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Research Programme on Health and Care Services (2011 - 2015)

This work programme describes the main thematic areas of research, the priorities and instruments that form the basis of the Research Programme on Health and Care Services and the activities of the programme board in the period 2011-2015. The programme is designed to enhance the knowledge base underlying the development of sound, effective health and care services at all levels and to help define targets and instruments that will make it possible to realise this objective.


A key objective of the programme is to study how the municipal health and care services can be strengthened in cooperation with patients’ family members, non-governmental organisations, local communities and the specialist health care services. In so doing, the programme will help to improve the organisation and equitable distribution of health and care services and increase the active participation of users, staff and family members, thereby enhancing the security and welfare of the population.

The programme continues the efforts in health services research, including health economics, and the focus on care services begun during the previous programme period. The programme addresses issues that are closely linked to health policy concerns. The research findings are intended for a wide-ranging target group, and the need for dissemination of information is great. The programme will generate valid, relevant knowledge that provides a better basis for decision-making in the area of health and care policy. In addition to the research community, users of this research include politicians, public health administrators, health care professionals, patients/users and the public-at-large.

Health and care services research encompasses the entire range and all levels of services in the areas of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and care, including practical and personal assistance such as voluntary and family-based care. During the 2011-2015 programme period activities will be focused on the municipal health and care services because this sector is large and will be expanded in the years to come and because the sector has a broad interface with the specialist health care services as well as with families and local communities. Research-based knowledge about these services is limited, and there is a need to develop research expertise in this field.

The programme will give priority to the following thematic areas of research:

Patients and users of the health services
The programme seeks to develop knowledge about the services offered to all users. Special emphasis will be given to services for users with extensive, complex needs, in particular those with complex, chronic illnesses, patients in need of rehabilitation and recipients of home-care services who have long-term disabilities, as well as the elderly’s health and living conditions. As a part of this, the programme will seek to generate insight into the users’ own experiences as well as knowledge about professional service providers and organisations and institutions that provide health and care services.

The programme seeks to increase knowledge about the instruments which can best ensure that patients receive the proper treatment at the right time and in the right place and which create a framework that ensures the patients receive comprehensive, high-quality health and care services.

Management, leadership, planning, financing and prioritising
The programme seeks to increase understanding about the effect of the organisation, leadership, financing and delivery of services on patient safety and the quality, availability and distribution of the services, as well as the degree to which these successfully promote the effective utilisation of resources and exert a positive influence on the living conditions and health of the population.


Written by:
Translators: Connie Stultz/Carol B. Eckmann
Last updated: