Prefect Mai Lindstrom and doctoral Silje Gustafsson at the awards ceremony of the Health Sciences price on 19 November. Photo: Jennie Pettersson.

Silje awarded Health Sciences price

Published: 20 November 2014

During Noakdagen received doctoral student Silje Gustafsson prize for her studies of mild disease and self-care. She has provided important knowledge for a fairly unexplored area that has great public interest.

– I was very happy because there are not so many researching this area. This is a proof of what it is important, and that the attention starts to pay on how the little things is associated with the large.

Silje Gustafsson research on self-care for minor illness and how to get people to feel confident to care for themselves, in conditions that do not require medical treatment.

– My research can save time and resources to those with life-threatening illnesses. It is important to understand that the self-care of people is also a form of care.

For the prize money Silje planning to travel to Aberdeen in Scotland where there is a center of academic primary care research. It is a well-established center that conducts outstanding research in primary care, self-care and symptom relief.

– It gives me an opportunity to network and establish new collaborations, and the hope is to be able to benefit from their expertise and experience. Since we are a technical university with a strong focus on e-health and distance solutions, it is not impossible that we can also contribute valuable knowledge to their work, Silje continues.

The Health Sciences price has since 2007 annually been awarded to students for outstanding studies in science at Luleå University og Technology.

Doctoral student Silje Gustafsson receives price. Photo: Jennie Pettersson.


PhD student and specialist nurse Silje Gustafsson awarded this year's health sciences price. Silje Gustafsson conducts studies on mild disease and self-care. To suffer from mild disease is a common phenomenon in many people's lives, and even if the condition is self-limiting, symptoms can have a significant impact on people's ability to work and wellbeing. The largest proportion of mild and transient disease is handled by the individual himself, but many doctor visits required for medical conditions that can be treated with self-care. Advice, as 1177 has been developed to support self-care, and if necessary refer people to the appropriate level of care.
The research project aims to increase the knowledge of what it is like to suffer from mild disease, what knowledge people have about their mild symptoms, and what self-care measures and information channels. The project also focuses on the importance of security, confidence in their own ability and perceived control associated with mild disease and self-care. The supervisor of the study are Stefan Sävenstedt, professor in the Department of Nursing. Silje Gustafsson has chosen an area of research that should be of great interest to the public and which are of relevance to the county as a university. She has over the past year has published two articles, and added key knowledge in a relatively unexplored area.