Hege R Eriksen

MS, PhD
Research Director
Uni Research · Uni Research Health

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore how functional ability, coping and health were related to work and benefit status three years after participating in a four-week inpatient interdisciplinary occupational rehabilitation program. The cohort consisted of 338 individuals (75% females, mean age 51 years (SD=8.6)) who three years earlier had participated in a comprehensive inpatient interdisciplinary occupational rehabilitation program, due to long-term sick leave. The participants answered standardised questionnaires about subjective health complaints, functional ability, coping, and current work and benefit status. The relationships between these variables were analysed using logistic regression analyses. At the time of the survey, 59% of the participants worked at least 50% of a full working day. Twenty-five percent received at least 50% disability pension and 16% received other benefits. Poor functional ability (OR 4.8; CI 3.0-7.6), poor general health (OR 3.8; CI 2.3-6.1), high level of subjective health complaints (OR 3.3; CI 2.1-5.2), low coping (OR 2.8; CI 1.7-4.4), poor physical fitness (OR 2.8; CI 1.7-4.6) and poor sleep quality (OR 2.4; CI 1.5-3.7) were associated with receiving allowances. In a fully adjusted model, only poor functional ability and low coping were associated with receiving allowances three years after occupational rehabilitation. Functional ability and coping were the variables most strongly associated with not having returned to work. More attention should therefore be paid to enhance these factors in occupational rehabilitation programs. Part-time work may be a feasible way to integrate individuals with reduced workability in working life, if the alternative is complete absence from work.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 04/2014; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The relationship between fatigue and pain has been investigated previously, but little is known about the prevalence of substantial fatigue in patients sick-listed for chronic low back pain (CLBP) and about how fatigue is associated with depression, pain, and long-term disability. The aims of the study were to examine the prevalence of substantial fatigue; associations between fatigue, depression, and pain; and whether fatigue predicted long-term disability.Methods Five hundred sixty-nine patients participating in a randomized controlled trial and sick-listed 2–10 months for LBP were included in the study. Cross-sectional analyses were conducted to investigate the prevalence and independent associations between fatigue, depression, pain, and disability, while longitudinal analyses were done to investigate the association between fatigue and long-term disability.ResultsThe prevalence of substantial fatigue was 69.7%. Women reported significantly more fatigue than men (t = −3.6, df = 551; P < .001). Those with substantial fatigue had higher pain intensity (t = −3.3, df = 534; P = 0.01), more depressive symptoms (t = −10.9, df = 454; P < 0.001), and more disability (t = −7.6, df = 539; P < 0.001) than those without substantial fatigue. Musculoskeletal pain and depression were independently associated with substantial fatigue. In the longitudinal analyses, fatigue predicted long-term disability at 3, 6, and 12 months' follow-up. After pain and depression were controlled for, fatigue remained a significant predictor of disability at 6 months' follow-up.Conclusions The vast majority of the sick-listed CLBP patients reported substantial fatigue. Those with substantial fatigue had more pain and depressive symptoms and a significant risk of reporting more disability at 3, 6, and 12 months. Substantial fatigue is disabling in itself but also involves a risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome and long-term disability.
