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An overview of ongoing research projects

Research programme at Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, NKVTS

Shortly after the terrorist action, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (herafter NKVTS) proposed a research programme modelled on their research programme after the 2004 tsunami. The Norwegian Directorate of Health finance three of the proposed projects at NKVTS (survivors from Utøya, survivors from the Government Quarter and a survey of the general population. Two of the other proposed studies are done by the Centre for Crisis Psychology (bereaved) and Oslo University Hospital (personell and volunteers).

The terrorist attack: Experience and reactions among Utøya survivors

Longitudinal study of all survivors over the age of 13. Semistructured interviews were conducted in the autumn of 2011, the autumn of 2012 and the final data collection will be conducted in 2014. Lead by Grete Dyb. There are subprojects looking at the impact of the legal proceedings, educational achievement, and the relationship between somatic and mental health. Read more on the NKVTS web page.

Health, well-being and working environment after 22 July: A study of employees in the Government Quarter and the Ministries

About 400 ministry employees were at work when the bonb went off. An additional 4 000 experienced having their workplaces bombed and had to be relocated. This project aims to document the employees’ health, working environment and perceived safety and risk in the workplace after the terrorist attack. Interviews have be conducted with those employees that were in the Government Quarter as the bomb went off. Additionally, data from the Occupational Health Service will be used. The employees that were elsewhere, answered a web based in spring 2012. A follow up survey is planned for 2014. Read more here.

22/7 Terror: How are the terrorist attacts affecting us? A study of the Norwegian population after the 22nd of July attacks

This survey will give us knowledge about the ways in which 22nd of July has influenced the Norwegian population in terms of fear, mental health and attitudes towards safety and other current social topics. Read more here. Article in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.

Centre for Crisis Psychology

Bereaved parents, siblings and friends after the terror attack

The aim of the project is to provide knowledge on the situation bereaved after the Utøya massacre. The study has a longitudinal design, and parents, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, partners and close friends of the victims will be interviewed. The researchers will study the incidence of and possible links between trauma and complicated grief. They also examine coping strategies and the assistance provided. Kari Dyregrov leads the project at the Centre for Crisis Psychology.

Modum Bad psychiatric hospital and health facility

Learning from the public health efforts after 22/7 - The challenge for psychological health professionals

The purpose of the study is to investigate how the challenge of accommodating the needs after the terrorist attacks were experienced by psychological health practitioners. This will be done both at the level of the individual practitioner and at the system to assess providers’ competence in working with those affected by 22/7, and to prepare for traumatic events in the future. Lead by Asle Hoffart.

Nordland Research Institute

The role of medical and psychiatric nurses during and after the attack

This study will examine the role of nurses during the events and in the aftermath. Involved nurses will be interviewed, and a survey conducted. The study is lead by Therese Andrews, and has been commissioned by The Norwegian Nurses Organisation.

Norwegian Police University College

Terrorists’ decision making when choosing targets

The projects examines terrorists’ choice of targets, a complex process where ideology, strategy and tactics all play a role. Cato Hemmingby at the Norwegian Police University College will use the terrorist attack in Norway as one of several cases. Hemmingby will use the police interviews of Anders Behring Breivik as data in the project.

Oslo University Hospital

Psychological reactions among police, rescue and health personell.

A survey of 1 800 people involved as personell or volunteers. The study will examine psychological reactions, exposure to the events, feeling of support from colleagues and the work place as well as chart symptoms of PTSD. The project is lead by Professor Øivind Ekeberg at the Department of Acute Medicine.

Incident command and decision making during the emergency response to the Oslo government district bombing in 2011

This project will use the prehospital medical effort after the Government Quarter bombing to examine decision making and incident command. The analysis will emphasise uncertainty and ambiguity. Rune Rimstad will interview the personell involved in the incident command and use radio logs.

Medical research at Oslo University Hospital

Oslo University Hospital handled the most critically injured, and has documented and used data as basis for research. For details on the medical research, please contact Wenche Reed of the Executive Staff at Oslo University Hospital Research.

  • Chronic pain among the injured after the attack
  • Somatic and mental health problems among patients treated at the municipal emergency ward after the government quarter bombing
  • Post traumatic stress symptoms, psychosocial functioning, quality of life and their relationship to physical injury in adolescents and their relatives after the act of terrorism 22. July 2011.
  • Initial use of radiology in a mass trauma situation
  • July 22, 2011 – trauma center challenges and management
  • Truncus damages caused by hollow-point ammunition
  • The 22 July events in Oslo and Utøya. Neuro- and maxillofacial surgery in a trauma centre
  • The July 22nd events in Oslo and Utøya from an orthopaedic perspective
  • The twin attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011-the trauma center intensive care unit challenges and solutions
  • Utøya shooting and Oslo bombing 22nd July 2011: The immediate pre-hospital medical service response

University of Bergen

The effects of acute stress on a developing brain

The aim of this study is to determine whether a trauma like 22 July has affected important cognitive functions and underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. A group of survivors from the Utøya massacre aged 16–25 will be submitted to fMRI and interviews by a psychologist. The project is lead by Anne Marita Milde. The project collaborates with the project Neurocognitive processes following a traumatic event at the University of Oslo.

Investigative interviewing of traumatised witnesses

This project will identify the main challenges in establishing and maintaining rapport in an Investigative Interview with an adult traumatised witness and how the investigator’s own emotional experiences can influence the interview process. Patrick Risan will interview the police officers involved and examine audio and video from the interviews. Collaboration with the Norwegian Police University College.

University of Oslo

Neurocognitive procesess after a traumatic event

The study aims to understand the link between emotional reactions and cognitive functions after a traumatising event. The researchers will conduct fMRI and interview 25 survivors of the Utøya massacre. The project is lead by professor Annika Melinder at the Department of Psychology of the University of Oslo. The project collaborates with the project The effects of acute stress on a developing brain at the University of Bergen.

Traumatic stress and capacity for learning: How adolescents exposed to the Utøya massacre are coping at school.

The research project will look into the work done by school’s whose pupils survived the Utøya massacre. Marit Dalset of the Department of Special Needs Education at the University of Oslo will use from the NKVTS Utøya project and interview teachers and fellow students.

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