Töres Theorell

Töres Theorell
Stockholm University | SU · Stress Research Institute

MD PhD

About

772
Publications
147,794
Reads
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44,470
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2014 - December 2016
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • professor emeritus, previously professor of psychosocial medicine and director of the national institute for psychosocial factors and health
Description
  • I am both scientific consultant at the stress research institute, Stockholm University, and professor emeritus at the department of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet.
October 1980 - present
Stockholm University
Position
  • Previous director 1995-2006

Publications

Publications (772)
Article
Full-text available
This case study presents different strategies that were explored by the patient’s mother when her 17-year- old daughter was diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). ME is not widely recognized in the Global as well as the Swedish population at large, and within healthcare, there are no standardize...
Article
Full-text available
What researchers see in pre-school children’s reactions to live classical piano music, and how this knowledge can be interpreted into a broader societal context, is the focus of this study. The specific purpose was to see how a transdisciplinary group of researchers, interpreted 32 pre-school children’s reactions when listening to a short live clas...
Article
Little is known about how music affects family caregivers who provide care to persons with dementia at home. We examined the effects of an 8-week online music-based intervention on self-reported stress, coping, and depression among dementia family caregivers. Mann-Whitney U test and Wilcoxon signed-ranked tests were performed to examine between- an...
Article
Background Although increasing attention is being paid to cortisol and the sulfated form of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA-S) as stress biomarkers, the feasibility of saliva collection of such biomarkers has yet to be investigated among dementia care dyads (persons with dementia [PWD] and family caregivers) living in a home setting. We explored the f...
Article
Full-text available
Transition to sustainability is a process that requires change on all levels of society from the physical to the psychological. This review takes an interdisciplinary view of the landscapes of research that contribute to the development of pro-social behaviors that align with sustainability goals, or what we call 'inner sustainability'. Engaging in...
Article
Full-text available
Family caregivers who provide care to persons with dementia (PWD) in a home setting may feel greater stress, depressive symptoms, or struggle to deal with issues in their lives. Indeed, PWD often require 24-hour care that includes ensuring safety, providing emotional support, and assistance with activities of daily living and multiple instrumental...
Article
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The author presents eight of his own group’s studies. They have been published from early 1980s until 2016. Each study will be placed in its scientific context and discussed in relation to possible progress in arts and health research. In these examples, statistical methods with longitudinal designs and mostly control groups have been used. Some of...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Music listening can improve acquisition of new knowledge. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the emotional and cognitive effects of a knowledge concert on the attending audience. Methodology: The audience was asked to complete a Visual Analogue Scale (10 cm) before and after listening to the concert, along five variables:...
Article
Full-text available
Background Studies on the association between long working hours and health have captured only a narrow range of outcomes (mainly cardiometabolic diseases and depression) and no outcome-wide studies on this topic are available. To achieve wider scope of potential harm, we examined long working hours as a risk factor for a wide range of disease and...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To examine the association between cognitively stimulating work and subsequent risk of dementia and to identify protein pathways for this association. Design Multicohort study with three sets of analyses. Setting United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. Participants Three associations were examined: cognitive stimulation and dem...
Article
Full-text available
Population ageing and shrinking are demographic phenomena with far-reaching implications for sustainability in the current context of extensive and rapid urbanization. This Perspective rationalizes their interface by (a) identifying the challenges and opportunities that ageing and shrinking urban populations will have for implementing the sustainab...
Article
Full-text available
The rationale was to explore the efficacy/sensitivity of using morning and evening cortisol levels as biomarkers for stress reduction in persons with dementia (PWDs) and their family caregivers (FCGs) participating in a music intervention program. Thirty-two PWD and their FGC were recruited to an 8-week, home-based music intervention program. Daily...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the study is to explore a new research methodology that will improve our understanding of "flow" through indicators of physiological and qualitative state. We examine indicators of "flow" experienced by musicians of a youth string quartet, two women (25, 29) and two men (23, 24). Electrocardiogram (ECG) equipment was used to record h...
Chapter
The authors describe theories underlying the use of fine arts in efforts to improve psychosocial work environments. Direct influence on the emotional brain from strong experiences of arts may start processes that improve the environment via strengthening of empathy. Regeneration and energy mobilization are central concepts. A practical experiment d...
Article
Full-text available
Train and heavy vehicle drivers can experience a traumatic event caused by people attempting suicide by crashing into their vehicles or jumping in front of them. While there are a number of studies on train drivers showing the negative consequences these events can have on their well-being, there are no studies on heavy vehicle drivers involved in...
Article
Full-text available
To examine the relation between long working hours and change in body mass index (BMI). We performed random effects meta-analyses using individual-participant data from 19 cohort studies from Europe, US and Australia (n = 122,078), with a mean of 4.4-year follow-up. Working hours were measured at baseline and categorised as part time (<35 h/week),...
Article
Full-text available
Background Job strain is implicated in many atherosclerotic diseases, but its role in peripheral artery disease ( PAD ) is unclear. We investigated the association of job strain with hospital records of PAD , using individual‐level data from 11 prospective cohort studies from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Methods and Results Jo...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to clarify the relationships between length of overtime work and various stress responses using large-scale cross-sectional data of Japanese workers. This study’s participants are 59,021 Japanese workers in 117 companies. Data was collected by self-reporting questionnaire. The Brief Job Stress Questionnaire was used to measure stres...