    Pain Medicine 04/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Study Design. Cross-sectional study.Objective. To examine the sensitivity of two single-item questions compared to two longer questionnaires in screening for depression and anxiety in chronic low back pain (CLBP).Summary of Background Data. Psychosocial factors are frequently identified as risk factors for developing CLBP and as predictors for treatment, and questionnaires are often used to screen for this. Shorter instruments may be easier to use in clinical practice settings.Methods. 564 patients with 2-10 months of at least 50% sickness absence due to non-specific LBP were assessed for depression and anxiety with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Single questions for depression and anxiety from the Subjective Health Complaint Inventory, and two longer questionnaires, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL) were compared to MINI results, considered the gold standard in this study. Sensitivity and specificity of single item and longer questionnaires and ROC curves were compared.Results. According to MINI, the prevalence of anxiety disorders was 12%, while the prevalence of depressive disorders was 4%. The screening questions showed 95% sensitivity and 56% specificity for depressive disorders, and 68% sensitivity and 85% specificity for anxiety disorders. The longer questionnaire, HADS, showed 91% sensitivity and 85% specificity for depressive disorders, and 58% sensitivity and 83% specificity for anxiety disorders. HSCL showed 86% sensitivity and 74% specificity for depressive disorders, and 67% sensitivity and 87% specificity for anxiety disorders. For three of the anxiety disorders and two of the depressive disorders, a perfect sensitivity was found between the screening questions and the MINI interview.Conclusions. A single-item screening question was sensitive for depression, but less sensitive for anxiety. The screening questions further performed equal to two widely used questionnaires. Validation of these results in other populations and compared to other short-item screeners is needed.
    Spine 01/2014; · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. The primary objective of this study was to explore whether general practitioners (GPs) in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark make similar or different decisions regarding sick leave for patients with severe subjective health complaints (SHC). The secondary objective was to investigate if patient diagnoses, the reasons attributed for patient complaints, and GP demographics could explain variations in sick leave decisions. Design. A cross-sectional study. Method. Video vignettes of GP consultations with nine different patients. Subjects. 126 GPs in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Setting. Primary care in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Main outcome measure. Sick leave decisions made by GPs. Results. "Psychological" diagnoses in Sweden were related to lower odds ratio (OR) of granting sick leave than in Norway (OR = 0.07; 95% CI = 0.01-0.83) Assessments of patient health, the risk of deterioration, and their ability to work predicted sick leave decisions. Specialists in general medicine grant significantly fewer sick leaves than non-specialists. Conclusion. Sick-leave decisions made by GPs in the three countries were relatively similar. However, Swedish GPs were more reluctant to grant sick leave for patients with "psychological" diagnoses. Assessments regarding health-related factors were more important than diagnoses in sick-leave decisions. Specialist training may be of importance for sick-leave decisions.
    Scandinavian journal of primary health care 10/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The aim of this study was to examine if age, gender, medical diagnosis, occupation, and previous sick leave predicted different probabilities for being at work and for registered sickness benefits, and differences in the transitions between any of these states, for individuals that had participated in an interdisciplinary work-related rehabilitation program. Methods 584 individuals on long-term sickness benefits (mean 9.3 months, SD = 3.4) were followed with official register data over a 4-year period after a rehabilitation program. 66 % were female, and mean age was 44 years (SD = 9.3). The majority had a mental (47 %) or a musculoskeletal (46 %) diagnosis. 7 % had other diagnoses. Proportional hazards regression models were used to analyze prognostic factors for the probability of being on, and the intensity of transitions between, any of the following seven states during follow-up; working, partial sick leave, full sick leave, medical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, partial disability pension (DP), and full DP. Results In a fully adjusted model; women, those with diagnoses other than mental and musculoskeletal, blue-collar workers, and those with previous long-term sick leave, had a lower probability for being at work and a higher probability for full DP during follow-up. DP was also associated with high age. Mental diagnoses gave higher probability for being on full sick leave, but not for transitions to full sick leave. Regression models based on transition intensities showed that risk factors for entering a given state (work or receiving sickness benefits) were slightly different from risk factors for leaving the same state. Conclusions The probabilities for working and for receiving sickness benefits and DP were dependent on gender, diagnoses, type of work and previous history of sick leave, as expected. The use of novel statistical methods to analyze factors predicting transition intensities have improved our understanding of how the processes to and from work, and to and from sickness benefits may differ between groups. Further research is required to understand more about differences in prognosis for return to work after intensive work-related rehabilitation efforts.