Pernilla Åsenlöf

Professor at Department of Women's and Children's Health; Physiotherapy and behavioral medicine

+46 18 471 47 68
Mobile phone:
+46 70 456 28 31
Visiting address:
MTC-huset, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 14B, 1tr
752 37 Uppsala
Postal address:
Akademiska sjukhuset, MTC-huset
751 85 Uppsala
Academic merits:
PhD, Associate Professor
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Vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

Professor in Physiotherapy at the Department of Women's and Children's Health. Clinical affiliation to Uppsala University Hospital.

Principal Investigator for the interdisciplinary research group "Physiotherapy and behavioural medicine" including the interdisicplinary research initiative UPIC where young persons' mental health is the target.


The Behavioural medicine and Physiotherapy research group was established at the Department of Neuroscience in 2008. Members are predominantly registered Physiotherapists, but the interdisciplinary feature of the group has been crucial for its progress within behavioural medicine. Current members include physiotherapists, nurses, dental hygienists and psychologists associated to either the Medical or Social Sciences faculties.

Ongoing research focuses on issues related to adoption and maintenance of health-related behaviours within a bio-psycho-social framework. The understanding of how biological, psychological and social variables interact during development of chronic conditions as well as recovery is the basis for research. Theoretical principles from social cognitive theory and learning psychology are integrated with empirical evidence on prognostic factors of each particular condition studied to create and evaluate tailored behavioural medicine interventions.

A comprehensive future goal is to find optimal matches of assessment strategies, treatments, self-management procedures and individual patient profiles/characteristics. The comprehensive research question is “Who benefit from which dose and content of behavioural medicine treatment at which time point?”Aspects unifying as well as differentiating conditions and patient profiles regarding prerequisites and effects of health behavior interventions are expected.

Ongoing research has two main tracks. Within each track, clinical trials and implementation strategies are emphasized.

Track 1 - Tailored behavioural medicine treatments and musculoskeletal pain

Ongoing projects:

  • Acute Whiplash Associated Disorders - Prognostic factors , Behavioural Medicine Management and Health economic aspects
  • Behavioural medicine treatments for children and adolescents in pain
  • STEP-UP: A randomised controlled trial for the study of a stepped-care model of tailored behavioural medicine pain treatments in primary care.

Track 2 - Tailored behavioural medicine treatments, physical activity and eating behaviours

  • Health behaviour change in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and obesity/overweight

  • PINNs - Integration of patients´ innovations in a professional-supported web-based intervention targeting physical activity. A study among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Increasing physical activity in persons with schizophrenia – a behavioral medicine intervention

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Pernilla Åsenlöf