Syllabus database for doctoral courses

  • Syllabus database for doctoral courses


Swedish title Sjukfrånvaroforskning: teorier, metoder och begrepp
English title Sickness absence research: theories, methods, and concepts
Course number 2641
Credits 4.5
Responsible KI department Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Specific entry requirements
Grading Passed /Not passed
Established by The Board of Doctoral Education
Established 2012-06-19
Purpose of the course
Intended learning outcomes After succesfully completing this course the doctorial student will be able to:

- have knowledge about the area of sickness absence, in terms of what research that is conducted in various scientific disciplines (e.g. economics, sociology, medicine, management, psychology, law, philosophy, public health) and to be able to relate own research project to this, according to a classification presented at the course.
- have basic knowledge about different scientific methods used in research on sickness absence, with respect to study design, data collection, and data analysis.
- have knowledge about risk factors for sickness absence, consequences of being sickness absent, and factors that hinder or promote return to work.
- have basic knowledge on international as well as historical aspects of sickness insurance systems
- to be able to search for relevant studies in literature databases
- participate in scientific discussions, verbally and in writing, regarding sickness absence and issues in the research area, with regard to perspectives, theories, explanatory models, and concepts.
Contents of the course This multidisciplinary course covers knowledge of sickness absence/disability pension with a focus on theories, methods, and concepts used in such research. Among other things, the theories and methods used in research in medicine, sociology, economics, psychology, law, and management will be presented. Furthermore, the different perspectives within the research area will be considered such as a gender perspective and a social class perspective.
Teaching and learning activities The course begins with three full, mandatory days of lectures by national and international researchers in the field and group work. Thereafter, nine weeks with individual work (studying literature, write a paper (with focus on own project), logbook, etceteras) and group meetings with discussions of central scientific articles within the research area, will follow. In the end, the whole course meets for four additional mandatory days of lectures, group work, and seminaries about the papers the students have written.

Group discussion takes place either at ""real"" meetings, Skype, or discussion forums via the web based forum, Ping Pong. It is necessary that the participants have access to a computer and internet connection.
Compulsory elements To pass the course, active participation in all course days in Stockholm is required, taking active part in the group work and discussions in between the course days, write a summary of the individual logbook, and submitted a paper in due time. Any absence is to be compensated by arrangement with the course leader and may vary depending on which course sections that have been missed.
Examination Examination will take place at the seminars on all the papers during the last days of the course. Each participant is to actively demonstrate that he/she has acquired the above knowledge, skills and attitudes in all the roles as respondent, opponent, and seminar participant.

Students who do not obtain a passing grade in the first examination will be offered a second examination within two months of the final day of the course.
Literature and other teaching material One of the aims of the course is to learn to find and evaluate relevant information in the literature. Therefore, participants are encouraged to search and evaluate the literature, e.g. relevant systematic reviews, websites, scientific articles, and other publications which should be added to those mentioned below.

Alexanderson K, Norlund A. Sickness absence - causes, consequences, and physicians' certification practice. A systematic literature review by the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2004; 32 (Supplement 63):1-263

Försäkringsmedicin. Järvholm, Bengt; Olofsson, Christer, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2006

Löfgren A. Physician´s sickness certification practices. Doktorsavhandling Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet; 2010.

Talmage JB, Melhorn JM. A physician´s guide to return to work. USA: AMA press; 2005.

Pestieau P. The Welfare State in the European Union - economic and social perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2006.

Esping-Andersen G. Why we need a new welfare state. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2002.

Waddell, G; Burton, K: Is work good for your health and well-being?
London : TSO, 2006
Course responsible Kristina Alexanderson
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
08 524 832 00
070-216 20 99

Division of Insurance Medicine
Karolinska Institutet
171 77
Contact person Annika Evolahti
Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Emilie Friberg
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
08-524 832 33

Anna Jervaeus
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society