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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 physical sensations (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 sickleave 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 |  Articles, reviews/surveys |  Conference papers | 

Articles in journals

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.
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.
Engman, L. , Flink, I. , Ekdahl, J. , Boersma, K. & Linton, S. J. (2018). Avoiding or enduring painful sex?: A prospective study of coping and psychosexual function in vulvovaginal pain. European Journal of Pain, 22 (8), 1388-1398.
Edebol-Carlman, H. , Schrooten, M. G. S. , Ljóttson, B. , Boersma, K. , Linton, S. J. & Brummer, R. J. (2018). Cognitive behavioral therapy for irritable bowel syndrome: the effects on state and trait anxiety and the autonomic nervous system during induced rectal distensions - An uncontrolled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 18, 81-91.
Anniko, M. , Boersma, K. , van Wijk, N. P. L. , Byrne, D. & Tillfors, M. (2018). Development of a Shortened Version of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-S): construct validity and sex invariance in a large sample of Swedish adolescents. Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, 6 (1), 4-15.
Mazzer, K. , Bauducco, S. , Linton, S. J. & Boersma, K. (2018). Longitudinal associations between time spent using technology and sleep duration among adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 66, 112-119.
Wurm, M. , Anniko, M. , Tillfors, M. , Flink, I. & Boersma, K. (2018). Musculoskeletal pain in early adolescence: A longitudinal examination of pain prevalence and the role of peer-related stress, worry, and gender. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 111, 76-82.
Carstens, J. K. P. , Boersma, K. , Schrooten, M. G. S. & Linton, S. J. (2017). Effects of validating communication on recall during a pain-task in healthy participants. Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 17, 118-125.
Edebol-Carlman, H. , Ljotsson, B. , Linton, S. J. , Boersma, K. , Schrooten, M. , Repsilber, D. & Brummer, R. J. (2017). Face-to-Face Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Effects on Gastrointestinal and Psychiatric Symptoms. Gastroenterology Research and Practice.
Svanberg, M. , Stålnacke, B. , Enthoven, P. , Brodda-Jansen, G. , Gerdle, B. & Boersma, K. (2017). Impact of emotional distress and pain-related fear on patients with chronic pain: Subgroup analysis of patients referred to multimodal rehabilitation. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 49 (4), 354-361.
Wurm, M. , Klein Strandberg, E. , Lorenz, C. , Tillfors, M. , Buhrman, M. , Holländare, F. & Boersma, K. (2017). Internet delivered transdiagnostic treatment with telephone support for pain patients with emotional comorbidity: a replicated single case study. Internet Interventions, 10, 54-64.
Tseli, E. , Grooten, W. J. A. , Stålnacke, B. , Boersma, K. , Enthoven, P. , Gerdle, B. & Äng, B. O. (2017). Predictors of multidisciplinary rehabilitation outcomes in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. Systematic Reviews, 6 (1).

Articles, reviews/surveys

Tseli, E. , Boersma, K. , Stålnacke, B. , Enthoven, P. , Gerdle, B. , Äng, B. O. & Grooten, W. J. A. (2019). Prognostic Factors for Physical Functioning After Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation in Patients With Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 35 (2), 148-173.

Conference papers

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. Paper presented at World Sleep 2019, Vancouver, Canada, September 20-25, 2019.