Research Group on Pain - DU/Pain

The long-term objective of our group is to build on knowledge and skills to better meet the challenges of tomorrow in relation to prevention, diagnosis and rehabilitation for patients suffering chronic musculoskeletal pain.

DU/Pain at Dalarna University is a research group within Public Health and Sports, which has several externally funded projects. Our focus is chronic pain, which is a major public health problem that means suffering for the individual and huge costs for society.

Pain is defined as:

"An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage."

International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) 2020

In our projects, we work with a wide range of scientific methods for laboratory-based and registry-based research as well as clinical studies. Our group is interdisciplinary (physiotherapists, doctors, psychologists, occupational therapists and engineers).

We work actively to understand and critically evaluate health-related outcome variables from a translational and biopsychosocial perspective.

Research - Registry-Based, Clinical and Laboratory-Based

As part of our registry-based research, we have spent a great deal of time building the database FRIDA (For Research In DAlarna), named after Frida Khalo. The database holds data on approximately 100 000 people with chronic pain. Information is collected from the Swedish National Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation, the Micro Data for Analysis of the Social Insurance Register, (Försäkringskassan), the National Patient Register (Patientregistret), the National Prescribed Drug Register (Läkemedelsregistret); and the Statistics Sweden registry relating to income and education.

In clinical research, we work together with pain rehabilitation clinics in several regions to develop and improve rehabilitation for people with chronic pain.

In our laboratory-based research, we use the Sports and Health Laboratory at Dalarna University, where numerous tests of physical performance and function can be conducted.

A reportage on our research group can be found in the physiotherapy journal SENS no. 2, 2020:

Forskargrupp med fokus på smärta vid Högskolan Dalarna (page 8) (in Swedish)

Chronic Pain – a Major Global Problem

Approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide currently suffer from chronic pain, and this number is on the increase. Within the EU alone, the costs of chronic pain are estimated to be about 560 billion dollars - equal then to SEK 5 200 billion. This can be compared with Sweden's total gross domestic product (GDP), which in 2018 stood at SEK 4 834 billion.

Linda Vixner
Associate Professor Medical Sciences
Björn Äng
Professor Medical Sciences
Professor Medical Sciences
Tony Bohman
Senior Lecturer Medical Sciences
Elena Tseli
Senior Lecturer Medical Sciences
Jens Westergren
Doctoral Student Care Sciences
Doctoral Student Care Sciences
Roger G Nyberg
Senior Lecturer Information and Communications Technology
Senior Lecturer Computer Technology (Leave of Absence)

Andreas Monnier, Postdoctoral researcher at Dalarna University

External member

Riccardo LoMartire, Statistician at Region Dalarna 

Research Projects 

Ett intelligent och patient-specifikt kliniskt beslutsstödsystem med syfte att effektivisera multimodal specialistvård för patienter med långvarig smärta
Start Date: 2023-01-01

Smärta efter hjärtinfarkt - en ökad risk för död?
Start Date: 2021-08-09

eVIS-projektet: utvärdering av eVISualisering av fysisk aktivitet och smärta (eVIS) som tillägg till multimodal smärtrehabilitering
Start Date: 2021-02-01

Långvarig smärta och utveckling av hjärtkärlsjukdom
Start Date: 2020-09-01

Validering av eVIS. Fysisk aktivitet och rörelse hos personer med långvarig smärta. En validerings- och genomförbarhetsstudie, eVIS - ett projekt för att främja fysisk aktivitet med stöd av e-VISualisering(eVIS)
Start Date: 2020-01-01

Effektivitet av multimodal rehabilitering vid långvarig muskuloskeletal smärta
Start Date: 2018-01-01

Fysisk aktivitet, rörelsekontroll och muskelaktivitet hos personer med långvarig smärta
Start Date: 2018-01-01


Vixner, Linda; et al. / High Self‐Reported Levels of Pain 1 Year After a Myocardial Infarction Are Related to Long‐Term All‐Cause Mortality: A SWEDEHEART Study Including 18 376 Patients / 2023 / Article in journal/ Journal of the American Heart Association ( / 2023-09-05

Westergren, Jens; et al. / Acute exercise as active inference in chronic musculoskeletal pain, effects on gait kinematics and muscular activity in patients and healthy participants: a study protocol for a randomised controlled laboratory trial / 2023 / Article in Journal / diva2:1761922 / 2023-06-02

Tseli, Elena; et al. / Evaluation of content validity and feasibility of the eVISualisation of physical activity and pain (eVIS) intervention for patients with chronic pain participating in interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs / 2023 / Article in journal / diva2:1748334 / 2023-04-03

Rönnegård Ann-Sofie; et al. / The association between short-term, chronic localized and chronic widespread pain and risk for cardiovascular disease in the UK Biobank / 2022 / Article in journal / diva2:1677588 / 2022-08-15

Sjöberg Veronica; et al. / Effectiveness of the eVISualisation of physical activity and pain intervention (eVIS) in Swedish Interdisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation Programmes: study protocol for a registry-based randomised controlled clinical trial / 2022 / Article in journal / diva2:1652264 / 2022-04-28

Tseli, Elena; et al. / What Is the Effectiveness of Different Duration Interdisciplinary Treatment Programs in Patients with Chronic Pain? A Large-Scale Longitudinal Register Study / 2020 / Article in journal / diva2:1465022 / 2022-03-29

Lo Martire, Riccardo; et al. / Predictors of Sickness Absence in a Clinical Population With Chronic Pain / 2021 / Article in journal / diva2:1552714 / 2022-01-24

Sjöberg, Veronica; et al. / Wrist-Worn Activity Trackers in Laboratory and Free-Living Settings for Patients With Chronic Pain: Criterion Validity Study / 2021 / Article in journal / diva2:1516859 / 2022-01-13

Lo Martire, Riccardo; et al. / The value of interdisciplinary treatment for sickness absence in chronic pain: A nationwide register-based cohort study. / 2021 / Article in journal / diva2:1582864 / 2021-12-02

Lo Martire, Riccardo; et al. / Psychometric properties of Short Form-36 Health Survey, EuroQol 5-dimensions, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in patients with chronic pain / 2019 / Article in journal / diva2:1362727 / 2021-11-12

Owiredua, C.; et al. / The context matters: A retrospective analysis of life stage at chronic pain onset in relation to pain characteristics and psychosocial outcomes / 2020 / Article in journal / diva2:1503705 / 2021-11-12

Tseli, Elena; et al. / Prognostic factors for improved physical and emotional functioning one year after interdisciplinary rehabilitation in patients with chronic pain: Results from a national quality registry in Sweden / 2020 / Article in journal / diva2:1395802 / 2021-11-12


We collaborate with researchers from:

Örebro University

Linköping University

Karolinska Institutet

University of Gothenburg


Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet)

Personskadeförbundet RTP

Further Research at Dalarna University

Forskargruppen för Mätteknik inom Idrott - Swedish Unit for Metrology in Sports (SUMS) (In Swedish)

Research Public Health and Sports (RePS)

Research about Health and Welfare 

Last reviewed:
Leader of the research group
Linda Vixner
Associate Professor Medical Sciences
Last reviewed: