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Katja Boersma

Title: Professor School/office: School of Law, Psychology and Social Work


Phone: +46 19 301062

Room: L2641

Katja Boersma

Research subject

Research environments

About Katja Boersma


Katja Boersma is Professor of Psychology and a member of the Center for Health and Medical Psychology (CHAMP). She received a masters in psychology from Groningen University (major in clinical-, minor in social psychology) in the Netherlands in 1998, and is a licensed psychologist in Sweden since 2001. She completed her PhD working at the behavioral medicine unit  of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic at the University Hospital in Örebro and defended her doctoral thesis "Fear and avoidance in the development of a persistent musculoskeletal pain problems. Implications for secondary prevention” in 2005. She is employed at Örebro University since January 2007 and deputy dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences since 2019.


Katja's main research interests concern the fields of health- and clinical psychology and revolve around understanding the role of psychological processes in the experience of somatic symptoms (specifically pain) and its potentially negative consequences. With diverse methodologies she studies the interplay between psychology and somatic symptoms and individual differences in for example emotional suffering, functional disability, overuse of prescription medication and sick leave. A particular focus is on the role of emotions and the regulation of emotions in the development of these problems. An overarching goal is to develop and improve upon methods for the prevention and treatment of chronic pain problems. Another area of ​​research concerns the development of mental ill health among young people. Examples of current research projects and themes are:

1. Treatment development for patients with comorbid emotional and pain problems;

2. Pain problems in youth;

3. Opioid use in chronic pain patients;

4. Prevention of sick leave for pain- and stress related problems;

5. Chronic pain from a life course perspective.



Katja's main teaching responsibilities are within the psychology program at Örebro University. Current areas of teaching are examination and supervision of masters theses (semester 10).


Articles in journals |  Conference papers | 

Articles in journals

Golovchanova, N. , Boersma, K. , Andershed, H. & Hellfeldt, K. (2021). Affective Fear of Crime and Its Association with Depressive Feelings and Life Satisfaction in Advanced Age: Cognitive Emotion Regulation as a Moderator?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (9).
Golovchanova, N. , Andershed, H. , Boersma, K. & Hellfeldt, K. (2021). Perceived reasons of unsafety among independently living older adults in Sweden. Nordic Journal of Criminology.
Golovchanova, N. , Owiredua, C. , Boersma, K. , Andershed, H. & Hellfeldt, K. (2021). Presence of Meaning in Life in Older Men and Women: The Role of Dimensions of Frailty and Social Support. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.
Quinn, P. D. , Fine, K. L. , Rickert, M. E. , Sujan, A. , Boersma, K. , Chang, Z. , Franck, J. , Lichtenstein, P. & et al. (2020). Association of Opioid Prescription Initiation during Adolescence and Young Adulthood with Subsequent Substance-Related Morbidity. JAMA pediatrics, 174 (11), 1048-1055.
Bauducco, S. & Boersma, K. (2020). Interventioner för att förebygga sömnbrist hos tonåringar: fokus på individ eller samhälle?. Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, 97 (5-6), 866-877.
Flink, I. , Reme, S. , Jacobsen, H. B. , Glombiewski, J. , Vlaeyen, J. W. S. , Nicholas, M. K. , Main, C. J. , Peters, M. & et al. (2020). Pain psychology in the 21st century: lessons learned and moving forward. Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 20 (2), 229-238.
Södermark, M. , Linton, S. J. , Hesser, H. , Flink, I. , Gerdle, B. & Boersma, K. (2020). What Works? Processes of Change in a Transdiagnostic Exposure Treatment for Patients with Chronic Pain and Emotional Problems. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 36 (9), 648-657.
Mazzer, K. , Boersma, K. & Linton, S. J. (2019). A longitudinal view of rumination, poor sleep and psychological distress in adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245, 686-696.
Bauducco, S. , Bayram Özdemir, S. , Özdemir, M. & Boersma, K. (2019). Adolescents' sleep trajectories over time: school stress as a potential risk factor for the development of chronic sleep problems. Sleep Medicine, 64 (Suppl. 1), S27-S27.
Quinn, P. D. , Rickert, M. E. , Franck, J. , Sariaslan, A. , Boersma, K. , Lichtenstein, P. , Larsson, H. & DʼOnofrio, B. M. (2019). Associations of mental health and family background with opioid analgesic therapy: a nationwide Swedish register-based study. Pain, 160 (11), 2464-2472.
Boersma, K. , Flink, I. & Linton, S. J. (2019). Considering the interpersonal context of pain catastrophizing. Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 20 (1), 9-10.
Grooten, W. J. A. , Tseli, E. , Äng, B. O. , Boersma, K. , Stålnacke, B. , Gerdle, B. & Enthoven, P. (2019). Elaborating on the assessment of the risk of bias in prognostic studies in pain rehabilitation using QUIPS—aspects of interrater agreement. Diagnostic and Prognostic Research, 3.
Quinn, P. , Rickert, M. , Boersma, K. , Lichtenstein, P. , Larsson, H. & D'Onofrio, B. (2019). Prescription opioid analgesic receipt among adolescents and young adults and subsequent substance abuse. Behavior Genetics, 49 (6), 538-538.
Flink, I. , Boersma, K. , Klein-Strandberg, E. & Linton, S. J. (2019). Responding to social cues: An experimental paradigm exploring the link between context sensitivity and pain. British Journal of Health Psychology, 24 (2), 443-459.
Gerdle, B. , Åkerblom, S. , Stålnacke, B. , Jansen, G. B. , Enthoven, P. , Ernberg, M. , Dong, H. , Äng, B. O. & et al. (2019). The importance of emotional distress, cognitive behavioural factors and pain for life impact at baseline and for outcomes after rehabilitation - a SQRP study of more than 20,000 chronic pain patients. Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 19 (4), 693-711.

Conference papers

Golovchanova, N. , Boersma, K. , Andershed, H. & Hellfeldt, K. (2021). Affective fear of crime and its associations with depressive feelings and life satisfaction in older adults: Cognitive emotion regulation as a moderator?. In: The Stockholm Criminology Symposium Program & Abstracts. Paper presented at The Stockholm Criminology Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden, June 15-16, 2021 (pp. 29-29). The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå).
Golovchanova, N. , Andershed, H. , Boersma, K. & Hellfeldt, K. (2021). Feelings of unsafety and well-being in advanced age. Paper presented at 25th Nordic Gerontology Congress, Reykjavik, Iceland, (Virtual Congress), June 2-4, 2021.