Digital Public Defence: Mari Storli Rasmussen

MSc Mari Storli Rasmussen at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “It’s a family experience – improving patient and family functioning after traumatic brain injury. A randomized controlled trial of a family-centred intervention” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Image may contain: Person, Hair, Cheek, Smile, Jaw.

Photo: Sindre Madsgaard.

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Consultant Claire Jourdan, Montpellier University Hospital
  • Second opponent: Associate Professor Eirik Vikane, University of Bergen
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Iver Arne Langmoen, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Emeritus Arnstein Finset, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Helene Lundgaard Søberg, Faculty of Health Sciences, OsloMet


This thesis describes a family-centered intervention after traumatic brain injury (TBI), and includes a systemic understanding of TBI as a family experience. Increased recognition of family responses after TBI has produced an international consensus that the family should be an integral part of the rehabilitation process.

The aims of this thesis were to: a) evaluate the feasibility of a family-centered intervention delivered in collaboration with municipal health professionals, b) explore aspects of mental health and family functioning in persons with TBI, including all severities, and their family members, and c) to determine the effectiveness of a family-centered intervention in improving self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQL), caregiver burden, and family functioning compared to a group receiving multidisciplinary follow-ups at a TBI outpatient clinic.

The family intervention and delivery method were evaluated as feasible in a Norwegian context. Sixty-one families participated in this research project. At start-of-treatment, 48% of the patients had impaired HRQL, and they exhibited worse depressive symptoms and lower levels of resilience and self-efficacy compared with the family members. More than 50% of the family members reported mild to moderate depressive symptoms. Being female, psychological distress, and lower levels of resilience were factors associated with lower mental HRQL in patients and family members. There was no extra benefit in receiving the family intervention in addition to specialized follow-ups compared to specialized follow-ups only, although it may have contributed to an acceleration in recovery during the treatment period.

This thesis contributes with insight in family responses to TBI, and it describes an innovative method of family-centered care following TBI that might be applicable to other conditions as well.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published Aug. 4, 2021 10:24 AM - Last modified Aug. 19, 2021 1:59 PM