Maria Larsson, Professor of Nursing
Maria Larsson was born and raised in Trollhättan. In 1985, she moved to Karlstad to combine studies with sports – she was an elite junior sprinter – at an upper-secondary school with a track and field profile.
She enjoyed living in Värmland and qualified as a nurse at the then Nursing College. After completing her degree in 1993, Maria Larsson worked for a few years with cancer care before she qualified as a specialist oncology nurse at Örebro University.
Maria Larsson taught nursing at the then Department of Healthcare at Karlstad University before she started her doctoral studies at the same department in 2001. She obtained her PhD in nursing in 2006 with the dissertation “Eating problems in patients with head and neck cancer treated with radiotherapy: Needs, problems and support during the trajectory of care.” After completing her doctorate, she worked as clinical lecturer and coordinator of the nursing programme at Karlstad University, and she has been head of the subject nursing since 2017. She has developed undergraduate and doctoral courses in her research areas, thus contributing to the rapid conversion of research results into education and nursing practice. She regards this as essential.
“The aim of nursing as a science is to develop knowledge that contribute to high quality care of those people who need it. My research is practice-based and focuses on developing human-centred cancer care in consultation with patients, relatives and healthcare professionals. This involves developing evidence-based knowledge on the components and design of nursing to meet the need of patients and relatives for safe, secure and equal care, now and in future.”
Maria Larsson’s research has largely dealt with the importance of nurses’ cancer care at specialist clinics, as well as the national initiative to provide each cancer patient with a contact nurse. More recently, she started an international research programme that aims to develop interventions and models for high-quality palliative care.
“The development of new types of cancer treatment means that more and more people receive treatment and live with side effects and many complex symptoms of the illness and its treatment. I am passionate about developing cancer care that fulfils patients’ and relatives’ needs for support and care. I strive to conduct cross-disciplinary research in close collaboration with the healthcare providers. This increase the chances of obtaining results that can be directly used by individual patients and relatives, as well as the profession as a whole.”
Maria Larsson’s family consists of her spouse Roger and the teenagers Sarah, Agnes and Henrik. In her free time, she recharges by coaching a group of track and field juniors at IF Göta Karlstad and tending her garden in Alster.