Research program: Digital Shapeshifting

Digital Shapeshifting is a research program within the area of Health-promoting worklife. The aim of the program is to attempt to understand the various ways in which digitalisation can be health-promoting.

The digital transformation of the public sector aims to simplify, improve and increase the accessibility of contact. The digitalisation process has contributed to new possibilities that seemed unimaginable only a few decades ago. On the aggregate level, there is an improved digital access, but far from everyone finds themselves included. Digital exclusion can be understood to be a function of digital familiarity, but it is also related to generational and economical aspects. There are also potential vulnerabilities for individuals, groups, organisations and societies, related to digitalisation and the digital transformation.

Preserving and promoting health in a digitalised world

Throughout history, technological innovations have contributed to societal development, whilst also bringing with them risks and challenges on all levels. Digitalisation has made improved standard of living possible for many people – but at the same time, we see risks when digital technology is incorrectly or ignorantly used; intentionally or unintentionally. In the research program on digitalised work, we investigate the consequences and uses of digital life forms and how digitalisation can contribute to a health-promoting, safe and sustainable society, for example through improved access to information and increased knowledge. The program also seeks to contribute new perspectives and awareness of ethical dilemmas that already exist or may come to exist in daily life, in the interface between humans and digital technology.

Which abilities and conditions are required?

When the contact between individuals and welfare organisations is digitalised, there is a risk that not everyone is able or willing to follow. Some don’t have access to the required technology. Some are at risk of digital exclusion; others use technology in ways that are prohibited. On the highway of digitalisation, we must remember that we all possess different abilities, and operate under different conditions when it comes to finding, understanding, evaluating and using information to preserve and promote health. At the same time, we need to protect ourselves from the risks and even criminal activity that take place in the footsteps of digitalisation.

How can digitalisation contribute to the creation of a health-promoting living environment?

Digitalisation affects people throughout the lifecourse, and may bring social justice and inclusion, but also infringements on personal integrity. The research program accepts the social challenges connected to digital transformation and health-promoting digitalisation, and shows a clear connection to the global sustainable development goals related to digital inclusion formulated in Agenda 2030.

Within the research program ”Digital Shapeshifting” we seek to understand:

  • How can digitalisation help to create and promote a sustainable, health-promoting life and social justice throughout the lifecourse?
  • How can digitalisation be used to support societal functions and collaboration throughout the lifecourse?
  • How can ethical problems and dilemmas that are created within the contact between humans and digital technology be solved, prevented and handled?
  • What possibilities may be created from digitalisation, and how is human health promoted?
  • What are the risks, criminal activities and illicit influences that may arise in the footsteps of digitalisation, and how can we counteract them?

If you are interested in further information about health-promoting digitalisation and how you can contribute to finding the solution to societal challenges, you are very welcome to get in touch with any of the researchers that are part of the program. You can find more information about the program on our homepage.

A selection of ongoing research

  • The dark side of digitalisation in primary care – unannounced careseekers affect the psychosocial work environment
  • Digital educational intervention for nurses within municipal healthcare
  • Digital continuity of patient care




