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Ásgeir Rúnar Helgason, Associate Professor, Psychology

School:School of Business 
Phone:   Mobile: 00-46-72-5266084 
Email:asgeirrru.is 
asgeirrru.is 
Website:http://www.ru.is/starfsfolk/asgeirr

Curriculum Vitae

 

Name: Ásgeir R. Helgason; Birth date: 1957-11-05; Father of two sons and two stepdaughters.

Nationality:Icelandic; Citizen: Icelandic & Swedish.

 

Courses and degrees:

2005: Cognitive Behavior Therapy – Clinical degree (60 ECTS), Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
2005: Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) – Certificate, Amsterdam.
2002: Associate Professor in Psychology: Evaluated and accepted at two different institutions  
         (Oncology-pathology and Public Health), Karolinska Instituted.
1997: PhD degree, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Sweden.
1995: Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet.
1994: Clinical Sexology, Riksförbundet för sexuell upplysning (RFSU).
1992: Oncological Urology, NLV-course, Karolinska Institutet.
1991: Practical journalism (focus on health and science), MA level, University of Iceland.
1990: Psychology graduate, University of Iceland.
 
Current position: Head Psychologist, Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine.
 
Prior position:
2009-2012: Head research group “Health Promotion”, Karolinska Academy of Public Health.
2006-2009: University Lector, Karolinska Institute, Department of Oncology-Pathology.
1997-2009: Psychologist, Stockholm County Council, Centre for Public Health.
1992-1997: Research Psychologist, Oncology Clinic (Radiumhemmet), Karolinska Hospital.
1989-1996: Acting Chive Information Officer in Nordic collaboration, Icelandic Cancer Society.
1984-1991: Information Officer (health promotion and prevention), Reykjavik Cancer Society, Iceland.
 
Graduated PhD students:
Main supervisor:
* Bragi Skulason:                 Death talk and bereavement: Icelandic men and widowers.  University of Iceland, School of Social Sciences, Iceland 2014.
* Eva Nohlert:                      Smoking Cessation. Treatment intensity and outcome in randomized
clinical trials. Uppsala University, Faculty of Medicine, Sweden 2013.
* Álfgeir L. Kristjansson:      Building the basis for primary prevention: Factors related to cigarette
                                            smoking and alcohol use among adolescents: Karolinska Institutet,
Co. supervisor:                   Department of Public Health Sciences, Sweden 2011
* Tanja Tomson:                  Telephone support for smoking cessation. The Swedish example.
                                            Karolinska Institutet, Public Health Sciences, Sweden 2005
* Sveinbjörn Kristjansson:    Skin cancer prevention. Graduated from Karolinska Institutet,
                                            Department of Oncology Pathology, Sweden 2004. 
* Massoud al-Abany:            Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer. The Swedish example. Karolinska Institutet, Depart. of Oncology Pathology, Sweden 2005.
* Unnur Valdimarsdottir:      The loss of a husband to cancer - additional and avoidable
psychological trauma. Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology
Pathology, Sweden 2004
 
 
Research grants (PI): *Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research. *Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation).  *Swedish Research Council. *Swedish Cancer Society
 
Boards/panels: *Icelandic Research Council (RANNÍS) – Expert Panel for Social Sciences and Public Health. *Landlæknir (Icelandic Surgeon General): Expert panel – tobacco control. *Editorial board: 1) Health Education & Behavior; 2) Tobacco Induced Diseases. *Associate Editor: BMC-Public Health.
 
 
PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS = 66 (last updated 9/11 2014):

Education

2003-2005: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (60 credits), Clinical Degree, Karolinska Institutet.

1997: PhD in Clinical Health Psychology (Prostate Cancer Treatment and Quality of Life – a Three Level Epidemiological Approach) Karolinska Institutet.

1991: Practical Journalism, University of Iceland.

1990: Psychology graduate, University of Iceland.


Career

2009-date: University Lector, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet.
2006-date: Associate Professor, School of Health and Education, Reykjavik University.
2006-date: University Lector, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet.
2002-date: Associate Professor (Psychology) at the Department of Public Health Sciences & the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet.
1997-2009: Psychologist, Stockholm County Counsil, Centre for Public Health.
1992-1997: Research psychologist, Radiumhemmet, Karolinska Hospital.
1989-1996: Acting Chive Information Officer, Icelandic Cancer Society, Nordic Cancer Union (NCU).
1984-1991: Information- and education officer, Reykjavik Cancer Society, Iceland.
1978-1990: Nurse assistant, Icelandic Psychiatric Hospital (Kleppur), (periodically).

