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The research group Heifa (Health and quality of life in a Family Perspective) -  a family centered approach to children’s’ and adolescents’ health  

Heifa’s main goal is to be a leading research group for improving health-related quality of life, health literacy, and coping in children, adolescents and parents through research, clinical development, and interventions. The research group is interdisciplinary, and many of our projects are conducted  collaboration with the municipalities of Agder. We also have a wide national and international network with collaborative projects in several countries.

Our objectives are:

-          Contribute to knowledge-based/scientific service development, evaluation, and implementation in collaboration with primary- and secondary healthcare services.

-          Be a prominent contributor in the dissemination of research on the health of children and adolescents  in various contexts and cultures.

-          Involve children, adolescents, parents, and users in our projects.

-           Be a resurce group in the study of pain, use of pain medication and copinge with pain  in children and adolescents

-          Contribute to development of health technology aimed at promoting the health of children, adolescents, and families.

-          Illuminate the socioeconomic consequences of positively influencing on the health of children and adolescents.

-          Communicate our research to the public and actively participate in public discourse.

-          Be a resource group in the field of qualitative research methodologies, quality-of-life, health literacy research, and systematic literature reviews.




  • Starting Right
  • New Patterns
  • ICanCope with Pain
  • Start Young
  • Womens health and working life
  • OPAL, optimizing parental Health literacy
  • YoungData
  • Social inclusion and use of digital technolog
  • Sleep in parents of premature children
  • OrChid: Oral health care services for Children victims of violence and sexual abuse
  • A non-separation approach for very preterm infants in the delivery room: D
  • Dental health care services for children and adolescents exposed to maltreatment - a project from the Norwegian Children`s House in Kristiansand
  • Fathers’ role in pediatric palliative care
  • Learning activity for nursing students who are learning pre- and postoperative nursing
  • LetsGo (Lifestyle and Empowerment Techniques in Survivorship of Gynecologic Oncology)
  • Community work in Tanzania



Research partners


Unni Mette Köpp, MD, PhD (Sørlandet hospital)

Siv Skarstein, OsloMet

Borghild Løyland, OsloMet

Kirsti Riiser, OsloMet


Mette Spliid Ludvigsen, Randers Regional Hospital, Denmark 

Sandra Nolte, The University of Melbourne, Australia 

Richard Osborne, School of Health Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Jennifer Stinson, SickKids Hospital, and University of  Toronto, Canada

Inger Hallström, Lund University, Sweden

Kajsa Landgren, Lund University, Sweden

Gudrun Kristjansdottir, Reykjavik University, Island

Ruth Nesje, Tanga International Competence Center (TICC), Tanga, Tanzania

Mercy Chiduo, MC (National Institute for Medical Research, Tanga, Tanzania)

Phil Wilson, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Members in the group

Associate members

Unni Mette Köpp, BUA, Sørlandet Hospital

Åshild Tellefsen Haaland, SSHF, ABUP

Jennifer Stinson, SickKids hospital, Toronto Canada

Sandra Nolte, University of Melbourne, Australia

Philip Wilson, University of Aberdeen

Mette Spliid Rasmussen, Aarhus University

Kirsti Riiser, OsloMet



Students in the group