AAU Update


PhD defense, Birgitte Lerbæk

The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital are pleased to invite to PhD defense by RN, Cand. Scient. San., Birgitte Lerbæk, who will defend the thesis entitled: Managing physical health in everyday life - An ethnographic study among people with schizophrenia


20.05.2021 kl. 13.00 - 16.00


The PhD defense will take place

Thursday 20 May 2021 at 1 PM (CET)

The defense will be held online via Zoom.
Registration by email to: inst.klinisk.phd@dcm.aau.dk


Professor, Jørgen Aagaard (May 2016 – August 2018)                                   

Clinical Associate Professor, Marlene Briciet Lauritsen (August 2018 – May 2021),
Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University
Psychiatry, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark

Associate Professor, Rikke Jørgensen, Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aalborg University Hospital

Associate Professor, Dr. Andrea McCloughen, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney

Professor, Niels Buus, Relationships Australia NSW; Faculty of Health. Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark; Faculty of Medicine and Health. Sydney Nursing School. University of Sydney.

Clinical Associate Professor, Julie Nordgaard, Centre of Psychiatry Amager, Copenhagen; University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Assessment Committee

Associate Professor, Charlotte Wegener (Chairman), Department of Communication and Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University                                           

Associate Professor, Mari Holen, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University

Professor, Christine Øye, Institutt for Helse- og Omsorgsvitskap, Høgskulen på Vestlandet, Norge


About the PhD thesis

Aim: This research thoroughly investigated aspects of everyday life among a group of people with schizophrenia, to gain insight into how physical health issues were managed.

Methods: The PhD study was designed as an ethnographic study and drew on social constructionism. Nine participants with schizophrenia were recruited at two residential facilities (n=4) and at an outpatient clinic, providing treatment to younger people with newly diagnosed schizophrenia (n=5). Additionally, 27 mental health care professionals contributed with their perspectives on management of physical health in mental health services. Qualitative methods were employed, and four analyses were conducted to explore the data material.

Findings: The participants with schizophrenia experienced debilitating physical health issues in everyday life and two ‘typical’ strategies for managing these were identified. Both management strategies were inexpedient insofar as neither strategy resulted in transition towards better health. They were used repeatedly and constituted an ongoing process in which existing physical health issues and strategies used to manage them in everyday life were sustained.

The findings include an explanatory theory about the complex social processes that were enacted as part of management of physical health in everyday life.

Sustaining factors were identified as interacting in complex, multi-dimensional processes in the social context of everyday life, resulting in a deadlock in which management of debilitating physical health issues with inexpedient strategies, was continuously sustained among the participants with schizophrenia.

There is a need for future research that explores aspects of beneficial management of physical health issues among people with severe mental illness.


Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University


Online via Zoom

Registration Deadline

19.05.2021 kl. 12.00

Register at