Book
This handbook provides a summary of more than two decades of international research on one of the leading theoretical models of work stress research; effort-reward imbalance. Consisting of 3 parts and 8 sub-parts, this essential reference work deals with theory and methods, review of research evidence on health effects, new findings from Asia, Aust...
Book
This handbook provides a summary of more than two decades of international research on one of the leading theoretical models of work stress research; effort-reward imbalance. Consisting of 3 parts and 8 sub-parts, this essential reference work deals with theory and methods, review of research evidence on health effects, new findings from Asia, Aust...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many studies have demonstrated adverse effects of exposure to aircraft noise on health. Possible biological pathways for these effects include hormonal disturbances. Few studies deal with aircraft noise effects on saliva cortisol in adults, and results are inconsistent. Objective: We aimed to assess the effects of aircraft noise expo...
Article
Objective: Every profession has its own safety and health risks. In addition to the risk of being involved in a “normal” road crash, professional heavy vehicle drivers are at risk of becoming victims of people attempting suicide by crashing into their vehicles. Road suicides are not that rare, at least not in Finland, where they represent about 12%...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Several studies have shown that cultural activities may promote health. There are also prospective population studies which show that regular participation in cultural activities could reduce morbidity and mortality. To what extent such associations could be applied to the work arena is not so well known, although findings in a few studies...
Article
Full-text available
The drive to learn and engage in music varies among individuals. Global motivation to do something can be intrinsic, for example, the joy and satisfaction in an activity. But motivation behind our action can also be extrinsic, such as the desire for fame, status or increased financial resources. The type of motivation probably influences to what de...
Article
Objective: Road traffic suicides typically involve a passenger car driver crashing his or her vehicle into a heavy vehicle, because death is almost certain due to the large mass difference between these vehicles. For the same reason, heavy-vehicle drivers typically suffer minor injuries, if any, and have thus received little attention in the resear...
Article
Unlike hypothetical trolley problem studies and an ongoing ethical dilemma with autonomous vehicles, road users can face similar ethical dilemmas in real life. Swerving a heavy vehicle towards the road-side in order to avoid a head-on crash with a much lighter passenger car is often the only option available which could save lives. However, running...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To examine whether physical inactivity is a risk factor for dementia, with attention to the role of cardiometabolic disease in this association and reverse causation bias that arises from changes in physical activity in the preclinical (prodromal) phase of dementia. Design Meta-analysis of 19 prospective observational cohort studies. Da...
Article
Purpose: To examine whether patients' experiences could be improved during colonoscopy by designing the examination room to include a digital screen showing calm nature films. Background: Colonoscopy is the gold standard for examination of the large intestine and the rectum. Around 50% of individuals invited for colorectal cancer screening choos...
Article
Full-text available
Background: We assume that the emotional response to music would correspond to increased levels of arousal, and that the valence of the music exemplified by sad or joyful music would be reflected in the listener, and that calming music would reduce anxiety. This study attempts to characterize the emotional responses to different kinds of listening....
Article
Full-text available
This review provides perspectives on cardiovascular occupational stress research since the 1960s until now. The author argues for closer links between basic science and clinical follow‐up examinations of patients. In an excellent way urinary excretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline during wake hours mirrors day to day or week to week variations in...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the prospective associations between baseline job strain and 10-year cumulative incidence of long-term sickness absence (LTSA) in the German workforce. Methods: This study used longitudinal data from the 2001 to 2011 waves of The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) (n = 9794). Kaplan-Meier survival...
Preprint
Unlike hypothetical trolley problem studies and an ongoing ethical dilemma with autonomous vehicles, road users can face similar ethical dilemmas in real life. Swerving a heavy vehicle towards the road-side in order to avoid a head-on crash with a much lighter passenger car is often the only option available which could save lives. However, running...
Article
Background: Obesity increases the risk of several chronic diseases, but the extent to which the obesity-related loss of disease-free years varies by lifestyle category and across socioeconomic groups is unclear. We estimated the number of years free from major non-communicable diseases in adults who are overweight and obese, compared with those wh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Unlike hypothetical trolley problem studies and an ongoing ethical dilemma with autonomous vehicles, road users can face similar ethical dilemmas in real life. Swerving a heavy vehicle towards the roadside in order to avoid a head-on crash with a much lighter passenger car is often the only option available which could save lives. However, running...
Article
Obesity increases the risk of several chronic diseases, but the extent to which the obesity-related loss of disease-free years varies by lifestyle category and across socioeconomic groups is unclear. We estimated the number of years free from major non-communicable diseases in adults who are overweight and obese, compared with those who are normal...
Article
Objective: Hearing problems are a significant public health concern. It has been suggested that psychological distress may represent both a cause and a consequence of hearing problems. Prospective data that allow testing such potential bi-directionality have thus far been lacking. The present study aimed to address this knowledge gap. Random (RE)...
Article
Full-text available