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 08/2013; 24(2). · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The associations between socioeconomic status (SES), physical and psychosocial workload and health are well documented. According to The Cognitive Activation Theory of Stress (CATS), learned response outcome expectancies (coping, helplessness, and hopelessness) are also important contributors to health. This is in part as independent factors for health, but coping may also function as a buffer against the impact different demands have on health. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative effect of SES (as measured by level of education), physical workload, and response outcome expectancies on subjective health complaints (SHC) and self-rated health, and if response outcome expectancies mediate the effects of education and physical workload on SHC and self-rated health. A survey was carried out among 1,746 Norwegian municipal employees (mean age 44.2, 81 % females). Structural Equation Models with SHC and self-rated health as outcomes were conducted. Education, physical workload, and response outcome expectancies, were the independent 28 variables in the model. Helplessness/hopelessness had a stronger direct effect on self-rated health and SHC than education and physical workload, for both men and women. Helplessness/hopelessness fully mediated the effect of physical workload on SHC for men (0.121), and mediated 30 % of a total effect of 0.247 for women. For women, education had a small but significant indirect effect through helplessness/hopelessness on self-rated health (0.040) and SHC (-0.040), but no direct effects were found. For men, there was no effect of education on SHC, and only a direct effect on self-rated health (0.134). The results indicated that helplessness/hopelessness is more important for SHC and health than well-established measures on SES such as years of education and perceived physical workload in this sample. Helplessness/hopelessness seems to function as a mechanism between physical workload and health.
    International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 07/2013; · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To evaluate whether information and reassurance about low back pain (LBP) given to employees at the workplace could reduce sick leave. Methods A Cluster randomized controlled trial with 135 work units of about 3,500 public sector employees in two Norwegian municipalities, randomized into two intervention groups; Education and peer support (EPS) (n = 45 units), education and "peer support and access to an outpatient clinic" (EPSOC) (n = 48 units), and a control group (n = 42 units). Both interventions consisted of educational meetings based on a "non-injury model" and a "peer adviser" appointed by colleagues. Employees in the EPSOC group had access to an outpatient clinic for medical examination and further education. The control group received no intervention. The main outcome was sick leave based on municipal records. Secondary outcomes were self-reported pain, pain related fear of movement, coping, and beliefs about LBP from survey data of 1,746 employees (response rate about 50 %). Results EPS reduced sick leave by 7 % and EPSOC reduced sick leave by 4 % during the intervention year, while sick leave in the control group was increased by 7 % during the same period. Overall, Rate Ratios (RR) were statistically significant for EPSOC (RR = .84 (C.I = 0.71-.99) but not EPS (RR = .92 (C.I = 0.78-1.09)) in a mixed Poisson regression analysis. Faulty beliefs about LBP were reduced in both intervention groups. Conclusions Educational meetings, combined with peer support and access to an outpatient clinic, were effective in reducing sick leave in public sector employees.
    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 05/2013; 23(2). · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The workplace is used as a setting for interventions to prevent and reduce sickness absence, regardless of the specific medical conditions and diagnoses.AimsTo give an overview of the general effectiveness of active workplace interventions aimed at preventing and reducing sickness absence.Methods We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, Psych-info, and ISI web of knowledge on 27 December 2011. Inclusion criteria were (i) participants over 18 years old with an active role in the intervention, (ii) intervention done partly or fully at the workplace or at the initiative of the workplace and (iii) sickness absence reported. Two reviewers independently screened articles, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. A narrative synthesis was used.ResultsWe identified 2036 articles of which, 93 were assessed in full text. Seventeen articles were included (2 with low and 15 with medium risk of bias), with a total of 24 comparisons. Five interventions from four articles significantly reduced sickness absence. We found moderate evidence that graded activity reduced sickness absence and limited evidence that the Sheerbrooke model (a comprehensive multidisciplinary intervention) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) reduced sickness absence. There was moderate evidence that workplace education and physical exercise did not reduce sickness absence. For other interventions, the evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions.Conclusions The review found limited evidence that active workplace interventions were not generally effective in reducing sickness absence, but there was moderate evidence of effect for graded activity and limited evidence for the effectiveness of the Sheerbrooke model and CBT.
