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First year for Mid University and Judit in SWEAH

Judit på balkong.
Judit Staller on Mid University. Photo: Private

Last year SWEAH got a new partner university, Mid University in Sundsvall and Östersund. Judit Staller is a PhD student at the Department of Health Sciences (HOV) and is now celebrating her first year at the graduate school.

How has the first time been?

- I have had a fruitful year with SWEAH. It felt incredibly stimulating because already from the introduction day in January 2023 I have made meaningful contacts, above all with two other researchers who also explore life stories, Helén Dellqvist from Blekinge Institute of Technology, and Glenn Möllergren, Department of Sociology, at Lund University. We have combined our different perspectives on life stories and worked together with a symposium that we presented at the SWEAH conference in Norrköping last year. They have come a little further in their studies and showed their results and I presented my research plan. The interdisciplinary nature of our research area is inspiring because Glenn brings his social perspective and Helén contributes with her digitization and nursing background. I myself have experience of working with people with dementia and have a long-term eldercare background, says Judit Staller.

She has also taken a course at KI within the framework of SWEAH: "Societal and Life course perspective on inequalities in ageing".

– It was very stimulating and held at a high level, at the same time, both course coordinators were very ambitious to maintain a good atmosphere and hold social gatherings in the evenings between the seminar days. We hade interesting formal and informal conversations.

Judit Staller portrait
Judit Staller. Photo: Private

Judit Staller would like to see and understand how Swedish nurses work when they encounter care users suffering from dementia in eldercare institutions. 

– I am interested in Life story work/reminiscence (LSWR) as a nursing tool which effectively manages Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) in health and social care. I strongly believe that better knowledge in this field would increase the care user's quality of life and the quality of formal and informal care. My research project consists of observational and interview studies using Grounded Theory, one quantitative design using a questionnaire and standardized, validated scales about knowledge of dementia and BPSD among nurses, and finally, a participatory design where, together with nurses, we will create a new method and/or theory how it is best to use LSWR in dementia nursing care.

What does SWEAH mean to you?

SWEAH contributes to increased knowledge and competence in research. It is incredibly important for everyone within SWEAH to make contacts, collaborate and perhaps do something interdisciplinary together in the future.  SWEAH helped me position myself where I fit in with my research in the big research field and made me more confident with my goals and my challenges. I am very grateful to be a part of this big "research family" and will continue to follow the others, perhaps doing joint postdoctoral projects together in the future. And the coordinator, Stina Elfversson, is always eager to help us students whenever needed. It is important to us.

Judit is continuing to be an affiliated PhD student at SWEAH, her doctoral studies will end in 2027.

Why do you think your university wanted to join?

Because it is important that this region, the middle of Sweden, can benefit from the collaboration with new researchers in ageing and health throughout Sweden and internationally. We are ready for future collaborations, says Judit Staller.