Background Although some cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines suggest a need to manage work stress in patients with established cardiometabolic disease, the evidence base for this recommendation is weak. We sought to clarify the status of stress as a risk factor in cardiometabolic disease by investigating the associations between work stres...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although some cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines suggest a need to manage work stress in patients with established cardiometabolic disease, the evidence base for this recommendation is weak. We sought to clarify the status of stress as a risk factor in cardiometabolic disease by investigating the associations between work str...
Chapter
This chapter illustrates how researchers reflect on links between music and public health. Music enters the brain in a different way than do conversations based on words, and since the brain tends to react more directly and rapidly to music, this may sometimes create a basis for surprise and unexpected reorientation in life.
Chapter
Our main question is: is there any correlation between a life with music on one hand and ability to handle emotions on the other hand? In order to illuminate this question, we have performed a series of studies on the Swedish Twin Registry.
Book
From the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) comes an exciting source of theoretical approaches, epidemiological findings, and real-life examples regarding the therapeutic and health-enhancing effects of music. Experts across fields including psychology, neurology, music therapy, medicine, and public health review research on the...
Article
To what extent do childhood experiences of music practice influence thinking about music later in life? In this contribution, 27–54-year-old monozygotic twins discordant with regard to piano playing in life were interviewed about music experiences during childhood and adult years. Recordings of heart rate variability were performed continuously dur...
Article
In this exploratory study, we investigated the relationship between office design and employee perception of its contribution to job satisfaction, comfort, and performance. The study includes 4,352 employees in seven different office designs. Associations between workspace satisfaction and perceived access to supportive facilities (ancillary spaces...
Article
Full-text available
In this exploratory study, we investigated the relationship between office design and employee perception of its contribution to job satisfaction, comfort, and performance. The study includes 4,352 employees in seven different office designs. Associations between workspace satisfaction and perceived access to supportive facilities (ancillary spaces...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Demand Control Support Questionnaire (DCSQ) is an established self-reported tool to measure a stressful work environment. Validated German and English versions are however currently missing. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the psychometric properties of German and English versions of the DCSQ among white-collar employ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This systematic review and meta-analysis combined published study-level data and unpublished individual-participant data with the aim of quantifying the relation between long working hours and the onset of depressive symptoms. Methods We searched PubMed and Embase for published prospective cohort studies and included available cohorts wi...
Book
Cultural, contemplative, and nature- related activities— promising measures for major public health challenges Mental and psychosomatic health problems currently constitute one of the greatest public health issues. Apart from individual suffering, this causes long- term absenteeism and high societal costs. Common mental disorders involve problems w...
Chapter
Both internal and external stimuli can cause stress, and suboptimal stress management is a major driver of ill health. There are several complex interventions, such as contemplative practices and cultural activities, which facilitate the process of becoming aware of and handling such stimuli. Participation in such activities can facilitate the conn...
Chapter
To what extent do childhood experiences of music practice influence thinking about music later in life? In this contribution, 27–54-year-old monozygotic twins discordant with regard to piano playing in life were interviewed about music experiences during childhood and adult years. Recordings of heart rate variability were performed continuously dur...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: High expectations about acupuncture might contribute to larger treatment effects (Prady et al., 2015). However, problems in the assessment are well known: 1) floor or ceiling effects lower variance; 2) expectation measures include general beliefs about complementary medicine; 3) construct validity of expectation measures remains unclear...
Article
Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between occupational gender composition, psychosocial work factors and mild to severe depression in Swedish women and men with various educational backgrounds. Methods: The study included 5560 participants from two waves of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health,...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Higher midlife body mass index (BMI) is suggested to increase the risk of dementia, but weight loss during the preclinical dementia phase may mask such effects. Methods: We examined this hypothesis in 1,349,857 dementia-free participants from 39 cohort studies. BMI was assessed at baseline. Dementia was ascertained at follow-up usi...
Article
Background Musical aptitude and ability to handle emotions are hypothesized to be important predictors of creative work. Methods The associations between musical aptitude, alexithymia, and having a creative occupation were assessed with linear multiple regression for men and women separately. Participants in the Swedish Twin Registry participat...
Article
Full-text available
Background The manner in which organizational downsizing is implemented can make a substantial difference as to whether the exposed workers will suffer from psychological ill health. Surprisingly, little research has directly investigated this issue. We examined the likelihood of psychological ill health associated with strategic and reactive downs...
Article
Aims: Studies suggest that people who work long hours are at increased risk of stroke, but the association of long working hours with atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia and a risk factor for stroke, is unknown. We examined the risk of atrial fibrillation in individuals working long hours (≥55 per week) and those working standa...
Conference Paper
Background A systematic review of the associations between occupational chemical exposures and cardiovascular diseases has been performed under management of Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU). Methods Inclusion criteria: (i) epidemiology publication in English in peer-reviewed journal between 1...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Epidemiologic evidence for work stress as a risk factor for coronary heart disease is mostly based on a single measure of stressful work known as job strain, a combination of high demands and low job control. We examined whether a complementary stress measure that assesses an imbalance between efforts spent at work and rewards received...