Catrine Kostenius
Catrine Kostenius

Catrine Kostenius

Professor, of Health Science
Luleå University of Technology
Division of Nursing and Medical Technology
Department of Health Sciences
+46 (0)920 493288
S312 Luleå

Presentation of myself

My background is in child health care and education with special interest in health promotion. I work as a Professor of Health Science at Luleå University of Technology building bridges between the university and the surrounding community. In my role as "Flexit Researcher" at the Municipalities of Norrbotten I lead the research project Collaborative Health Work for Children and Young People in Norrbotten.  This can be linked to programs at the Department of Art, Communication and Education and the Department of Health Sciences. I am also Affiliated Professor of Education with a health focus at Halmstad University. Together with colleagues I have during the past few years developed the Health Guidance Program, which offers a bachelor's degree in health promotion.




Marcus Liwicki, Catrine Kostenius and Karolina Parding, professors at Luleå University of Technology.

Chat Pal

ChatPal is a three-year, interdisciplinary research and development project that is supported by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Program in collaboration with the municipalities of Norrbotten and the Norrbotten Region. The international partners are the University of Eastern Finland, the Cork Institute of Technology, Ulster University and a number of health care players in Scotland, Finland and Northern Ireland. Luleå University of Technology professors Karolina Parding, Catrine Kostenius and Marcus Liwicki will carry out the project together with several colleagues from their respective research groups. ChatPal project included in the investment Health School in Norrbotten, which is conducted in cooperation with the municipalities in Norrbotten, Region Norrbotten and Luleå University.

Catrine Kostenius newcomers
A fruitful research collaboration connecting researchers from the north and south of Sweden include Associate Professor Ebba Sundin, Professor Eva-Carin Lindgren, Professor Catrine Kostenius, Assistant Professor Pelle Pelters, Master student Dilana Lopez Borbon and Associate Professor Krister Hertting.

Newcomers – research collaboration with focus on newly arrived migrants has received support

The health of newly arrived migrants focusing on LGBTQ issues and integration has received support from Jane and Dan Olsson Foundation and the Swedish Ministry of Youth and Civil Affairs (MUCF). Professor Catrine Kostenius from Luleå University of Technology, who is also affiliated professor at Halmstad University and flexit-researcher at Norrbotten Association of Local Authorities is very happy about this. She is going to meet newly arrived migrants together with her colleagues. The interdisciplinary research group also consists of researchers from Halmstad University; Ebba Sundin, Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies, Eva-Carin Lindgren Professor of Sport Science with Health Promotion focus, Pelle Pelters, Assistant Professor of Health Education, Dilana Lopez Borbon, Master Student in Global Health and Krister Hertting, Associate Professor of Education.

They explain that in Sweden which is increasingly multicultural newly arrived migrants, whether refugees or persons with a residence permit, are one of society's most vulnerable groups. Among newly arrived LGBTQ persons, questions about unequal health are further raised. More knowledge is needed about how newly arrived LGBTQ persons experience their health and the integration efforts that many of them have participated in. The aim of the project is to illuminate and understand the importance of health in integration efforts for newly arrived LGBTQ persons. The newly arrived who the project is all about will be co-creators in qualitative studies consisting of focus groups and interactive interviews. Researchers from northern and western parts of Sweden are proud of the fact that they have looked arms, created a fruitful cooperation and are able to develop this project together with the newly arrived migrants.

3 May 2018 Bookslips, cake and important discussions about social challenges and opportunities to meet these! Åsa Ericsson, Patrik Söderholm, Catrine Kostenius, Jan Johansson, Lydia Kokkola, Johan Frishammar and Vinit Parida.
Photo: Erica Lång

Book about meeting current social challenges

Now the book Addressing Societal Challenges released in which I wrote the chapter Future Health is published and it's time for book release on May 3rd at 13.00 in A3011 at LTU.
Read more about the invitation on this link and spread to those you think are interested. The book can also be downloaded in pdf format:

To help me answer the question How can we view health in the future? During the past year I have invited  colleagues at LTU and local, regional, national and international partners to discussions about the subject future health. Many have participated in discussions in different forums, talked with me individually or been part of research groups who shared their research publications. As an in-house researcher at Norrbotten Association of Local Authorities many of my thoughts have been confirmed, such as the importance of collaboration and co-creation in research, so that the results will be possible to implement and sustainable in the long run. The chapter is by no means comprehensive but provides some examples of research that may be interesting to build on.

Are you interested then save the date 3/5 when I and the other authors present the content of the book and reflect on LTU's future research in a number of areas, including future. We finish with the coffee so for planning reasons please register via the link above.
Warmly welcome!

Photo: Erica Lång

International award for best article 2017

Article Health literacy in an age of technology - schoolchildren's experiences and ideas is about children and young people's perspective on health education. It was named the best article 2017 in the research journal International Journal of Health Promotion and Education.
The article is written by Catrine Kostenius, Ulrika Bergmark and Krister Hertting.

Health promotion for over 50,000 children and young people in Norrbotten

Through the collaboration Health school, the health of Norrbotten's children and young people will be promoted.

School of Health in Norrbotten

Health and learning goes together! Yes, that's true!
We asked ourselves, what can we do to support the over 51,000 children and young people between 0-19 years living in Norrbotten to be feel well and get an education enabling them to live a good life? We know that health is not equal, some groups are more vulnerable than others, how can we reduce the differences? What specific challenges are we faced with living in the Arctic region of the world? Participation not only makes us feel good but it also increases the possibility of change and long-term development. There are many who work with or work for children and young people's health and education, professionals in schools, the health care and social services, not to mention parents and guardians. How could all these actors interact? Clear goals and a common direction increase the motivation and opportunities to achieve the desirable, so how would a common agenda in Norrbotten look to promote children and young people's health and learning?
We will be open to thinking outside the box with the participants without ready made answers and solutions. Hopefully the work in the School of Health in Norrbotten can contribute to the answers to some of the above questions and perhaps also come up with some other questions to be considered.


Researchers study health and learning at school

A positive school climate, daily physical activity and trustful relationships between students and adults are a part of the Swedish National Agency for Education´s initiative for developing health promoting schools. Researchers at Luleå University of Technology are involved in two of the research and development projects which have been allocated funds by the agency.

Exciting research project

During the next three years, I will work as a "Flexit Researcher" at the Municipalities of Norrbotten with the project Collaborative Health Work for Children and Young People in Norrbotten. The research project is based on theories of health promotion with the point of departure in empowerment and participatory appreciative action research. The aim of the research project is to describe and understand the participating actors' experiences of health promotion approaches to promote children's and young people's health health, as well as a common agenda to increase health literacy and contribute to health equity in Norrbotten. The participants in the research project comes from Norrbotten and are students in grades 4, 7 and 9 and grade 1 in high school, young people outside the school and the labor market, school leaders, teachers, student health staff and other actors such as the employment services, social services and child and adolescent psychiatry and of course also parents and guardians. 

Photo: Josefin Dahlström
Studenten Josefin Dahlstrom, Lena Nystrom, university teacher, Ake Fagervall, president of Children and Education, Catrine Kostenius and Karin Forsman, development and project manager.

New Project focusing on health and learning

Bildskolelever, Mostphoto

Appreciation and good relationships play an important role in the wellbeing of pupils in school

What is health really about?

During the year Luleå University of Technology organizes popular science lectures at the House of Science in Luleå open for the public. This lecture on health, I held in spring 2017.)


Karin Zingmark, Adjunct Professor in Nursing, Asa Engstrom, Professor and Chaired Professor in Nursing, Maria Larsson Lund, Professor in Occupational therapy and Catrine Kostenius, Professor in Health Science.

Introducing myself

My background is in child healthcare and education with special interest in health promotion. As Professor of Health Science I teach and research​ at Luleå University of Technology. I'm teaching at the Health Guidance Program, where the students' receive a bachelor's degree in health promotion.

Together with my colleague Anna-Karin Lindqvist, I have written the book ”Hälsovägledning – från ord och tanke till handling” (Health Guidance - from words and thoughts to action), which is used as a textbook at the Health Guidance Program.

News - course about an appreciative approach.

Presentation of my research

My research focuses on health promotion and the title of my doctoral dissertation from 2008 is “Giving voice and space for children in health promotion”.

Catrine Kostenius avhandling.jpg

Health Promotion Research - what is going on right now?

Photo: Jarl-Stian Olsen
Professor Darla Castelli (center), at the University of Texas at Austin, welcomed Anna-Karin Lindqvist and Catrine Kostenius (on each side of Castelli). Here, together with two of Professor Castelli's doctoral students (outer left and right).

The power of appreciation – education, ethics and health

Uppskattningens kraft

To make my research available to those who work with children and young people, I wrote together with my colleague Ulrika Bergmark  the book ”Uppskattningens kraft – Lärande, etik och hälsa” (The power of Appreciation- Learning, Ethics and Health), which is used as a textbook at the Health Guidance Programand at the Teacher Education Program at Luleå University of Technology.

