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Forte invests significantly in methods for geographically targeted public health interventions


A method-focused research program led by researchers at the Department of Social Medicine and Public Health has secured 24 million SEK through Forte’s special call for prevention and public health. The program focuses on geographic areas with particularly high needs for targeted public health interventions.

The program will run for six years and is named GeoTIME (Geomapping for Targeted Interventions and Methods for Evaluation). The program aims to establish a nationwide information system to support targeted area-specific public health interventions.

The research program will develop, adapt, and make available methods for identifying local areas with significant needs for targeted public health interventions. The program will also create methods for evaluating such interventions.

Interventions within the healthcare system

The primary focus is on preventive and health-promoting interventions within the healthcare system, says Ulf Strömberg, adjunct professor in epidemiological methods at the Institute of Medicine:

Picture of Ulf Strömberg
Ulf Strömberg, adjunct professor at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.
Photo: Privat

“Our specific research questions are: What registry data and statistical signals can be used to pinpoint areas with a high disease burden and low participation in organized screening programs? What evaluation designs for targeted interventions should be applied? What obstacles and facilitators exist for implementing an information system to target interventions?”

In addition to Ulf Strömberg, the group behind the research program includes Carl Bonander and Mikael Svensson. Johanna Gustavsson at Karlstad University is also a core member of the research program. Furthermore, several researchers within the Sahlgrenska Academy will contribute to the program.

“We will collaborate with Ola Bratt regarding organized prostate cancer testing, with Göran Bergström regarding cardiovascular prevention, and with Bo Jacobsson and Teresia Svanvik regarding the prevention of adverse pregnancy and newborn outcomes”, says Ulf Strömberg.

Registers and databases

The researchers will use sociodemographic data for statistical areas (DeSO) from Statistics Sweden (SCB), as well as corresponding geographically divided data on disease outcomes and screening participation from national and regional quality registers.

“The methods that the program will result in should describe geographic variations in various health-related outcomes in the population, as well as in participation in organized screening programs. The program will also design and evaluate targeted public health interventions. Empirical studies will build knowledge about targeted interventions, such as those aimed at improving participation in organized screening programs for cancer diseases”, says Ulf Strömberg.