Presentation - Christine Gustafsson

PhD, Registered Nurse Teacher, Associate professor and R&D coordinator at the Social Contract, Mälardalen Competence Center of Health and Social Welfare. Research interests are: older people’s health and social welfare, health and welfare technology, everyday life for adults and older people with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities and one of the creators of the interactive robot pet, JustoCat©. I am a member of the research group PriLiv (Prolonged independent Living).


PUBLICATION LIST Publication list (docx 34 kB)


I was born in 1967 in the municipality of Eskilstuna, Sweden. After more than 10 years as a practicing RN and university studies, I started my academic career at Mälardalen University in 2000. In spring 2004, I was accepted as a PhD student at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. In November 2009, I was awarded my PhD in gerontology nursing.

Health and Social Welfare Technology
RoboCat-JustoCat – There is currently no cure for dementia. The Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment [SBU] emphasizes that research in the context of dementia should focus on caring and nursing to improve the wellbeing of persons who are affected by the disease in various ways. This includes the patient, family members and professional care givers. SBU advocates alternative forms of treatment such as art, music, dancing, singing, massage and pets. However, it is not always possible to have a pet, not only because of concern for the animal’s welfare but also because of problems related to having pets in care institutions. Risks include allergies, risk of the animal being roughly treated and the inherent risk of injury to the person with dementia. Similarly, the risk of spreading contagion is relevant. Because of all these reasons, JustoCat© was developed.




JustoCat© was developed in collaboration between me (as a researcher in the caring sciences), Lars Asplund (tenured professor of computer science/robotics) and discussions with professional care givers at Attendo Care Eskilshem, in Eskilstuna. The accepted method of reminiscence, using memories of earlier life, used in care of persons suffering from severe dementia and with good memories of cats was used as a point of departure. JustoCat© features are similar to a living cat; however, it is easy to change/wash its fur and it will be marketed at an affordable cost. An initial pilot study has shown very good results.





The project is supported by the Social Contract, MinSTInnovation Mälardalen, Idélab, NovaMedTech and Robotdalen. JustoCat has been nominated as the innovation of the year by Eskilstuna’s marketing association (Marknads-föreningen) and Munktell Science Park. It has also been nominated for the Västerås Golden award. Research group: Christine Gustafsson, Marcus Persson and Camilla Svanberg

ALAIKT [aj laijk it] – Living and working with ICT (information- and communication technology) in elderly care and the care of people with disabilities. This includes the work of PhD student, Charlotta Åkerlind. Her PhD project comprises e-home care for older people focusing on communication, health, safety and security. The project is being conducted in co-operation with and co-funded by Västerås municipality. Research group:  PhD student, Charlotta Åkerlind, Professor Lene Martin and Christine Gustafsson. Charlotta Åkerlind had her public defence of her PhD thesis in November 207. The thesis is aviable at 

Furthermore, the ongoing construction of the Collaboration Arena of Health and Social Welfare Technology at Mälardalen University is worth mentioning. The Arena is an internal initiative involving subjects and departments in cross collaboration and which will generate research projects focusing on the user perspective. The Arena will also be a "gateway" to collaborating with external partners in the area of health and welfare technology.

HV3D (Hjälpmedel och välfärdsteknik i 3 dimensioner: Assistive technology and welfare technology in 3 dimensions)

The overall project aim is to work out a merged model to show that a form of assistive technology or welfare technology provides possible qualitative, quantitative and structural effects. The model is asked for in the county councils and municipal organizations for health care and social services and is expected to describe the predictable or achieved effects on an individual level, organizational level and the community level (economy). Simplified, the project can be described with the following issues HV3D project aims to answer:

  • What is the cost of implementing new assistive technology and welfare technology in health care and social services and how can the economy effects be predicted?
  • How should organizations / structures look to for the best results in the implementation of new assistive technology and welfare technology?
  • What facilities new assistive technology and welfare technology for individuals (patients / users, relatives and staff) in terms of safety, activity, independence, function, participation, quality of life and well-being?

Project leader Christine Gustafsson

Research group: associate professor Lucia Crevani, senior lecturer Michela Cozza, PhD student Katarina Baudin, senior lecturer Viktoria Zander, associate professor Maria Müllersdorf and senior lecturer Angelina Sundström.

The project is funded by: Swedens' national networ for assistive technology managers, The Social Contract, Regional Association of Sörmland and  Sparbankstiftelsen Rekarne.

Support to people with intellectual disability - the individual’s everyday life - transitions in sheltered accommodation, is a research project (intervention and pilot study) launched by Eskilstuna municipality. The project’s overall aim is to increase residents’ (adults with moderate to severe intellectal disabilities) participation, empowerment, independence, and possibilities for development. An intervention with a different, pedagogical approach and way of working (PFA) has been implemented. The work is a co-production between Karin Löwenborg, Anders Lindström, Eskilstuna municipality and Christine Gustafsson.

PFA is included inte the in terreg CB project NURED, please see:

A short video presenting PFA in the NURED project:

In this area, Lena Talman is the PhD student conducting the research for the project: Participation in everyday life for people with profund disabilities. This project is also a collaboration with and co-funded by the municipality of Nyköping. Research group: PhD student, Lena Talman, Professor, Jonas Stier, senior lecturer, Jenny Wilder and Christine Gustafsson. Lena Talman has her public defence of her PhD thesis September 28th, 2018.

Meaningful encounters – Meaningful/significant encounters. Research in this area focuses on meaningful encounters within healthcare. Hundreds of narratives from patients, relatives and healthcare professionals have been analyzed from different perspectives/aims using qualitative research methods. The research has been conducted in collaboration with the journalist and entrepreneur, Catherina Ronsten. Research group: Christine Gustafsson (convener), associate Professor, Ingrid Snellman, and senior lecturer, Lena-Karin Gustafsson.

In January 2017 a new collaboration project with Eskilstuna have started: Måsta äng academic carinig home. More information will come.