About Ingemar Engström
Ingemar Engström is an affiliated professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the School of Medical Sciences at Örebro University, and senior consultant and research director at the University Health Care Research Centre (UFC), Region Örebro County.
Ingemar Engström’s researcher portrait is here
Ingemar Engström obtained his PhD at Uppsala University in 1991 with his thesis on psychiatric and social aspects of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease in children and adolescents. He was appointed docent (associate professor) at Uppsala University in 2001 and Örebro University in 2005. He was appointed adjunct professor of medicine with a specialisation in child and adolescent psychiatry at Örebro University in 2004.
Ingemar Engström’s early research interests concerned psychosomatic problems and psychosocial consequences of chronic somatic disease in children and adolescents.
His thesis was on children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel diseases and how such a disease can affect mental health and quality of life. In this thesis, Ingemar showed that mental health is often negatively affected by inflammatory bowel disease, but that this does not necessarily have to be the case. He found significant differences in mental health conditioned by the “ecology” of the disease, that is, factors in the family, school and environment that could counteract the negative effects of the disease. After his thesis, Ingemar came to study similar problems in children and young people with other diseases such as diabetes, chronic headaches and overweight.
Later, Ingemar Engström became particularly interested in the treatment of children and adolescents with eating disorders. He led a multicentre study investigating the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders in Sweden (SAMÄT). This study laid the foundation for the first quality register in the field of psychiatry (RIKSÄT).
In connection with eating disorder research, Ingemar Engström became increasingly interested in the existence of coercive psychiatric care of children and adolescents. This led to a multidisciplinary research project (Forced to help) on coercive psychiatric care of children and adolescents. His involvement in this project strengthened his lifelong interest in medical ethics, resulting in several publications in this field. Articles ranged from the field of psychiatry to encompass all kinds of medical issues in health care. He has also been very active in the field of philosophy and psychiatry.
In 1994, Ingemar Engström was charged with starting the Psychiatric Research Centre (PFC) by the former Örebro County Council (now Region Örebro County) and was its head until 2011. At PFC, the doctoral programme in the field of psychiatric research was made possible through collaboration with Örebro University. The doctoral students’ research project had as its common denominator research in psychiatric treatment. He has been a supervisor for twelve doctoral students based at PFC/UFC, of which eight as principal supervisor and is now supervisor for one doctoral student.
Another research area of interest for Ingemar Engström is the issue of mental health in children and adolescents in Sweden. He has participated in the public debate with his scientific expertise in the field; his main contribution has been to question the prevailing discourse on the increase of mental illness, thus balancing the use of concepts and interpretations of research results in various areas.
With the aid of significant funding by the Swedish Research Council, Ingemar Engström was able to gather a multidisciplinary research group on the ethical and pedagogical aspects of promotion and prevention programmes in Swedish schools regarding mental health (A valuable school).
Ingemar Engström has taught in various medical programmes as well as nursing programmes in Uppsala and Linköping. In 2003, he was closely involved in preparing the application for the permission to award a medical degree at Örebro University as well as with initiating work at the university and in the region. Later he was responsible for thematic studies in “mind-psyche” when the medical degree programme in Örebro started in 2010. Furthermore, he was also responsible for the study programme in medical ethics on the medical degree programme.
Collaboration and appointments
Ingemar Engström has extensive experience in multidisciplinary research, both in the medical research field and with colleagues from the social and behavioural fields. He has experience of being a project manager in several projects in these areas.
He is active in academia as an external reviewer, examining committee member, an external expert in appointments and docent applications as well as a member of various assessment committees for funding bodies such as Swedish Research Council (VR), Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), Swedish Foundation for Health Sciences and Allergy Research (Vårdalstiftelsen), Vinnova, the Swedish Crime Victim Authority, and others.
Ingemar Engström is currently a Swedish delegate in the Nordic Committee on Bioethics (NCBio), member of the Ethical Review Appeals Board for (ÖNEP), a medical expert at the Parliamentary Ombudsmen (JO), senior editor at Acta Paediatrica, member of the Swedish Medical Products Agency’s scientific council, member of project continuity at the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU), along with other tasks.
In addition to these undertakings, Ingemar Engström has often participated in various media contexts, especially in the field of medical ethics. He was awarded Dagens Medicin’s great debate award in 2011 and the Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics ethics award in 2019, which included a well-publicised webinar on medicalisation, “When life becomes a disease”.