    Occupational Medicine 12/2012; · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. A diagnosis is the basis of medical action, the key to various social privileges and national sick leave statistics. The objectives of this study were to investigate which diagnoses general practitioners in Scandinavia give patients with severe subjective health complaints, and what kind of treatments they suggested. Methods. One hundred and twenty-six self-selected general practitioners in Scandinavia diagnosed nine patients, presented as video vignettes, in a cross-sectional study. The main outcome measures were primary, secondary, and tertiary diagnoses. Results. The nine patients got between 13 and 31 different primary diagnoses and a large variety of secondary and tertiary diagnoses. Fifty-eight percent of the general practitioners chose different primary and secondary diagnoses, indicating that they judged the patients to have multimorbid complaints. The most commonly recommended treatment was referral to a psychologist, a mix of psychological and physical treatments, or treatment by the general practitioner. Conclusion. Scandinavian general practitioners give a large variety of symptom diagnoses, mainly psychological and general and unspecified, to patients with severe subjective health complaints. Referral to a psychologist or a mix of psychological or physical treatments was most commonly suggested to treat the patients.
    ISRN Public Health. 11/2012; 2012.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Return to work (RTW) after long-term sick leave can be a long-lasting process where the individual may shift between work and receiving different social security benefits, as well as between part-time and full-time work. This is a challenge in the assessment of RTW outcomes after rehabilitation interventions. The aim of this study was to analyse the probability for RTW, and the probabilities of transitions between different benefits during a 4-year follow-up, after participating in a work-related rehabilitation program. METHODS: The sample consisted of 584 patients (66% females), mean age 44 years (sd = 9.3). Mean duration on various types of sick leave benefits at entry to the rehabilitation program was 9.3 months (sd = 3.4)]. The patients had mental (47%), musculoskeletal (46%), or other diagnoses (7%). Official national register data over a 4-year follow-up period was analysed. Extended statistical tools for multistate models were used to calculate transition probabilities between the following eight states; working, partial sick leave, full-time sick leave, medical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, and disability pension; (partial, permanent and time-limited). RESULTS: During the follow-up there was an increased probability for working, a decreased probability for being on sick leave, and an increased probability for being on disability pension. The probability of RTW was not related to the work and benefit status at departure from the rehabilitation clinic. The patients had an average of 3.7 (range 0--18) transitions between work and the different benefits. CONCLUSIONS: The process of RTW or of receiving disability pension was complex, and may take several years, with multiple transitions between work and different benefits. Access to reliable register data and the use of a multistate RTW model, makes it possible to describe the developmental nature and the different levels of the recovery and disability process.
    BMC Public Health 09/2012; 12(1):748. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988) in relation to drive to work, enjoyment of and engagement in work, and professional position. A sample of 235 Norwegian bank employees completed a cross-sectional survey. We found that managers scored higher than subordinates on all measures. NPI scores correlated significantly and positively with drive, enjoyment of and engagement in work. Multiple regression analyses controlling for demographic and work variables showed that narcissism was significantly related to enjoyment of work and work engagement but unrelated to drive. Although the associations were rather weak, our findings support previous clinical observations of narcissistic traits in workaholics as well as findings in empirical research on narcissistic traits in managers.
