Denmark National OT News Archive

News from Denmark, 2017

The first professor of occupational therapy in Denmark

The first professor of occupational therapy and occupational science in Denmark took office on 3 May 2017 at the Research Unit of General Practice at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense.

Hans Jonsson is a well-known figure in occupational therapy. He will use his research experience to make occupational therapy take root and grow strong in the Danish research environment – like he did in his home country, Sweden.

The appointment of the 66-year-old Swede, who has been a lecturer at the Division of Occupational Therapy at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm since 2002, is part of a five-year plan that aims to develop the Danish research area. The professor can inspire, assist and open doors, says occupational therapist, lecturer and PhD. Karen la Cour from the Research Unit of General Practice at the University of Southern Denmark.

”Hans Jonsson is a distinguished researcher who has many years’ experience and an extensive international network. Our group of occupational therapy researchers will undoubtedly benefit from his research experience. The appointment also means that we will be able to lodge larger applications for research funds”, she says.

One of the things that Hans Jonsson thinks needs to be tackled is formulating the very identity of occupational therapy. He says:

”Research must ensure that our profession progresses. The prerequisite for successful development is that the foundation of our profession is strong – and, in this respect, we still have a long way to go. I often hear occupational therapists complain that they find it difficult to get people to listen to their occupational therapeutic perspective – listeners tend more often to see things from a more medical point of view. This is due especially to the fact that occupational therapy is still a relatively young discipline. It was only recognised at the university level in Sweden 25 years ago. Therefore, part of our task in this initial phase will be to formulate the very identity of occupational therapy.”

In Sweden, the professor has seen how developing his profession and awareness of what constitutes the unique core of occupational therapy has created wider respect for the profession and opened more doors – not least to interdisciplinary cooperation.

”Nowadays we occupational therapists don’t always have to ask to join an interdisciplinary team. We are sometimes invited by the other professions – and they ask us because we have created awareness and knowledge of how occupational therapy can contribute”, Hans Jonsson says. He stresses, however, that that development in these two countries is not directly comparable.

Lotte Lagoni vice president of the Danish OT association elected in July 2016

Vice President’s Statement

I am running for Vice President because I believe our profession can do something special. I will work to improve how occupational therapy is respected and recognised in society and disseminate knowledge of our profession.

We are the Danish Association of Occupational Therapists. We have a community that we have to develop. I believe in our profession because occupational therapy is the answer to many of the challenges ordinary people experience in their everyday lives.

Among other things, I want us to help our members so that they are equipped to take jobs in new fields/areas of the labour market. I aspire to prepare us better to take on new/innovative jobs and develop within them. As demanding an ambition as this may be, I believe that we as a trade union must seek to maintain and heighten our influence on the labour market.

Short summary of professional milestones

I have 20 years of occupational therapy experience. My career background includes working as a training occupational therapist and a professional coordinator. In my last position, I worked as a municipal manager. I also have political flair. I have held several seats on the board of the association and municipal committees.




Tina Nør Langager president of the Danish OT association elected in December 2015

President’s Statement

When it comes to ensuring people a dignified everyday life, we are the strongest profession there is. Our profession helps children, young people, adults and the elderly to manage on their own. Our profession makes people more self-sufficient and equips them to cope with everyday life. We are therefore a very important profession in the Danish healthcare system. Not only do we improve people’s quality of life – we also help society to save money.

In short: My overall goal is to improve everyday life for you as a member and for all the people we help in Denmark every single day. We must uphold our reputation as a healthcare organisation with a strong socially responsible profile.

Short summary of professional milestones

I have 20 years’ experience within occupational therapy. I have worked with rehabilitation and provision of aids in hospital and municipal contexts. For the past eight years, I have been employed at the Danish Association of Occupational Therapists working with our profession, salaries and conditions as well as our education and management training.

For more information visit the website of the Danish OT association:

COTEC wishes Tina Nør Langager success in this new and exciting position.