Åsa Gamgam Leanderz has a background as a midwife and a painter. Now she is also the first PhD student to start the new postgraduate education at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Skövde.
In November 2022, the University of Skövde was granted the right to issue a doctorate in the field of Health in the Digital Society, the University's second doctoral programme.
Åsa Gamgam Leanderz has held a PhD position at the University of Skövde but conducted her research studies at Jönköping University. On the first of September, Åsa became the first PhD student at the new postgraduate education in Skövde.
“When I first heard about the new postgraduate education, I became interested, and then eager to take part in it. Last spring I decided to transfer my studies to the University of Skövde and it feels good. The area of Health in the digital society fits so well into what I do,” says Åsa Gamgam Leanderz.
The fact that the University now has the right to issue doctoral degrees in the subject of Health sciences means that students at the School of Health Sciences can receive their bachelor’s degree, master’s degree’ and their PhD - all at the University of Skövde.
“We are so happy to finally have our first PhD students in place. In dialogue with our partners, we have identified the area of Health in the digital society as an extremely important field in which to conduct research. Health care is in the process of transitioning from analogue to a more digital operation, where the University can contribute with expertise to the highest degree,” says Susanne Källerwald, Head of the School of Health Sciences.
The impact of digital society on new parents
In her research, Åsa Gamgam Leanderz has interviewed parents about existential health and their well-being in the digital society, in the transition to parenthood.
“My research contributes to increased knowledge about how parenting is affected by a digitised society.”
In her research, she has focused on what parents say about their health in the digital society. Today, for example, it is possible to follow the pregnancy through apps and parents seek support in groups on social media. They are also aware that the smartphone is present, all the time.
“There is a lot that happens in life and becoming a parent can be a transformative experience. I want to know what makes them feel good and investigate whether there is a need for parental support, with a focus on existential health and existential reflection. The results of my study are to be used by health care providers and can increase the understanding of what support parents in the digital society need for a promoted well-being.”
Parallel to her doctoral studies, Åsa Gamgam Leanderz also teaches at the University, currently in the Nursing Programme and the School Nursing Programme.
“Right now I supervise students who are writing their degree theses. The students work with finding out about research at the student level. It is great to be able to contribute with my own experiences because my research is going on at the same time. When I finish the supervision, I continue with my analysis.”
Now Åsa is looking forward to the autumn and to participating in the course "Health in the Sigital Society", which starts in October. She also emphasises the importance of collaboration with other PhD students at the University and looks forward to sharing knowledge and support with her colleagues.
“This research area is highly relevant in today's society, and I look forward to continuing my work here at the University of Skövde. We have a unique research programme that focuses on understanding the digital society and how it affects our health,” concludes Åsa.