Marianne Therese S. Holter

Image of Marianne Therese S. Holter
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +4793623061 +47 93623061
Visiting address Kirkeveien 166 Bygg 45 0450 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1039 Blindern 0315 Oslo

Marianne has devoted herself to qualitative methods, both in her Master's thesis and her PhD-project. She has primarily worked with individual interviews (narrative, semi-structured, co-producing), and has experience with Grounded Theory and thematic analysis. She also has experience with eHealth (web-based health interventions), and together with her principal supervisor, Håvar Brendryen, she has developed a fully automated, web-based program for quitting smoking ("Endre", She was responsible for planning the intervention content, and did so with Intervention Mapping - a method for systematic development of knowledge-based health interventions that she is certified in. The content is based on a computerized version of Motivational Interviewing. Marianne also wrote all the program text and implemented the text and basic program logic through the technological platform. She is now working on a project that is evaluating "Fritt behandlingsvalg", a health reform that was implemented in Norway in 2015 that involves an increased use of the private sector in secondary health care and gives the patient increased freedom to choose where to receive treatment. Marianne is responsible for a qualitative sub-study in this evaluation, which will involve focus groups of patients and health care personnel.

Marianne handed in her doctoral thesis in December 2018. The research was conducted at the Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF), and her PhD project consists of the development of the smoking cessation program "Endre" as well as two qualitative, Grounded Theory studies. The PhD project concerned whether a fully automated program such as "Endre" can support a working alliance to the program. "Working alliance" (or "therapeutic alliance") is a concept from psychotherapy which involves the function the relationship between client and therapist has in the client's change-processes. Marianne developed "Endre" to be maximally supportive of such an alliance, and the qualitative studies explore the program users' perspectives to decide whether a "working alliance" is a meaningful and useful concept in automated therapy. 


  • 2018 - Researcher at SERAF.
  • 2014 - 2018 PhD-student at SERAF, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo.
  • 2010 - 2014 Worked in the Children's social welfare system, first as a social worker and later in an administrative position centered on systematic quality improvement. 
  • 2008 - 2010 Master's degree in cultural- and social psychology, University of Oslo. Also worked part-time as a counselor at the Norwegian Quit Smoking Line. 


  • Qualitative methodology
  • eHealth
  • Intervention Mapping
  • Health psychology
  • Behavior change
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Identity
  • Cultural- and social psychology
  • Children's welfare
  • Smoking cessation


  • "The working alliance in automated therapy: Development of an alliance-supporting eHealth program and two grounded theory studies on relating and change". PhD project from 2014 to 2018. Principal supervisor: Håvar Brendryen. Co-supervisors: Ayna B. Johansen, Ottar Ness
  • "Å være et tomt skall: Selvopplevelsen i en mishandlende relasjon" ["Being an empty shell: Self-experience in an abusive relationship"]. Master's project finished 2010. A qualitative study of psychological abuse in relationships and the victim's self-experience. 


Tags: eHealth, Qualitative methods


  • Holter, Marianne Therese Smogeli; Ness, Ottar; Johansen, Ayna Beate & Brendryen, Håvar (2020). Making Come-Alive and Keeping Un-Alive: How People Relate to Self-Guided Web-Based Health Interventions. Qualitative Health Research.  ISSN 1049-7323.  30(6), s 927- 941 . doi: 10.1177/1049732320902456 Show summary
  • Holter, Marianne T. S.; Johansen, Ayna Beate; Ness, Ottar; Brinkmann, Svend; Høybye, Mette Terp & Brendryen, Håvar (2019). Qualitative Interview Studies of Working Mechanisms in Electronic Health: Tools to Enhance Study Quality. Journal of Medical Internet Research.  ISSN 1438-8871.  21(5) . doi: 10.2196/10354 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • Holter, Marianne T. S.; Ness, Ottar; Johansen, Ayna Beate & Brendryen, Håvar (2019). Getting Change-Space: A Grounded Theory Study of Automated eHealth Therapy. Qualitative Report.  ISSN 1052-0147.  24(7), s 1636- 1657 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • Holter, Marianne Therese Smogeli; Johansen, Ayna Beate & Brendryen, Håvar (2016). How a Fully Automated eHealth Program Simulates Three Therapeutic Processes: A Case Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research.  ISSN 1438-8871.  18(6), s e176 . doi: 10.2196/jmir.5415 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary

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  • Holter, Marianne Therese Smogeli (2019). The working alliance in automated therapy: Development of an alliance-supporting eHealth program and two grounded theory studies of relating and change.. Full text in Research Archive.
  • Holter, Marianne Therese Smogeli; Ness, Ottar; Johansen, Ayna & Brendryen, Håvar (2015). Challenges in qualitative interviewing about user experience in eHealth: Moving beyond the superficial user interview.
  • Brendryen, Håvar; Danaher, Brian G; Johansen, Ayna & Holter, Marianne Therese Smogeli (2014). Testing the Efficacy of an Automated Lapse Management System: an RCT-Protocol of an Internet-Delivered Smoking Cessation Intervention.
  • Holter, Marianne Therese Smogeli; Brendryen, Håvar; Johansen, Ayna & Danaher, Brian G (2014). What’s therapeutic alliance got to do with it? A qualitative (ongoing) study of how the user’s relationship to an eHealth program for smoking cessation might be important for program adherence and treatment outcome.

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Published Feb. 10, 2014 9:15 AM - Last modified Sep. 4, 2020 2:34 PM