Zarina Nahar Kabir

Principal researcher

Associate Professor, Public Health

About me

My research encompasses topics on ageing, mHealth, intimate partner violence and mental health from a public health perspective. I am research group leader of the research group “Caring in Community Care” [https://ki.se/en/nvs/caring-in-community-care]. Some of my projects are listed below.

Research description

Research project: “Care of Family Caregivers of Persons with Dementia: Mobile Application to Alleviate Stress and Improve Quality of Life”. Principal Investigator of collaborative project between Karolinska Institute, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Umeå University, Sweden. This intervention study aims to assess the effectiveness of providing support through a mobile application (app) in reducing stress, depressive symptoms and loneliness thus improving quality of life of family caregivers of persons with dementia living at home in Sweden.

Research project: ‘Impact of maternal perinatal depressive symptoms on infant growth and health in Bangladesh’. Co-principal investigator of a collaborative project between Karolinska Institute (Sweden), Brac University and BRAC (Bangladesh). Using mixed methods, the project aimed to investigate the prevalence, incidence and risk factors of maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms around childbirth and its impact on birth outcomes and infant’s development at 2-3 and 6 months postpartum in rural Bangladesh.

Research project: Co-principal investigator of collaborative project, “Poverty and Health in Ageing”, with ICDDR,B Centre for Health and Population Research, Bangladesh (an international research organization) with the central role for scientific coordination of the project between project members in Bangladesh and Sweden. This study aimed to explore how biological, environmental, and societal factors are interrelated, and how they affect ageing. Its objective was to describe the morbidity pattern, functional status quality of life and use of health care of population aged 60 years and older in a rural area of Bangladesh using survey methods, clinical investigations, cognitive testing and laboratory analyses. One MPhil and two PhD have completed their theses under my supervision using this data.

Education project: ‘Building partnership for better health’. I represented Karolinska Institutet in this project on improving higher education in low-income countries. The European Union financed (through EU-Asia Link Programme) project involves partners from universities in Bangladesh (Brac University), India (Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology), Sweden (Karolinska Institutet), The Netherlands (University of Amsterdam) and the United Kingdom (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

Research project: Scientific and Project Coordinator of a successfully completed multi-centre project (involving Bangladesh, Vietnam, United Kingdom and Sweden), “Primary Health-care in Later Life: Improving Service in Vietnam and Bangladesh” (PHILL), financed by European Commission (2002-2005). The intervention project aimed to improve health and quality of life of elderly people through interventions at primary health care level in rural Bangladesh and Vietnam. Three PhD students have completed their theses under my supervision using this data.

Network building: Initiator and Co-coordinator of International Network on Public Health and Aging (INOPA), a network of eleven academic, government and non-government organisations in eight countries located in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.


Teaching portfolio

Since 2006, I have been involved in teaching mainly in nursing education at different levels and in different capacities. I have taught epidemiology to students of specialist education in district nursing and paediatric nursing. I have conducted seminars with students at the undergraduate level on public health aspects such as health promotion and preventive approaches in nursing. I am currently course leader of the Degree Project (campus and distance) and Research Methodology (distance) course in the advanced nursing programme. Thus, I have experience of pedagogy in both campus and distance learning. I have also served as supervisor and examiner of degree project thesis at the basic and advanced levels. I have experience in course development and administration, and served as deputy director of research education at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society. I have supervised (as main and co-supervisor) a number of PhD students.

I have been course coordinator, teacher and examiner in courses on Epidemiology (KI) as well as Ageing in Public Health (Brac University, Bangladesh).


1983-86, B.A. Honours (Economics), University of Delhi, India

1989-90, M.A. (Gender & Development), Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK

1995-2001, PhD (Epidemiologic Ageing Research/Public Health), Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Associate Professor, Public Health at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Adjunct Professor (2014-16), School of Public Health, Brac University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.