Welcome Markus Saarijärvi!


Welcome to U-CARE, Markus Saarijärvi, who began his role as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of complex interventions at the beginning of October.

Markus Saarijärvi
PhD Markus Saarijärvi

From nurse to postdoc

Markus has a background as a nurse and holds a double degree from the University of Gothenburg and KU Leuven. He wrote his thesis on a person-centered transition program for young people with heart disease transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare. Markus's current project, known as Stepstones-Implement, focuses on implementing this program in pediatric cardiology at six university hospitals in Sweden. Markus is leading the project in collaboration with a research team in Gothenburg.

Researching complex interventions

Markus views his role within U-CARE as an opportunity to advance research on complex interventions in Sweden. Explaining complex interventions, Markus states that they consist of various components working together to bring about behavioral change in patients, staff, or the healthcare system. He suggests that many in Swedish healthcare research engage in complex interventions without realising it.

– If complex interventions are not evaluated properly, Markus says, they become like black boxes. You can put a bunch of things in a box, such as patient education or an information brochure, and get a result. However, you don't always know what's happening inside the black box because you're not examining the processes during the implementation of changes.

Research for the benefit of patients

Markus looks forward to continuing his own research as a postdoctoral researcher but is also enthusiastic about participating in new projects involving different patient groups and innovations. For Markus, it's crucial that the research he conducts benefits patients, and he believes that Swedish healthcare research faces a challenge in this regard.

– We can see that Swedish healthcare faces a significant challenge in terms of competence supply, Markus states. How can we, as researchers, conduct healthcare research that can be clinically applicable when healthcare professionals are not provided with the prerequisites for delivering quality care? We need to rethink how we conduct research and collaborate closely with patients and staff to find a way forward.

Personal interests

Beyond his research, Markus is an active and social person. He enjoys spending his time in nature, socialising with friends, and engaging with culture.

– I love going to gigs! The best one I've seen this year was DJ Peggy Gou at Lollapalooza, but I'm also looking forward to seeing Madonna and Familjen this autumn.

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Last modified: 2023-03-24