Public Defence: Ann-Mari Lofthus – Mental health

Cand.philol. Ann-Mari Lofthus at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “A study of Norwegian service users’ experiences with Assertive Community Treatment” for the degree of PhD.

Foto: UiO/Øystein Horgmo

Trial Lecture - time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Alan Simpson, City University London
  • Second opponent: Professor Ottar Ness, University College of Southeast Norway
  • Third member of the adjudication committee: Professor Edle Ravndal, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Grete Dyb, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Researcher Kristin S. Heiervang, Akershus University Hospital


The Norwegian implementation of the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model commenced in 2009. The model aims to enable patients with extensive mental health treatment needs to live and be active in the community. It moves hospital services to service users’ homes, where they are provided by visiting ACT teams.

The aim of the study is to describe and explore the service users’ experiences of Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams in Norway.

The study applied mixed methods and a transformative lens. Data related to 70 ACT service users’ experiences are included. Twenty-two women and 48 men participated in the survey “User Interview User about ACT teams”. In addition, eight of these participated in individual interviews or in a focus group. Satisfaction with ACT treatment, personal recovery and the possible paradoxes of treatment were explored.

The ACT service users, especially those on Community Treatment Orders (CTO), reported high satisfaction with the ACT service and a high degree of personal recovery. Male participants reported a higher degree of recovery compared to females. The service users mentioned flexibility of services, access to a car, and discussions regarding medication as important elements for a positive recovery. ACT service users have broad knowledge concerning mental health treatment. Access to treatment is intertwined with paradoxes such as experiences of both normality and marginalisation, and of autonomy and limitations.

Service users experience the ACT model as a positive and improved service that promotes recovery, especially for those under CTOs. Ethical reflections and increased user involvement are ways to address dilemmas and develop practice in accordance with the service users’ needs. There is an ethical and professional obligation and legal liability to sustain a well-documented and effective service for this patient Group.

Additional information

Contact the Research support staff.

Published Nov. 30, 2018 3:01 PM - Last modified Nov. 30, 2018 3:01 PM