Background and activities

Research group and major projects:



  • Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, University of Utah, USA (1982)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Work Physiology), University of Trondheim, Norway (1995)

Previous academic positions

  • Post-doc at Div. of Organization and Work Science, NTH, University of Trondheim, Norway (1995-1998)
  • Researcher at Dep. of Public Health and General Practice, NTNU, Norway (2000-2003)
  • Associate professor at Dep. of Public Health and General Practice, NTNU, Norway (2003-2010)
  • Visiting academic at University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (2006-2007)
  • Visting academic at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA (feb-mar 2012)
  • Professor at Dep. of Public Health and General Practice, NTNU, Norway (2010- )


Current research

Research is within common musculoskeletal pain complaints, primarily of the neck, shoulders, and lower back. It has through the years entailed basic science, method development, clinical trials, interventional studies, work rehabilitation and epidemiological cohort studies. Of major current interest is to explore stratified care and artificial intelligence to provide personalized care for common musculoskeletal pain complaints in primary health care. The long-term goal is to promote self-management and individualized treatment strategies for the target groups.

Current and recent research projects:

  • The overall aim of the SupportPrim project is to improve current primary care management of common musculoskeletal disorders, including neck, shoulder, low back, hip, knee and multisite pain, expanding knowledge beyond evidence-based one-size-fits-all recommendations, via stratified care, to personalized care based on a clinical decision support system founded in Artificial Intelligence.

  • The effect of work-related rehabilitation on return-to-work ïn patients sick-listed due to musculoskeletal or mild psychological disorders (The Hysnes project).
  • Developing advanced methods for detailed recordings of physical activity and quantifying sedentary life in the general population (HUNT 4 survey) and clinical settings.
  • Self-management and development of a decision support system - selfBACK -based on predictive computer modelling in low back pain (EU-project 2016-2021, coordinators).


Teaching and supervision

  • Lectures for master and medical students in applied clinical science and research methods and within musculoskeletal disorders topics. Supervising master and PhD students.

Academic activites

  • Reviewer for a number of scientific journals: British Medical Journal, Spine, Journal of Applied Physiology, Journal of Rheumatology, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Manual therapy, Journal of Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, European Journal of Pain, and European Journal of Sports Science.
  • Grant reviewer for South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority for for Northern Norway Regional Health Authority, and reviewer of grant application for The Health Research Board of Ireland.
  • Appointed member of the External Scientific Board of the Swedish FAS centre; the body at work-from problem to potential (Centre of Excellence), Gävle, Sweden, (2011- ).
  • Opponent at seven doctoral dissertations in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
  • Chair of Master in Clinical Health Science at NTNU (2009-2017). Member of the programme board for Master in Health Science and PhD programme boards in Health Science, Community Medicine and the central PhD committee at Faculty of Medicine, NTNU.
  • Head of the Musculoskeletal Research Group at our department (ISM)
  • Member of The National Council for Master and PhD Programs in Health Science, The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institution.
  • Head of the Primary Health Care and Social Medicine Research Group and member of management team at Department of Public Health and General Practice, NTNU.
  • Managed the development of the first Centre of Competence in Physiotherapy Research at NTNU (at the Dep. of Public Health and General Practice).
  • Contributed to raise US $ 18-19 million for previous, ongoing and current collaborative research projects.
  • Awarded price for best research project in 2009 on neck and low back pain by The Norwegian Organization for Spinal Research. Awarded the Musculoskeletal price of 2013 from the Norwegian manual therapy service office.
  • Approx. 60 publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • h-index 22, (Dec. 2018).
  • Chaired scientific sessions at international conferences.
  • Regularly poster and platform presentations at international conferences with review (USA, Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark and Norway).

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications