In Norway, the health and social services employ some 130,000 people, and public expenditure in this sector amounts to NOK 95 billion or €10 billion a year. For researchers, documenting the quality and effectiveness of these services is of great interest.


The research group for Coordination and Quality within the Health- and Social Services studies public health and social services at the national and municipal level, examining the extent to which these services function together. As a result of the Coordination Reform, the specialist services, the general practitioners, and the municipal health and care services work more closely together than before. The research group takes a particular interest in the effects of the Coordination Reform and in what the various services actually encompass. The researchers also study the structures in which the health- and social services are embedded.

The research group was established in connection with the launching of a master’s programme in health- and social services at the Sogn og Fjordane University College in 2013, and the first postgraduate students earned their degrees in 2015. The research group, which is led by Professor Maj Britt Råholm, consists of approximately 15 staff members from health and social sciences.

Key research topics:

  • Coordination between patients, relatives, and health workers
  • Continuity and coordination within the health and social services, with special emphasis on patient careers and communication at the various service levels
  • Impact of the Coordination Reform on leaders in the municipal health and social services
  • Health workers’ perceptions of competence and challenges within the specialist services and in the municipal health- and social services after the Coordination Reform
  • User participation in the health and social services, in quality enhancement efforts, and in research
  • The role of professionals in developing the health and social services

Selected research projects

CareLead is a Scandinavian research project pertaining to leadership within elderly care. As a part of this project, researchers map the competence of leaders in elderly care and study the leaders’ role in terms of quality assurance and development. They also examine the extent to which good leadership can be the key to innovation in elderly care, with a special emphasis on IT and networking.

A Life in Dignity is a Scandinavian research project on dignity in the health and care services. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and is led by the University College of Oslo and Akershus.

NursComp involves mapping the professional competence of nurses in Sogn og Fjordane county. The mapping comprises the views of nurses, leaders, patients and family members on the competence held by nurses employed in elderly care. The project receives internal funding.

User-based follow-up services for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is a project that seeks to document the wishes and needs of COPD patients for various follow-up services. A patient with COPD is involved in the project. The project has obtained external project funding from The ExtraFoundation for Health and Rehabilitation through the Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organization.

CONCARD is a patient study on continuity within the health and care services. The project examines how PCI blocking patients are followed up after their hospital stay. The project uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods.