Katja is professor of psychology at Örebro University, Sweden. She mainly researches how people experience and manage somatic symptoms, such as pain.
Katja is a member of the Center for Health and Medical Psychology (CHAMP), where research is conducted into the importance of psychological factors in developing health, ill-health, and disease.
“We study the psychological underpinnings that drive health or disease. This knowledge is used in clinical assessments as well as in the development of preventive and treatment measures,” says Katja Boersma.
Her research focuses mainly on understanding how individuals experience and manage somatic symptoms, such as pain. She also studies how experience and management methods can play a role in the development of enduring problems.
“My particular interests are in understanding how psychological risk factors, such as fear-avoidance, play a role in the development of chronic pain. I’m also looking at what treatment interventions might help.”
Katja Boersma is involved in both clinical treatment studies and epidemiological and experimental studies focused on the area.
“I’m currently project manager for a randomised controlled treatment study that is investigating the effect of two different forms of cognitive behavioural therapy for people suffering from long-term pain, and at the same time have anxiety and depression problems.”
The study is a collaboration between CHAMP and the Pain and Rehabilitation Center in Linköping.
In addition to leading various research projects, Katja Boersma also teaches in the psychology programme at Örebro University, mainly in health psychology (semester nine) and thesis project (semester ten). She is head of subject for psychology and also teaches behavioural medicine in the doctoral programme.
Abstract: Adressing emotion regulation in the treatment of chronic back pain