  1. Klarare, A, Wamstad J, Salzmann-Erikson, M., Mattsson, E. (submitted). Social rights in relation to digitalization, mobile phone and internet use – experiences of women in homelessness: a qualitative study.
  2. Olsson, A., Salzmann-Erikson, M., Thunborg, C., (2020). Restraint and seclusion portrayed via images posted on Twitter – what are the implications for healthcare professionals? Cultura de los Cuidados 56, 223-243
  3. Björkman, A. & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2019). Giving advice to callers with mental illness: adaptation among telenurses at Swedish Healthcare Direct. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health & Well-being
  4. Rubensson, A., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2019). A document analysis of how the concept of health is incorporated in care plans when using the nursing diagnosis classification system (NANDA-I) in relation to individuals with bipolar disorder. Scand Journal of Caring Science.
  5. Wilmer, M. & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2018). The only chance of a normal weight life' A qualitative analysis of online forum discussions about bariatric surgery. PLoS One.
  6. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2018). Absorbability, applicability and availability in nursing and care robots: A thematic analysis of Twitter postings Telematics and Informatics, 35(5), 1553-1560..
  7. Björkman, A. & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2018). When all other doors are closed: Telenurses’ experiences of encountering care seekers with mental disorder. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.
  8. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2018). PhD students' presenting, staging and announcing their educational status - An analysis of shared images in social media. Computer & Education, 116, 237-243.
  9. Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2018). Mental health nurses’ use of Twitter for professional purposes during conference participation #acmhn2016. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(2), 804-813. doi: 10.1111/inm.12367
  10. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2018). A descriptive statistical analysis of volume, visibility and attitudes regarding nursing and care robots in social media. Contemporary Nurse, 54(1), 88-96. doi: 10.1080/10376178.2017.138818
  11. Eriksson, H., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2017). Twitter discussions as prediciament of robots in geriatric nursing and forecast of nursing robotics in older care. Contemporary Nurse, 54(1), 97-107.
  12. Björkman, A., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2017). The bidirectional mistrust – Callers’ online discussions about their experiences of using the national telephone advice service. Internet Research.
  13. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2017). Prosperity of nursing care robots - An imperative for the development of new infrastructure and competence for health professions in geriatric care. Journal of Nursing Management 25(6), 486-488
  14. Erikson, H., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2017). The Digital Generation and Nursing Robotics - A Netnographic Study About Nursing Care Robots Posted on Social Media. Nursing Inquiry. 10.1111/nin.12165
  15. Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2017). Work life and family life collide: New fathers seek online support about concerns related to parental leave. Workplace Health & Safety. 10.1177/2165079916666546
  16. Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2016). Spice up your life – Virtual communication on the experiences from using synthetic cannabinoids. Nursing Journal; 21, 112-116 doi: 10.11608/sgnj.2016.21.027
  17. Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2016). Virtual communication about psychiatric intensive care units - social actor representatives claim space on Twitter. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. 10.1111/inm.12253
  18. Salzmann-Erikson, M., & Eriksson, H. (2016). Tech-resistance: The complexity of implementing nursing robots in healthcare workplaces. Contemporary Nurse. doi: 10.1080/10376178.2016.1195237
  19. Eriksson, H., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2016). Cyber Nursing: A conceptual framework. Journal of Research in Nursing, 21(7), 505-514. 10.1177/1744987116661378
  20. Eriksson, H., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2016). Future challenges of robotics and artificial intelligence in nursing: What can we learn from monsters in popular culture?. The Permanente Journal, 20(3). doi: 10.7812/TPP/15-243.
  21. Salzmann-Erikson, M., & Hicdurmaz, D. (2016). Use of Social Media Among Individuals Who Suffer From Post-Traumatic Stress: A Qualitative Analysis of Narratives. Qualitative Health Research, 27(2), 285-294. 10.1177/1049732315627364
  22. Salzmann-Erikson, M., Eriksson, H. (2015). The rise of the avatar: Virtual dimensions of the human in nursing science. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 35(3), 158-164.
  23. Eriksson, H., Salzmann-Erikson, M., & Pringle, K. (2014). Virtual Invisible Men – Shared experiences of early parenthood in an Internet forum for fathers. Culture, Society and Masculinites, 6(1).
  24. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2013). Fathers sharing about early parental support in healthcare - virtual discussions on an Internet forum. Health & Social Care in the Community, 21(4), 381–390. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12028
  25. Eriksson, H., & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2013). Cyber nursing: Health 'experts' approaches in the post-modern era of virtual encounters. International Journal of Nursing Studies 50(3), 335-344.
  26. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2012). LiLEDDA – a six step forum-based netnographic research method for nursing sciences. Aporia – The Nursing Journal, 4(4), 7-19.
  27. Eriksson, H. & Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2012). Supporting a Caring Fatherhood in Cyberspace – An analysis of communication about caring within an online forum for fathers. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Science, 27(1), 63-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.01001.x
  28. Salzmann-Erikson, M. & Eriksson, H. (2011). Torrenting values, feelings and thoughts - cyber nursing and virtual self care in a breast augmentation forum. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 6, 7378. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v6i4.7378.
  29. Olsson, A., Engstrom, M., Skovdahl, K. & Lampic, C (2012). "My, your and our needs for safety and security: relatives' reflections on using information and communication technology in dementia care", Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26(1):104-112.
  30. Olsson, A., Skovdahl, K. & Engström, M (2016). “Using diffusion of innovation theory to describe perceptions of a passive positioning alarm among persons with mild dementia: a repeated interview study”, BMC Geriatrics, 16:3 DOI 10.1186/s12877-016-0183-8.
  31. Olsson, A., Engström, M., Åsenlöf, P., Skovdahl, K., Lampic, C (2015). “Effects of tracking technology on daily life with dementia-three experimental single case studies”. American Journal of Alzheimer´s Disease and other Dementias, 30(1):29-40.
Chapter in books
  1. Salzmann-Erikson, M & Eriksson, H. (2021). Netnography in the Healthcare and nursing sector. In: Netnography Unlimited: Understanding technoculture Using Qualitative Social Media Research (Eds.) R.V. Kozinets & R. Gambetti, New York: Taylor & Francis Group, , 1, ss. 71-82.
  2. Salzmann-Erikson, M. (2014). Cyberomvårdnad i virtuella miljöer. In: H. Eriksson (red). Postmoderna utmaningar och analyser i vårdvetenskap. Stockholm: Studentlitteratur, ss.145-189.årdvetenskap+och+postmodernitet
Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Johan Edqvist Updated: 2022-09-19
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