Mari Lundberg

A prominent feature of my professional life has been health promotion, first as a clinical physiotherapist and then as a teacher, researcher and leader with an interdisciplinary profile in the field of health: a professorship in physiotherapy, a PhD in orthopaedics and a BSc in psychology.

In my capacity as pedagogical leader, I have taught, supervised and directed at all levels of the educational structure at Gothenburg University, Karolinska Institutet and Swedish Institute for Health Sciences. And as the concept of lifelong learning is very close to my heart, I have also engaged with trade unions, clinics and not-for-profit associations on learning and continuing professional development.

As a researcher, I have set up two groups. Back in Motion is an interdisciplinary and international group that studies how people with pain can live a healthy, active life. Our studies cover an entire lifespan, from childhood to old age.

As visiting professor at Gothenburg University I also lead a research group called GPCC Learning and Education, which I set up to research learning, pedagogical tools and educational activities produced to support the switch to person-centred care.

Current projects

Get Back – a person-centred prehabilitation programme for the most vulnerable patients due for spinal surgery
The project is expected to increase patients’ participation in the preparations for spinal surgery. A digital programme is expected to contribute to improved function and health for such patients.
Role: Project leader
Financed by: AFA

Back off – a person-centred programme to help young people with back pain live a healthy, active life
The project examines whether Back-Off – a person-centred digital knowledge-support concept – elevates patients’ understanding of pain and confidence in their own ability and improves function, physical activity and health in young people with back pain.
Role: Principal supervisor Anna Ahlqwist, University of Gothenburg
Financed by: The Healthcare Committee, Region Västra Götaland

Pain modulation in young people with hypermobility syndrome
The aim is to examine the effectiveness of the pain system (central pain modulation) and its impact on physical activity, physical function and participation in young people with symptomatic hypermobility in order to develop more efficacious therapy.
Role: Principal supervisor Elke Schubert Hjalmarsson, University of Gothenburg
Financed by: The Healthcare Committee, Region Västra Götaland

Early, accessible rehabilitation focusing on returning to work with chronic pain
A study examining whether early person-centred intervention in the home via distance consultation and an e-health platform can be a cost-effective means of enhancing patients’ confidence in their own ability compared to standard treatment.
Role: Co-supervisors Veronica Lilja and Åse Lundin, University of Gothenburg
Financed by: FORTE (the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare)

Help Overcoming Pain Early (HOPE)
The aim of the project is to promote young people’s confidence in their own ability to handle and influence recurrent pain using a person-centred training programme.
Role: Co-supervisor Ulrika Wallbing, University of Gothenburg
Financed by: Gothenburg University, Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC)

Complicated femur fractures in children and adolescents: stability, residual deformity and recovery of physical function.
This project studies stability after fracture fixation using different types of intra-marrow pins and the effect on gait, physical activity and recovery time after complicated femoral-shaft (diaphyseal) fractures in patients between the ages of 6 and 16.
Role: Co-supervisor Marianne Flinck, University of Gothenburg
Financed by: The Gothenburg Society of Medicine, The Healthcare Committee, Region Västra Götaland

In the joints or in the brain? A study of how the pain system operates in pregnant women and its role in the sensation of pain, physical activity, function and health post-pregnancy.
The aim of this study is to examine how the pain system operates in pregnant women and how its function affects physical activity, function and health in women with residual pelvic pain following pregnancy.
Role: Co-applicant (primary applicant Annelie Gutke)
Financed by: The Healthcare Committee, Region Västra Götaland

Mari Lundberg

Head of department, Professor, RPT

Department of Health promotion

Telephone number
+46 8 406 20 91

Mobile number



Title of thesis
Kinesiophobia – various aspects of moving with musculoskeletal pain

About Mari Lundberg

Member of the Sophiahemmet University management group

Has published over 50 scientific papers

Has received over SEK 30 million in external grants

Currently supervising eight PhD students (has supervised four to graduation)

Visiting professor of physiotherapy, Vrije University, Brussels

Visiting professor of care science (specialising in person-centred care), Department of Health and Care Science, University of Gothenburg

Member of the steering committee of University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC)

Has sat on international and national boards (chair of the International Association for the Study of Pain; chair of the Swedish Association of Physiotherapists’ pain section; vice-chairperson of the Swedish Pain Forum; board member of the Swedish Association of Physiotherapists)

Former director of studies at the Vårdal Institute (the Swedish Institute for Health Sciences)

Assistant editor of the Physical Therapy Journal (American Physical Therapy Association)