Division of Mental Health and Addiction
The activities of the division consist of research, education and dissemination of research results within the fields of psychiatry, substance abuse and addiction. The division encompasses five units organized by research topic, and the units are located at the hospitals.
Psychiatric research is primarily concerned with studying the causes of mental disorders, development and distribution in the population.
In addition, an important function of psychiatric research is to evaluate treatments. In other words, the aims of the Division’s research is to better understand mental disorders in order to increase the quality of future treatments and to ensure that existing treatment methods are evidence-based, i.e. that they have documented effects.
Historically, the focus of psychiatric research has, as in other academic disciplines that study humans, shifted between inheritance and environment as the causal factor presumed to be most important.
Whereas the 1960s and 1970s were marked by a belief in environment as the primary causal factor, the pendulum has now swung to biology and genes, a development which is closely related to the advances in technology used in such research (particularly MR-related brain imaging methods) and in the understanding of genetics.
The Division of Mental Health and Addiction was established on January 1st 2010 as a consequence of the reorganization processes at OUH and UiO.
With the exception of some minor structural changes and closer integration with the hospital, the division is an extension of what was previously called Department of Psychiatry.