In this book the authors presents students' experiences of school and teachers' responsibilities according to the school's steering documents, as a point of departure for school improvement. Students express the importance of caring, trust and participation to increase learning. Teacher's responsibility is to support pupils' learning, to encourage them to develop an ethical approach towards others and to promote health and well-being.

In the book the authors describe how students' experiences and teachers' responsibilities can be merged into something they call an appreciative approach. This means that teachers are developing a number of skills that ultimately aims to increase student achievement and satisfaction at school.

In the book the authors give examples of specific tools to work with an appreciative attitude in school.

The book's purpose is to stimulate the development of the teacher profession in student teachers and already practicing teachers and lead to positive development of an appreciative attitude in the work with students.

In addition school principals, school health personnel and school politicians may have good use of the book because it is based on a series of concrete examples that serve as a basis for reflection and discussion about how schools can become a positive environment.

"School Stinks" ... or?

I work in a research project called "School Stinks" ... or? focusing on giving a voice to children and adolescents experiences of psychosocial health in their learning environment is the focus in this research project. We are a team of researchers from the departments of Art, Communication and Education and Health Science with funding from the Research Council for the 2009 - 2011 conducting a research project. 

Close relationships in the form of trust and respect affect students' health and well- being positively, and the effects of learning depends on both the learning environment the experiences made. A learning situation that encourages interaction and participation are likely to contribute to a positive psychosocial climate increasing well-being of both students and teachers. 

In connection with the discussion of students' experiences of psychosocial health in schools, the focus is at times on dealing with negative aspects of psychosocial health. In contrast to a problem-solving models is the appreciative health perspective, which instead focuses positive aspects and health factors. 

Health on thin ice - promotes physical activity all year round

DSC_6348 Hälsa på hal is 2013.jpg

A team of researchers from Luleå University of Technology has received regional funding to examine how cold, ice, darkness and snow can be used as a resource for good health. The pilot project Health on thin ice will provide a ideas for planning of an attractive outdoor environment that encourages physical activity in cold climates. 

-      We have a hot idea about good health in cold climates, says Catrine echoing Helka–Liisa from Oulo.

A multidisciplinary research team including researchers from Luleå Technical University and colleagues from Trondheim Norwegian University of Science and Oulu University in Finland met last week at Wibergsgården. Catrine Kostenius, Associate Professor in Health Science at the Department of Health Science and Kristina Nilsson, Professor in Architecture, at the unit of Architecture were hosting the event together with Project Manager Mia Tossavianen. The cooperation between the research groups of Health promotion and Architecture have done a pilot project with citiens and professionals in the urban planning and health fields the municipalities of Luleå and Pajala. Now they have joined forces with research colleagues from Finland, Norway and Sweden, and the next step is to use shared knowledge and experiences from to develop a methodology for planning urban environment for good health in cold climates.

-      It feels very exciting collaborating with our neighboring countries sharing good practices and join forces developing useful methodologies combining health and urban planning, says Kristina.

Arctic Children


Since2003 I have been involved in Arctic Children, a research and development project with the overall goal to improve psychosocial health and wellbeing in children and youth. A fruitful collaboration that includes northern parts of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia, which since 2012 has entered the third phase of the project to address the common challenges associated with children and youth’s physicall, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual health through empowerment and information- and communication technology (ICT). 

Catrine_kostenius_BokenArticChildren (2).jpg

Relational Knowledge as a subject

Relational Knowledge should be introduced as a new subject in school, suggests a researcher at Luleå University of Technology. If students achievement in school have to improve should not a sertain topic be studied harder, but the focus should be on creating good relationships.

My contribution on health promotion in a new textbook

The importance of human encounters in health care and to focus on a positive perspective is included in a new textbook among others nursing students.
I have written the chapter Health Promoting meetings and dialogs in primary care. 


Article in journal

Schoolchildren’s play (2020)

A tool for health education
Sjöblom. M, Jacobsson. L, Öhrling. K, Kostenius. C
Health Education Journal, Vol. 79, nr. 1
Conference paper

A method to give voice to young people with experience of mental ill-health (2019)

Lindgren. E, Gabrielsson. S, Kostenius. C
Conference paper

Existential health (2019)

A valuable dimension when promoting health throughout the life-course in Sweden
Kostenius. C, Melder. C
Part of: WAIORA, Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All, 2019
Conference paper

"Hälsoskolan" (2019)

the national government, local authorities and university in a joint effort to promote health literacy in arctic children and youth
Kostenius. C, Lundqvist. C, Nyström. L, Henriksson. A, Nordstrand. A
Part of: WAIORA, Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All, 2019
Conference paper

"On top of the world" (2019)

promoting health and equity in children andyouth in the arctic region
Kostenius. C
Part of: WAIORA, Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All, 2019