Silje Mæland

Position

Professor

Affiliation

Research

Prof. Silje Mæland divides her time between scientific work and knowledge cluster work. She is a professor at the Department of Global Health and Community Medicine, at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway. She specializes in research in the field of work and health and is head of the National Professional Council for Work and Health. Mæland leads the Professional Forum in the Alrek health cluster, and leads the research and development group in the Sports Cluster West and research leader in the Sunnaasstiftelsen.

Mæland leads the research project Bergen in Change COVID-19 study, a research collaboration between partners in the Alrek health cluster: https://www.uib.no/igs/135092/bergen-i-endring-covid19-studien-bie-studien#publikasjoner

In addition to work and health, including sickness absence, ability to work and return to work, Mæland researches doctors' and other actors' assessment of patients with regard to sickness absence and diagnosis. She led a large RCT in 2016 that evaluated the effect of New Medical Assessment at 6 months sick leave.

Furthermore, Mæland has researched health complaints and functional challenges in patient populations (Ehler Danlos syndrome, Vestibular disorders, Cerebral Palsy) and she uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research.

From 2023, Mæland's research is aimed specifically at women, menopause and work:

Each year, 27,500 Norwegian women enter menopause, and of these, approx. 30% have significant health problems that reduce their quality of life and work capacity. The health problems can vary from depression, muscle and joint pain, sleep problems, headaches, general fatigue, reduced lung capacity and extreme hot flashes. The ailments are often defined as non-specific and contribute significantly to women's sickness absence and disability pension

There is little research on women's menopause and limited knowledge among women themselves and in the health service. Lack of knowledge can lead to women's ailments not being associated with menopause and thus being diagnosed, treated and medicated as non-specific women's ailments and something women have to live with.

The Women's Health Committee's report (NOU) points out that more research is needed to determine what role menopause symptoms play in women dropping out of working life at this age. Furthermore, that more research is needed on the impact of menopause on women's physical and mental health, and how menopause is experienced by women in different socio-economic positions. There is also a need for increased knowledge about the connection between menopause and women's sickness absence and exit from working life.

Read also: https://forskning.no/arbeid-kjonn-og-samfunn-kvinnehelse/helseplager-ved-overgangsalderen-kan-vaere-en-viktig-arsak-til-at-mange-kvinner-i-50-arene -phases-out-of-working-life/2239514

 

Outreach

Communication has been a priority task for me from day one of my Ph.d. run. I was lucky to be researching a topic of great public interest – sickness absence. In addition, I had supervisors with a basic attitude that we never said no to inquiries from the media. I was challenged early on in communication and encouraged to apply for participation in the Forsker Grand Prix.

Dissemination is, for me, one of the most important societal tasks as a researcher. As a privileged researcher with externally funded research funds, I have always made sure to communicate in several forums. These have been lectures for administration, associations, the general public, at events at Litteraturhus, on radio and on TV. In addition to communicating to students and colleagues, popular science communication has become my core competence and I am often asked by faculty management and the communications department at UiB to contribute.

The Faculty of Medicine has annual reports on academic staff's communication in traditional media. I was employed as an associate professor at UiB in 2019 (50%) and from 2020 in a 100% position. Already in 2020, I was on the list of those who appeased the most at the faculty. In 2020, I was 24 times in the media for UiB and was ranked as the 17th best in the medical faculty. In 2021, I was in the media 61 times and climbed with it to 11th place. The medical faculty has around 1,200 employees, around 1,900 students and, with its over 500 PhD candidates, is one of the biggest contributors to research education at the University of Bergen.

To illustrate this, I will highlight my role as project manager and communicator of research results in the project Bergen I Endring – COVID-19. This project was created in record time in March/April 2020. I built a project group that was made up of researchers and bureaucrats: Two faculties at UiB (the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Psychology), FHI, Helse Bergen HF, Bergen Municipality and Vestland County Municipality. Without the ability to communicate clearly and well, I don't think we would have been able to build this group from a home office at the start of a pandemic. No one in the team had worked together before and we were completely dependent on a project manager who could convey clearly and clearly what we were to do together and what the individual was responsible for. Already on 16 April 2020, before we sent out the first invitation to participate in the research project to 80,000 Bergen residents, I was on Vestlandsrevyen to appease the purpose and importance of this project.

District news Vestlandsrevyen - 16 April 2020 at 19:45 – NRK TV

Many media reports then followed as a direct consequence of conditions in the REK approval. With a project with a broad purpose, we were required to communicate findings to the general public in an efficient manner. This resulted in a project page where we published all new information in the project so that the public and our participants could follow along. Here we also published all the media reports the project generated and it was mostly me as project manager who disseminated information and results from the project in På Høyden, in Bergensavisen, BT, TV2, forskning.no, NRK Hordaland today. Aftenposten, NRK, BT Magasinet etc.

News stories about the BIE study | Department of Global Health and Community Medicine | UiB

When the Pandemic Center was officially opened in October 2020, I helped convey experiences and preliminary results from the project to Minister of Research and Higher Education Henrik Aasheim

Pandemic center opened at UiB | The Faculty of Medicine | UiB

In 2014 I received an award for outstanding teaching at the University of Bergen and in 2020 I was awarded the status of distinguished lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine UiB. These awards are also partly about the ability to communicate even to our students and colleagues.

Teaching

Associated master's in Health and Society, where she is responsible for teaching aimed at work and health as a subject.

Silje Mæland is a qualified physiotherapist at the University of Bradford, UK and MSc (2007) and PhD (2013) at the University of Bergen/Uni Research Health (today NORCE).

She has also worked as an associate professor at Høgskulen på Vestlandet (HVL), where she taught neurological physiotherapy. In 2014, Mæland was awarded the "Prize for outstanding teaching" at HVL.

In 2020, she was awarded status as meritorious lecturer at the medical faculty. The status is awarded for outstanding teaching practice and systematic and targeted work with the development of educational quality. Meritorious lecturers have a clear focus on the students' learning in all their teaching activities, a clear teaching professional development over time, a research-based approach to their own teaching practice and a collegial attitude and practice. Status as meritorious teacher entails admission to the pedagogical academy at the Faculty of Medicine.

Publications
Academic article
Academic literature review
Popular scientific lecture
Poster
Interview Journal
Report
Academic lecture
Lecture
Popular scientific article
Programme participation
Feature article
Article in business/trade/industry journal
Reader opinion piece
Doctoral dissertation
Abstract

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.