhD-student: Annika Granath, RN: registered 2021-05, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University. Main supervisor; professor Elisabet Welin. Co-supervisors: Karuna Dahlberg, Iva Gunnarsson, Susanne Pettersson

Title: Impact of pulmonary fibrosis on daily life. PhD-student: Lisa Carlson, RN, MSc, registrerad 2021-10, Inst Medicin Solna, Karolinska Institutet.  Main supervisor: professor Magnus Sköld. Co-supervisor: Susanne Pettersson.


Other ongoing projects:

Title: Lifestyle changes and experience of prednisolone treatment in persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Marie-Louise Karlsson, RN, MSc, Katerina Chatzidionysiou, associate professor, Susanne Pettersson PhD, RN

Title: Living with vasculitis – patients’ perceptions of symptoms, educational needs and support. Sara Brolin, RN, MSC, Susanne Pettersson, RN, PhD, Iva Gunnarsson, MD, Professor,


Ongoing clinical implementation:

The electronic implementation of the Quick Systemic Lupus Activity Questionnaire (Q-SLAQ): a simplified version of SLAQ for patient-reported disease activity, into the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register



Certificate in Nursing, General Nursing, RN (1988)

BSc in International Nursing (1994)

BSc in Nursing Education (1997)

MSc in Medical Science (2006)

PhD in Medical Science (2012)

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Reumatikerfondens Vårdforskningsstipendium 2016