Digital public defence: Trond Nordheim

Cand.Psychol Trond Nordheim at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Parents of VLBW Infants: Hope, Stress, Quality of Life and Experiences related to their Infants Participation in a Clinical Nutritional Trial” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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The University of Oslo arranges digital public defences this semester, thus the disputation will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The public 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


Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Liisa Lehtonen, Turku University
  • Second opponent: Researcher Camilla Tøndel, Haukeland University Hospital
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Guttorm Nils Haugen, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Emeritus Thor Willy Ruud Hansen, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor II Britt Nakstad, University of Oslo


The aim of this thesis was to examine challenges, coping and aspects of health in parents of very low birth weight (VLBW, birth weight <1,500g) infants. We also wanted to know how the parents were affected by infant participation in a nutritional randomized clinical intervention trial (RCT) by examining parental qualify of life (QoL), well-being and how participation were experienced by the parents. Another aim was to examine hope and the association between hope and parenting stress with QoL, respectively.

Parents of VLBW infants participating in a nutrition RCT (n =31) versus a reference group (n =31) were all examined at two timepoints, retrospectively for when their infants were hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (T1) and concurrently at 42 months of age (T2).  A qualitative descriptive design was used to assess the experience of parents of RCT participating infants. Data were collected through interviews with 15 parents and analyzed.

Symptoms of depressions and anxiety were very prevalent while in the NICU. While in general symptoms of depressions and anxiety diminished at 42 months after birth. Parents of infants with the lowest birth weights, had more symptoms of depression and anxiety, in addition to more parenting stress. Participating in a RCT was experienced as challenging for some parents and several testimonies of stressful situations were given. However, parents of RCT participating infants seem to cope better. RCT participation gave the parents an experience of being given something “extra” which may have made them better equipped to cope. Hope was found to have a role in coping, and has an important influence on the parents QoL.


Additional information

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Published May 20, 2020 4:30 PM - Last modified June 8, 2020 10:48 AM