Current Research Information SysTem In Norway

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User participation in health and welfare services (UPHEW)

Research group manager

Heidi Moen Gjersøe

Responsible units(s)

Faculty of Social Studies


The research group consists of academic staff and PhD-students with special expertise in user participation and collaborative service development within labour and welfare administration, municipal health and social services and child welfare. The group´s expertise includes knowledge of issues regarding users with long-term health challenges and their informal carers, health management, health communication and health literacy. The group´s members have professional backgrounds in health and social sciences and conduct interdisciplinary research. White papers and other governing documents often contain ambitious goals in terms of user participation, but their descriptions of user participation seem to be largely based on an assumption that users are autonomous and informed citizens who make sensible choices. However, the users of health and welfare services do not always fulfil these ideals as their positions may be considered disqualifying for full self-determination. User participation can be seen to be challenged by legal guidelines and professional practice, and at the same time, to challenge the positions of professionals. In addition to contribute new knowledge about barriers to participation, the research group aims to develop innovative and suitable models that may enhance participation for users of health and welfare services. The group therefore works actively with project development to enhance knowledge and action about user participation´s opportunities and possibilities within the fields of health and social care. Our research involves collaboration with users, informal carers, professionals, fellow researchers and educational staff. The research group has developed a project on user participation and interprofessional practice in health and welfare services, which has formed the basis for funding for a PhD-position starting in the autumn of 2020. The group is an offspring of the Norwegian Research Foundation project Challenges of participation when service users´ autonomy is challenged/restricted in health and welfare services (CHAPAR) ( which is headed by professor Tor Slettebø.


Partnership with parents of children in care: a study of collective user participation in child protection services (2013)
Slettebø, Tor
The British Journal of Social Work
Getting Sick and Disabled People off Temporary Benefit Receipt: Strategies and Dilemmas in the Welfare State’s Frontline (2016)
Gjersøe, Heidi Moen
Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies
Partnerships with children in child welfare: The importance of trust and pedagogical support (2018)
Husby, Inger Sofie Dahlø;Slettebø, Tor;Juul, Randi
Child & Family Social Work
Factors affecting user participation for elderly people with dementia living at home. A critical interpretive synthesis of the literature (2018)
Haugen, Ingebjørg;Slettebø, Tor;Ytrehus, Siri
European Journal of Social Work
Doctor in an unfamiliar country - a challenge to professional identity? : interactional experiences of newly employed international medical doctors and Norwegian health personnel (2018)
Skjeggestad, Erik
Universitetet i Oslo
User participation among people with dementia living at home (2018)
Haugen, Ingebjørg;Ytrehus, Siri;Slettebø, Tor
Nordic Social Work Research
Next of kin’s protracted challenges with access to relevant information and involvement opportunities (2019)
Strøm, Anita;Dreyer, Anne
Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Sosial innovasjon og tjenesteutvikling i Barnevernet (2018)
Slettebø, Tor;Van der Meij, Ranveig
Involving relatives in consultations for patients with long-term illnesses: Nurses and physicians’ experiences (2019)
Dreyer, Anne;Strøm, Anita
Nursing Ethics
Dignity-based practices in Norwegian activation work (2019)
Ohls, Carolina
International Journal of Social Welfare
Frontline implementation of welfare conditionality in Norway: A maternalistic practice (2019)
Gjersøe, Heidi Moen;Leseth, Anne;Vilhena, Susana
Social Policy & Administration
How can we describe impact of adult patient participation in health-service development? A scoping review (2020)
Olsson, Ann Britt Sandvin;Strøm, Anita;Haaland-Øverby, Mette;Fredriksen, Kari-Elise;Stenberg, Una
Patient Education and Counseling
Frontline provision of integrated welfare and employment services: Organising for activation competency (2020)
Gjersøe, Heidi Moen
International Journal of Social Welfare
Participant validation: Exploring a contested tool in qualitative research (2020)
Slettebø, Tor
Qualitative Social Work
Time to work – opposing political rationality with young peoples’ experiences of working in a mandatory activation context in Norway (2021)
Gjersøe, Heidi Moen;Leseth, Anne
Journal of Applied Youth Studies (JAYS)
Providing help or restrictions? Frontline workers’ understandings of behavioural conditionality for health-related social insurance and social assistance benefit in a joined-up governance context (2021)
Gjersøe, Heidi Moen
European Journal of Social Work

Affiliated projects/research groups

Challenges of participation (CHAPAR)