Karin Törnbom

Senior Lecturer

Department of Social Work
Visiting address
Sprängkullsgatan 25
41123 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 720
40530 Göteborg

About Karin Törnbom

Research areas:

My research focus is on participation in society and everyday life for persons with long-term medical conditions. The main aim is to raise awareness of psychosocial aspects related to living with a long-term condition, an area that is not very much acknowledged in medical research. I have primarily focused on participation in the labor market and the public arena, as well as in family life, leisure, and informal networks.

To enable participatory-driven research designs, I often work in close collaboration with patient partners and with methods that highlight transparency and equality for example, the photovoice method.

Ongoing research projects:

I am part of an ongoing collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and the Region Västra Götaland in a research project concerning a collaborative model for health professionals who work closely with persons diagnosed with burnout syndrome.

As part of a collaborative project involving primary care, the University of Gothenburg and the Chalmers Centre for Healthcare Improvement, I supervise doctoral students in qualitative methodology. This project investigates sick leave and the return to work process.

I am also part of a collaboration between Rehabilitation Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy and the University of Gothenburg, following up persons who have received intensive care for covid-19. We are currently investigating experiences of residual symptoms and how they are managed in everyday life, at six months and one-year follow-up. We are also looking at their return to work and contacts with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

I am a member of the research platform Social Work, Health and Ill Health at the Department of Social Work. Members of the group share a common interest in issues concerning the psychosocial gradient of health and ill health.


My educational activities primarily involve teaching at the program for social work, with focus on psychosocial work as well as theory, methods, and ethical issues. I also supervise examination projects at various levels. My teaching concerns perspectives on mental illness and theories that are important for psychosocial counselling in general and for health and ill health in particular. I teach an advanced course in quantitative and mixed methods. I am co-leader for the course “Elderly and Ageing” at the basic level and for “Client engagements, methods, and ethics I and II” at the new Master of Science in Health Care Counselling program.