RU teaching record

More...

Research

PhD students:

Unnur Valdimarsdottir, Klinisk cancerepimemiologi, , inst. Onkologi-patologi.
The loss of a husband to cancer - additional and avoidable psychological trauma.
Graduated 2003
 
Sveinbjörn Kristjansson, Cancerpreventiva enheten, inst. Onkologi-patologi.
Skin cancer prevention – readiness to change sun-related behaviours.
Graduated 2004
 
Massoud al-Abany , Klinisk Cancerepidemiologi, inst. Onkologi-patologi.
Towards Elimination of Anal-sphincter and Rectal Dysfunction after Radiation Therapy
for Prostate Cancer. Graduated 2004
 
Tanja Tomson, Centrum för tobaksprevention och Centrum för preventiv medicine, inst. för Folkhälsovetenskap. Telephone support for smoking cessation – the Swedish example. Graduated 2005
 
In progress (main supervisor) :
 
Bragi Skulason (PhD student): Widowers – assessing morbidity and mortality 1-7 years after spouse death.
 
Alfgeir Kristjansson (PhD student): Identifying factors influencing health risk behaviours in adolescents.
 
Eva Nohlert (PhD student): Treatment intensity in smoking cessation.
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A selection of current research projects:
 
* Developing and evaluating the Swedish Quit-line (help-line) for tobacco cessation (Sluta-röka-linjen): The aim is to assess factors that may predict outcome in this kind of treatment settings and to assess cost efficiency of different treatment protocols. Data has been collected from over 50.000 smokers. One PhD thesis has been published on the project. The project is ongoing.
 
* To identify factors that may be influenced and can predict well-being in widowers one to three years after the partners death: Data is collected from 250 widows and 250 controls. One PhD student is assigned to the project.
 
Identifying factors influencing health risk behaviours in children and adolescents: Data has been collected from 7000 adolescents aged 15-16 years and 7000 children aged 10-11 years. One PhD student is assigned to the project.
 
* Developing and evaluating the Swedish help-line for alcohol abuse (Alkohollinjen): Data is being collected. One MA student is assigned to the project.
 
* Assessing the prevalence of emotional isolation (having no one to confide in) in Swedish men aged 50-80. Data has been collected from 656 men.
 
* Assessing the effect of treatment intensity in smoking cessation on outcome  – A randomized study. Data has been collected from 300 smokers. One year follow-up published. Long term follow-up (4-5 years) in progress.
 
* Motivational Interviewing (MI) project – A randomized study: Data has been collected from 600 smokers calling the Swedish quitline to assess if educating the counselors in Motivational Interviewing may enhance quit rates in the patient population. Also, the quality of the Motivational Interviewing training is assured by establishing fixed criterion for the treatment using standardized forms and specially trained “coders” who code tape-recorded treatment cessions (MIC-Lab). The project is ongoing.

Honours and grants

Swedish Counsil for Working Life and Social Research. Research grant: 20.000.000 Icelandic kr. (2.000.000 Skr), 2009.

Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation (Hjärt-lungfonden). Research grant: 6.000.000 Icelandic Kr. (600.000 Skr) , 2007.

Swedish Research Counsil (Vetenskapsrådet). Research grant: 9.000.000 Icelandic Kr. (900.000 Skr), 2006.

Rannís (PhD student Bragi Skúlason). Research grant: 1.600.000 Iclandic Kr., 2006.

Landspítalinn (PhD student Bragi Skúlason). Research grant: 1.300.000 Icelandic Kr., 2006.

Stockholm County Council (Folkhälsoanslaget). Research grant: 8.000.000 Icelandic Kr. (815.000 Skr), 2004.

Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden). Research grant: 9.000.000 Icelandic Kr. (900.000 Skr) , 2004.

Best Urological Presentation. 22nd Congress of Scandinavian Association of Urology, 1999.


Subject field

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Quality of Life Research and Symptom Assessment
  • Assessment of Sexual Function
  • Health Promotion
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tobacco and Alcohol quitlines (help lines)
  • Prevention Epidemiology

Publications

Kristjansson AL, Sigfusdottir ID, James JE, Allegrante JP, Helgason AR. Perceived parental reactions and peer respect as predictors of adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use. Addict Behav. 2010 Mar;35 (3):256-9.
 
Nohlert E, Tegelberg A, Tillgren P, Johansson P, Rosenblad A, Helgason AR. Comparison of a high and a low intensity smoking cessation intervention in a dentistry setting in Sweden: a randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2009 Apr 30;9:121.
 
Kristjansson AL, Sigfusdottir ID, Allegrante JP, Helgason AR. Parental divorce and adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use: assessing the importance of family conflict. Acta Paediatr.  2009 Mar;98(3):537-42.
 
Kristjánsson AL, Sigfúsdóttir ID, Allegrante JP, Helgason AR. Adolescent health behavior, contentment in school, and academic achievement. Am J Health Behav. 2009 Jan-Feb;33(1):69-79.
 
Forsberg L, Berman AH, Kallmén H, Hermansson U, Helgason AR. A test of the validity of the motivational interviewing treatment integrity code. Cogn Behav Ther. 2008;37(3):183-91.
 
Kristjansson AL, Sigfusdottir ID, Allegrante JP, Helgason AR. . Social Correlates of Cigarette Smoking Among Icelandic Adolescents; A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study. BMC Public Health, 2008 Mar 7;8:86.
 
Forsberg L, Kallmen H, Hermansson U, Berman H, Helgason AR. Coding counselor behavior in motivational interviewing sessions: Inter-rater reliability for the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Code – Swedish version. Cognitine Behaviour Therapy.  2007;36(3):162-169.
 
Axelsson S, Helgason AR, Lund KE, Adolfsson J. A. Disseminating evidence from health technology assessment: The case of tobacco prevention. Intl. J. Techn. Ass. Health Care. 2006;22(4):500-505.
 
Boldemann C, Gilljam H, Lund KE, Helgason AR. Smoking cessation in general practice: The effects of a quitline. Nic & Tob Research. 2006;8(6):785-790.
 
Tomson T, Toftgård M, Gilljam H, Helgason AR. Symptoms in smokers trying to quit. Tobacco Induced Diseases. 2006;3(2):44-58.
 
Al-Abany M, Helgason AR, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Reliability of assessment of urgency and other symptoms indicating anal spincter, large bowel or urinary dysfunction. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2006;40:397-408.
 
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst C-J, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Need for and access to bereavement support after loss of a husband to urologic cancers: a nationwide follow-up of Swedish widows. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2005;39(4):271-6.
 
Lund KE, Helgason AR. Environmental tobacco smoke in Norwegian homes, 1995 and 2001: changes in reported childrens exposure and parents attitutes and health risk awareness. Eur J Public Health. 2005: 15(2):123-7.
 
Tomson T, Björnström C, Gilljam H, Helgason AR. Are non-responders in a quitline evaluation more likely to be smokers? BMC Public Health. 2005: 23;5(1):52.
 
al-Abany M, Helgason AR, Cronqvist AK, Lind B, Mavroidis P, Wersall P, Lind H, Qvanta E, Steineck G. Toward a definition of a threshold for harmless doses to the anal-sphincter region and the rectum. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005: 61(4):1035-44.
 
Mavroidis P, Al-Abany M, Helgason AR, Agren Cronqvist AK, Wersall P, Lind H, Qvanta E, Theodorou K, Kappas C, Lind BK, Steineck G, Brahme A. Dose-Response Relations for Anal Sphincter Regarding Fecal Leakage and Blood or Phlegm in Stools after Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer Radiobiological Study of 65 Consecutive Patients. Strahlenther Onkol. 2005: 181(5):293-306.
 
Kristjansson S, Ullen H, Helgason AR. The importance of assessing the readiness to change sun-protection behaviours: a population-based study. Eur J Cancer. 2004:40(18):2773-80.
 
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst C-J, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Awareness of husbands impending death from cancer and long-term anxiety in widowhood: a nationwide follow-up. Palliative Medicine 2004: 18:432-433.
 
Helgason AR, Tomson T, Lund KE, Galanti R, Ahnve S, Gilljam H. Factors related to abstinence in a telephone helpline for smoking cessation. European J Public Health 2004: 14;306-310.
 
Tomson T, Helgason AR, Gilljam H. Quitline in smoking cessation – a cost
effectiveness analysis. Int J of Techn Ass in Health Care 2004 : 20;469-474.
 
al-Abany M, Helgason AR, Cronqvist AK, Lind B, Mavroidis P, Wersall P, Lind H,
Qvanta E, Steineck G. Dose to the anal sphincter region and risk of fecal leakage. Acta
Oncol. 2004: 43:117-118.
 
Lund KE, Helgason AR, Andersen M. Changes in reporting on passive smoking by
parents of small children. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004: 124:16-19.
 
Kristjansson S, Branström R, Ullen H, Helgason AR. Transtheoretical model: investigation of adolescents´sunbathing behaviour. Eur J Cancer Prev 2003 :12:501-508.
 
Helgason AR, Lund KE, Adolfsson J, Axelsson S. Tobacco prevention in Swedish dental care. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 2003 :31:378-385.
 
Tomson T, Boupha K, Gilljam H, Helgason AR. Knowledge, attitudes and smoking behavior among Lao doctors. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2003: 34:213-219.
 
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst CJ, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Long-term effects of widowhood after terminal cancer: a Swedish nationwide follow-up. Scand J Public Health 2003:31(1):31-6.
 
Kristjánsson S, Helgason ÁR, Månson-Brame E, Widlund-Ivarson B, Ullén A. "You and your skin": A short duration presentation of skin cancer prevention for teenagers. Health Education Research 2003: 18:88-97.
 
Galanti R, Ivarsson B, Helgason ÁR, Gilljam H. Smoking cessation: Gender on the agenda. Drugs education, prevention and policy 2002: 9:71-84.
 
Helgason ÁR, Lund KE. General practitioners perceived barriers to smoking cessation - results from four Nordic countries. Scand J Public Health 2002: 30:141-147.
Steineck G, Bergmark K, Henningsohn L, Massoud A, Dickman P and Helgason A. Symptom documentation in Cancer Survivors as a Basis for Therapy Modifications.Acta Oncologica 2002: 41:244-252.
 
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst CJ, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. The unrecognised cost of cancer patients unrelieved symptoms: A nationwide follow-up of their surviving partners. Br J Cancer 2002: 86:1540-1545.
 
al-Abany M, Helgason AR, Cronqvist AK, Svensson C, Wersall P, Steineck G. Long- term symptoms after external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer with three or four fields. Acta Oncol 2002: 41:532-542.
 
Helgason ÁR, Lund KE. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure of young children - attitudes and health risk awareness in the Nordic countries. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2001: 3:341-345.
 
Kristjánsson S, Helgason ÁR, Rosdahl I, Holm LE, Ullén H. Readiness to change sun protective behavior. Eur J Cancer Prev 2001: 10;289-296.
 
Helgason ÁR. How to stop smoking - practical guidelines. NetDoctor Iceland. Island 2001.
 
Helgason AR. Tóbaksvarnir (Tobacco prevention - in Icelandic). Geðvernd 2001: 1:33-36.
 
Helgason ÁR, Dickman PW, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Emotional isolation : Prevalence and the effect on well-being among 50-80 year old prostate cancer patients. Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 2001 :35;97-101.
Helgason ÁR, Heimisson P, Lund KE. Treating tobacco addiction. Praxis and barriers amongst Icelandic general practitioners (in Icelandic). The J Icel Med Ass 2001: 87:41-45.
al-Abany M, Steineck G, Agren Cronqvist AK, Helgason ÁR. Improving the preservation of erectile function after external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Radiotherapy and Oncology 2000: 57:201-206.
 
Lund KE, Helgason ÁR. Why do health personnel neglect to talk about passive smoking with parents of small children. J Norwegian Med Association 2000 :120:1622-1626.
Adolfsson J, Helgason ÁR & Steineck G. Quality of life and prostate cancer - Assessment and outcome. In; New Perspectives in Prostate Cancer 2nd edition, Eds: Belldegrun A, Kirby RS, Oliver T, ISIS MEDICAL MEDIA, Oxford, 2000.
 
