Axel Wolf leaning against a fence. He is smiling.
Photo: Elin Lindström

Axel Wolf new Director of the Centre for Person-centred Care GPCC


ASSIGNMENT. Axel Wolf, Professor at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, has now become the new Centre Director of the University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC). The Centre has recently had funding granted for a third period and is continuing to expand its international collaboration.

Gathering more than 200 Swedish and international researchers and patient co-researchers, the GPCC is a national interdisciplinary research centre which was established under the Government’s strategic research initiative in 2010.

“The GPCC’s vision is sustainable health through sustainable care,” says Axel Wolf. “We work to create high-quality knowledge and to facilitate the knowledge translation of person-centred care into healthcare services to strengthen the efficiency of healthcare and to prevent and reduce suffering.

The cornerstone of Sweden’s transition to integrated care

The GPCC has scored highly in several evaluations by amongst others the Swedish Research Council.  Axel Wolf points out that it is the largest centre in Sweden in its field.

“The GPCC has made crucial contributions to the transformation of health and social care and person-centred care is now a cornerstone of Sweden’s ongoing transition to integrated care,” he says.

“Our researchers have conducted many controlled studies which show that person-centred care provides significantly better outcomes for the patient and for the healthcare organisation. Their work has led to several prominent publications in journals such as the Lancet and the BMJ,” says Axel Wolf.

Since it was founded in 2010, the Centre has had a clear utilization strategy, focusing on how the research can be implemented into healthcare practice. In 2020, a standard for patient involvement in person-centred care was adopted at European level on the initiative of the GPCC. This standard facilitates the introduction of and research into person-centred care. It also promotes professional development. It is the first international standard of its kind, in that it sets out the minimum requirements for patient involvement. The GPCC is now one of the driving forces behind furthering these international collaborations.

Involved from day one

Axel Wolf’s connection to the GPCC began during his doctoral studies, when his main supervisor was the Centre’s first Director, Senior Professor Inger Ekman. There are two tracks to his own research: opioid-free anaesthesia and person-centred treatment methods that reduce the use of opioids before, during and after surgery, and reducing involuntary loneliness among the elderly. He was recently appointed Professor of Anaesthesia Nursing at the University of Gothenburg, a position he combines with employment as a Senior Consultant at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is also a Professor of Anaesthesia Nursing at OsloMet University in Norway.

Axel Wolf takes over from the former Centre Director, Professor Joakim Öhlén, who will continue to serve on the GPCC steering group. Joakim Öhlén is also in charge of co-ordinating the first global conference on person-centred care, which will take place in Gothenburg on 14–16 May, 2024.