Susanne Pettersson 2023

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.

After a Postdoc at Uppsala University in the research group of Professor Åsenlöf (Department of Neuroscience, Physiotherapy). I returned to Karolinska University hospital in 2014, and got a position as University nurse. 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.

Since 2021 I am in the reseach group of Professor Elisabet Svenungsson  Research group Elisabet Svenungsson | Karolinska Institutet (

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

From september 2022 I have a combined position focusing on development and reserch at the Medical Unit Gastroenterolgy-Dermatology-Rheumatology at the Karolinska University hospital and the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register. 



Additional information:

Vårdsakkunnig sjuksköterska, RPO Reumatiska sjukdomar 2020-2024 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 in PhD projects as main-supervisor:

Title: Educational needs, quality of life, and health care support in persons with systemic rheumatic disease. PhD-student: Sara Brolin, RN, MSc, reg. 2023-03, Inst Medicin Solna, Karolinska Institutet. Main supervisor; Susanne Pettersson, Co-supervisors: Iva Gunnarsson, Elisabet Svenungsson.


Ongoing supervision in PhD projects as co-supervisor:

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

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

Title: Lifestyle changes and experience of prednisolone treatment in persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis. PhD-student: Marie-Louise Karlsson, RN, MSc, reg. 2023-04, Inst Medicin Solna, Karolinska Institutet. Main supervisor: Katerina Chatzidionysiou, Co-supervisors: Daniela di Giuseppe, Susanne Pettersson.

Titel: Development and implication of a digital application for PROMs in patients with chronic kidney disease. PhD-student: Jenny Wrackefeldt RN, MSc: reg. 2023-06, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institutet. Main-supervisor: Marie Evans, Co-supervisors: Ylva Trolle Lagerros, Helena Rydell, Susanne Pettersson.



Exemple of 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