Forums for methodology

Here you can read more about three of the forums for methodology within ALC:

Qualitative methods

A distinguishing feature of the qualitative methods forum is that the researchers mainly employ hermeneutical and qualitative approaches in respect of historical and cultural issues relating to ageing. The predominant activity in the group has been – and still is – to read and discuss texts, including both texts from the different members of the group and of a more theoretical character. However, other methodological directions are apparent, with some of the participants of the group using the Linnaeus Database in their research. Furthermore, in order to inspire interdisciplinary discourse within the ALC program, this group has the ambition of introducing various relevant themes and concepts for discussion during the general ALC seminars and workshops. Accordingly, some of the issues which we have discussed within the group have led to proposals for different themes in respect of the larger ALC-seminar.

Some examples of ongoing projects in this group include: Karin Lövgren, who is a post doctor, is working on a project on the meaning of age and ageing in relation to gender, with social media as a point of departure; Anna Sofia Lundgrens is focusing on similar issues as Karin, although she mainly investigates how the notion of an ageing population is, and has been, represented in local (Västerbotten) and national (Swedish) media; Lena Karlsson is working on a project relating to how the colonisation of Sápmi has affected the ageing process amongst the Sami population. Marianne Liliequist is studying the status and social situation (life quality) of the elderly Sami during the 20th century, from a gender and ethnic perspective. Åsa Andersson is examining in which ways historical as well as cultural notions and ideas with respect to ageing find expression in 20th century scientific theories on ageing. Suzanne Ander-Peciva focuses on issues relating to how social and work conditions have affected well-being and health in two generations of men (born in 1913 an 1943). Post doctor Ingeborg Nilsson studies occupational well-being amongst the elderly. Karin Ljuslinder and Kristina Wallander are studying images and representations of the elderly in different kinds of media.

Health oriented methods

Many of the researchers involved in the ALC programme focus on different aspects of ageing and health in their projects. Once every month, some of them meet and discuss issues of health, ageing, research methods and future collaborations. Yulia Blomstedt is the leader and contact person for the group.

Almost all participants of this group use the Linnaeus Database in their research, and the researchers share experiences from working with the data. The plan is to develop effective methods of working with the data, including common approaches to data retrieval, variable creation, etc to facilitate the conduct of various projects as well as to enable guest researchers to work with the Linnaeus data in the future.

The group consists of researchers from the fields of Economics, Epidemiology, Geography, History, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, and Statistics. This allows for many interesting theoretical discussions, such as: what is, ”Health”? Which questions are important to ask in research on health and ageing? When are people healthy? Practical questions include: How to most effectively study various events and factors affecting health during one’s lifespan? Which methods should one use to study particular research questions?

Having discussed research ideas, the group has formed new partnerships and started several projects. The following are examples of projects (ongoing or planned) that have emerged:
• “Men born in 1913 and 1943, comparison with data from Gothenburg University” - Suzanne Ander Peciva, Psychology.
• “Evaluation of the Västerbotten Intervention Programme.” - Göran Lönnberg. Yulia Blomstedt, Margareta Norberg, and Nawi Ng, all Epidemiology: What effect has it had on peoples’ health?
• “Self reported health.” - Yulia Blomstedt, Epidemiology.
• “Social inequality and its effect on health” - Sören Edvinsson, History and Göran Broström, Statistics.
• “Social networks and health in elderly” - Emma Lundholm, Human Geography and Yulia Blomstedt, Epidemiology.
• “Mobility, career and health - How migration affects health in elderly people.” - Gunnar Malmberg, Human Geography, Emma Lundholm, Human Geography, Göran Broström, Statistics , Yulia Blomstedt, Epidemiology.
• “Clustering of risk factors for cardio-vascular diseases,” - Nawi Ng, Epidemiology.
• “Effects of activity-based, health-promoting interventions on elderly peoples’ health” - Ingeborg Nilsson, Occupational Therapy.
• “Patterns and health outcomes of tobacco use related to socio-economical status.” - Margareta Norberg, Epidemiology, Gunnar Malmberg, Human Geography, Göran Broström, Statistics and Nawi Ng, Epidemiology.
• “Self-reported illness, comparing answers to questions on health with data from health examinations.” - Anna Sundström, Psychology.
• “Long distance commuting and its health effects on elderly people.” - Olle Westerlund, Economic.

Yulia Blomstedt is contact person for the Health Group
E-mail: yulia.blomstedt@epiph.umu.se
Phone: +46 90 7866249

Methods on Population Analyis and Longitudinal Data

Methods on Population Analysis and Longitudinal Data is a forum within the ALC for academic and practical discussions on the methods for longitudinal population analysis and on the development of our databases. The group is open for all participants in the Ageing and Living Conditions programme and meetings are organised a few times each semester. The group is led by Gunnar Malmberg and Erling Lundevaller. Usually 5 – 10 people will attend the meetings including the researchers from various disciplines - geography, statistics, economics, epidemiology and psychology - but also the staff working with the data retrievals and the quality control.

Since longitudinal databases are crucial for the ALC research, one important task for this forum is to develop and organise the work based on the Linnaeus Database and other data sources. The group is also responsible for the contacts with Statistics Sweden and other data suppliers and also for writing the application for new data.

Gunnar Malmberg is contact person for the Research group on Population Analysis and Longitudinal Data.
E-mail: gunnar.malmberg@kultmed@umu.se
Phone: +46 90 7865246

Page Editor: Lena Holmberg

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