Public defence: Ingrid Bugge
Cand.med. Ingrid Bugge at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Physically Injured Survivors of Terror: Posttraumatic stress reactions, somatic complaints, and experiences with early psychosocial hospital care after the 2011 Utøya attack” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).
Trial Lecture – time and place
See Trial Lecture.
- First opponent: Research Professor Nancy Kassam-Adams, University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Second opponent: Associate Professor Hanne Klæboe Greger, Norwegian university of science and technology (NTNU)
- Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Emeritus Svein Friis, University of Oslo
Chair of the Defence
Professor Emeritus Knut Gjesdal, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
Professor II Trond H. Diseth, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
After traumatic mass events, physically injured survivors constitute a vulnerable group that may struggle with high levels of psychological distress in addition to sequelae from their injuries. This thesis focuses on how mental and somatic health problems develop in injured mass trauma survivors, and how we can provide adequate early psychosocial care in the hospital for the most severely injured survivors.
The development of posttraumatic stress reactions (PTSR) and somatic complaints was studied quantitatively in two different groups of injured survivors (hospitalized and non-hospitalized, compared to non-injured) after the 2011 Utøya terror attack. In addition, hospitalized survivors’ experiences with the early psychosocial care in the hospital were explored qualitatively.
In brief, both hospitalized and non-hospitalized survivors developed particularly high levels of health complaints. Peri-traumatic exposure seemed to contribute to a heightened level of PTSR, and PTSR contributed to a substantial proportion of the somatic complaints developed among the non-hospitalized injured survivors. Regarding the psychosocial hospital care, the analyses resulted in six emphasized themes: Engaging in the trauma narrative; Understanding the trauma reminders; Bringing back normalcy; Being there; Supporting confidence; Instilling trust.
In conclusion, survivors of mass trauma with injuries ranging from minor to severe may need special attention from health care services regarding both mental and somatic health problems. Both trauma-focused interventions and commonplace actions and conversations are important in reducing hospitalized survivors’ early distress. By drawing on the competencies of a range of health care professionals, the hospital is a setting in which survivors’ essential emotional needs may be met and a process towards healing may be effectively initiated.
Contact the research support staff.