Lund KE, Anderson M, Bakke P, Gallefoss F and Helgason ÁR. Do health personnel talk about passive smoking with parents of small children? . J Norwegian Med Association 2000 :120:1616-1621.
 
Helgason ÁR, Götberg M. Sexualiteten och dess betydelse för äldre svenska män. Nordisk Geriatrik. 1999: 2:43-47.
 
Helgason ÁR. The importance of intact sexual function for elderly men. The J Icel Med Ass 1999: 85:125-128.
 
Helgason ÁR, Nederfeldt L. Vad vinner du på att sluta röka? (Treatment material for the Swedish quitline – in Swedish) Sluta-röka linjen, Stockholm, 1999.
 
Helgason ÁR, Nederfeldt L. Förbered rökstopp. (Treatment material for the Swedish quitline – in Swedish) Sluta-röka linjen, Stockholm, 1999.
 
Helgason ÁR, Nederfeldt L. Nikotinläkemedel och abstinensbesvär. (Treatment material for the Swedish quitline – in Swedish) Sluta-röka linjen, Stockholm, 1999.
 
Helgason ÁR, Nederfeldt L. Håll ut! (Treatment material for the Swedish quitline – in Swedish) Sluta-röka linjen, Stockholm, 1999.
 
Lund KE, Skrondal A, Vertio H and Helgason ÁR. To what extent do parents strive to protect their children from environmental tobacco smoke in the Nordic countries. - A population based study. Tobacco Control 1998: 7:56-60.
 
Lund KE, Skrondal A, Vertio H, Helgason ÁR. Childrens residential exposure to environmental tobacco smoke varies greatly between the Nordic countries. Scan. J. Soc. Med. 1998: 2:115-120.
 
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Fredrikson M, Steineck G. Distress due to unwanted side-effects of prostate cancer treatment is related to impaired well-being (quality of life). Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 1998: 1:128-133.
 
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Disease specific quality of life in men with prostate cancer - A three level epidemiological approach. Journal of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 1997: 4:213-218.
 
Helgason ÁR, Arver S, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Granath F, Steineck G. “Potency” - validation of self-administered questionnaire information with an objective measure of night-time erections and test-retest reliability. Br. J. Urol. 1997: 81:135-141.
 
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Arver S , Fredrikson M, Steineck G. Factors associated with waning sexual function among elderly men and prostate cancer patients. J. Urol.1997: 158: 155-159.
 
Adolfsson J, Helgason ÁR, Dickman P, Steineck G. Urinary and bowel symptoms in men with and without prostate cancer: Results from an observational study in the Stockholm area.Eur. Urol. 1997: 33:11-16.
 
Helgason ÁR. Prostate Cancer Treatment and Quality of Life - a Three Level Epidemiological Approach (PhD thesis) Stockholm: Karolinska Institute, University Press. Stockholm, 1997.
 
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Arver S, Fredrikson M, Göthberg M, Steineck G. Sexual desire, erection, orgasm and ejaculatory functions and their importance to elderly Swedish men: A population-based study. Age and Ageing.  1996: 25: 285-291.
 
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Fredrikson M, Arver S, Steineck G. Waning sexual function - the most important disease-specific distress for patients with prostate cancer. Br. J. Cancer. 1996: 73: 1417-1421.
 
Helgason ÁR, Fredrikson M, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Decreased sexual capacity after external radiation therapy for prostate cancer impairs quality of life. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys.1995: 32: 33-39.
 
Helgason ÁR, Fredrikson M, Dyba T, Steineck G. Introverts give up smoking more often than extraverts. Person. Indiv. Diff. 1995: 18: 559-60.
 
Helgason ÁR. Smoking cessation - Educational Video for Health Care Personal (45 min.- in Icelandic). Icelandic Cancer Society. Reykjavík, 1992.
 
Helgason ÁR. Methods in smoking cessation and prophylactic measures. In; Handbook in Psychology. Ed. Hördur Thorgilsson and Jakob Smári. Mál og menning. Reykjavík, 1992.
 
Helgason ÁR. Psychoneuroimmunology: An investigation into the effects of stress on the immune system – an experimental animal study (in Icelandic). University of Iceland: University Press. Reykjavík, 1990.