Ph.D. Defense by Amanda Nikolajew Rasmussen

Ph.D. Defense by Amanda Nikolajew Rasmussen

Amanda Nikolajew Rasmussen will defend her Ph.D. thesis "Understanding social inequality in ischemic heart disease from a psychosocial perspective – A qualitative study of the influence of psychosocial factors on the lived experience of life with ischemic heart disease for socially disadvantaged patients"


03.12.2021 kl. 13.00 - 16.00



13.00 Opening by the Moderator Kirsten Schultz Petersen
13.05 PhD lecture by Amanda Nikolajew Rasmussen 
13.50 Break
14.00 Questions and comments from the Committee
          Questions and comments from the audience at the Moderator’s discretion
16.00 Conclusion of the session by the Moderator



The Faculty Council has appointed the following adjudication committee to evaluate the thesis and the associated lecture: 

Associate Professor Gabriele Kitzmüller. UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, Department of health and Care Sciences, Norway

Associate Professor Ewa K. Andersson. Faculty og Health and Life Sciences,Linnaeus University, Sweden



Dr. Jane Andreasen, Aalborg University, Denmark


Dr. Kirsten Schultz Petersen, Aalborg University, Denmark



Ischemic heart disease is one of the diseases contributing most to social inequality in health worldwide. These inequalities are often understood from the perspective of lifestyle factors. However, research indicate that social and distal factors constitute a more underlying and fundamental cause of social inequality in ischemic heart disease. This PhD study aims to explore the influence of psychosocial factors on the experience of life with ischemic heart disease among socially disadvantaged patients. The study was performed as a critical hermeneutic nationwide qualitative study in Denmark between October 2018 – August 2019. Data consists of interviews with, and supplementary observations of, 30 socially disadvantaged ischemic heart patients. The PhD study is organized into three sub-studies reporting on the same empirical data but focusing on three different psychosocial themes. The first sub-study emphasizes the role of social support in the socially disadvantaged ischemic heart patients’ life with their illness. The second sub-study explores the participants’ experiences of healthcare interactions. The third sub-study focuses on the experience of psychosocial stress for those of the participants who were in a midlife position. Overall, the findings of the PhD study showed that the participants seemed to be strained by several burdening social conditions, related to their social relationships, occupational and financial situation, healthcare interactions and experiences of stigmatization. These conditions created stressful feelings, such as loneliness, powerlessness, a sense of meaninglessness, inferiority, inadequacy, lack of purpose, anger, distrust and self-blame among the participants. However, in a few cases, the participants gained crucial support from either close and supporting relationships or acknowledging healthcare interactions, which provided them with feelings of reconciliation, meaning and empowerment. By emphasizing the important role of psychosocial factors, this PhD study contributes with a new and underlying perspective on social inequality in ischemic heart disease. Furthermore, the findings indicate that healthcare, interventions and policies aiming to reduce social inequality in ischemic heart disease should address the participants’ straining social conditions and help them cope with stressful feelings.   


Department of Health Science and Technology, The Faulty of Medicine, Aalborg University


The Ph.D. Defense is organized as a hybrid event - digitally via Zoom and physical presence in room 4-111 Niels Jernes vej 14 , Aalborg Ø

Registration Deadline

01.12.2021 kl. 12.00

Register at

More information

Go to event list