Dying and death is something we all face sooner or later, either through a death among those close to us or in relation to our own mortality. But death is still something we rarely talk about and many people today are ill-prepared for their encounters with dying, death and loss.

What is DöBra?

DöBra is a national research program in which we aim to raise issues about dying, death and grief to enable people to be better prepared for their encounters with the end-of-life. The overall goal of DöBra is to reduce avoidable suffering related to dying, death and grief, and to use innovative means to integrate rigorous research and sustainable change processes.

Through the program, we explore, for example, how culture, the environment, and conversation can help improve the situation for dying people and those close to them irregardless of where care takes place.

Our research is conducted through Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University. In the DöBra research program we work with to prevent problems, using a public health perspective. We do this in part by supporting competency development and supporting individuals, communities, and staff to better be able to deal with end-of-life issues, both within and outside health and social care systems.

How do we work?

DöBra is based on partnerships among different stakeholders and actors. The researchers collaborate with individuals –both healthy and sick, those close to them, healthcare staff, different interest organizations, and other communities and societal instances, in order to exchange ideas, experiences and expertise. We are particularly interested in conducting research and supporting its usefulness for society. This is done by linking research, education and practice and through interdisciplinary cooperation with both national and international researchers, within, for example, health sciences, social sciences and design. We use methods based on collaboration and exchange of different types of experiences, such as action research, experience-based co-design, and knowledge exchange.

What we want to achieve?

Through our different projects, we strive to: ·

  • reduce avoidable suffering related to the end of life, through research and knowledge exchange
  • strengthen individual and societal engagement in end-of-life issues
  • enable preparation for encounters with dying, death and grief
  • investigate how culture, the environment, and conversation can be used to improve the situation for dying people and those close to them, irregardless of where end-of-life care takes place
  • influence public policies to support better health at the end-of-life


Death is inevitable, but a bad death should not be!

Read more about the background to DöBra in these two articles, both written by Olav Lindqvist and Carol Tishelman:
Scientific article in English.
Popular science article in Swedish.

The DöBra program and several of our projects have also been in the media on different occasions.