    Social Behavior and Personality An International Journal 07/2012; 40(6). · 0.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Modern health worries (concerns about aspects of modern life affecting health) heve been associated with subjective health complaints and health care utilization. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between modern health worries (MHW) and subjective health complaints (SHC), health care utilization, and sick leave related to such complaints in the Norwegian working population. METHODS: A sample of the Norwegian working population (N = 569) answered a questionnaire which included the Subjective Health Complaints Inventory and a Norwegian version of the Modern Health Worries Scale. RESULTS: Ninety-one percent of the participants reported at least one complaint in the past 30 days, and 96 % of the participants reported concerns for at least one of the items in the MHW scale. Women reported significantly more and more severe complaints compared to men and significantly more concern about aspects of modern life affecting health. Participants who reported a high level of MHW showed nearly twice the risk of reporting a high level of SHC (odds ratio (OR) = 1.83; 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.30-2.71; p = 0.001), and they showed twice the risk for self-certified sick leave related to SHC (OR = 2.04; 95 % CI = 1.01-3.92; p = 0.048). High levels of MHW showed no significant association with health care utilization or doctor-certified sick leave. CONCLUSIONS: Subjective health complaints and concerns about aspects of modern life affecting health are very common, even among healthy workers. Women have more complaints and more concerns compared to men. Within the health care system, it may be advantageous to pay close attention to the association between high levels of MHW and high levels of SHC.
    International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 06/2012; · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to explore whether a culturally adapted lifestyle education programme would improve the risk factor profile for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Pakistani immigrant women in Oslo, Norway. The randomised controlled trial (the InnvaDiab study), lasting 7 ± 1 months, comprised six educational sessions about blood glucose, physical activity and diet. Participants (age 25-62 years) were randomised into either a control (n 97) or an intervention (n 101) group. Primary outcome variables were fasting and 2 h blood glucose, and secondary outcome variables were fasting levels of insulin, C-peptide, lipids, glycated Hb, BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure, measured 1-3 weeks before and after the intervention. During the intervention period, the mean fasting blood glucose decreased by 0·16 (95 % CI - 0·27, - 0·05) mmol/l in the intervention group, and remained unchanged in the control group (difference between the groups, P = 0·022). Glucose concentration 2 h after the oral glucose tolerance test decreased by 0·53 (95 % CI - 0·84, - 0·21) mmol/l in the intervention group, but not significantly more than in the control group. A larger reduction in fasting insulin was observed in the intervention group than in the control group (between-group difference, P = 0·036). Among the individuals who attended four or more of the educational sessions (n 59), we found a more pronounced decrease in serum TAG ( - 0·1 (95 % CI - 0·24, 0·07) mmol/l) and BMI ( - 0·48 (95 % CI - 0·78, - 0·18) kg/m2) compared with the control group. During the intervention period, there was a significant increase in participants having the MetS in the control group (from 41 to 57 %), which was not seen in the intervention group (from 44 to 42 %). Participation in a culturally adapted education programme may improve risk factors for T2D and prevent the development of the MetS in Pakistani immigrant women.
    The British journal of nutrition 05/2012; · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Coping has traditionally been measured with inventories containing many items meant to identify specific coping strategies. An alternative is to develop a shorter inventory that focusses on coping expectancies which may determine the extent to which an individual attempts to cope actively. PURPOSE: This paper explores the usefulness and validity of a simplified seven-item questionnaire (Theoretically Originated Measure of the Cognitive Activation Theory of Stress, TOMCATS) for response outcome expectancies defined either as positive ("coping"), negative ("hopelessness"), or none ("helplessness"). The definitions are based on the Cognitive Activation Theory of Stress (CATS; Ursin and Eriksen, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 29(5):567-92, 2004). The questionnaire was tested in two different samples. First, the questionnaire was compared with a traditional test of coping and then tested for validity in relation to socioeconomic differences in self-reported health. METHODS: The first study was a comparison of the brief TOMCATS with a short version of the Utrecht Coping List (UCL; Eriksen et al., Scand J Psychol, 38(3):175-82, 1997). Both questionnaires were tested in a population of 1,704 Norwegian municipality workers. The second study was a cross-sectional analysis of TOMCATS, subjective and objective socioeconomic status, and health in a representative sample of the Swedish working population in 2003-2005 (N = 11,441). RESULTS: In the first study, the coping item in the TOMCATS questionnaire showed an expected significant positive correlation with the UCL factors of instrumental mastery-oriented coping and negative correlations with passive and depressive scores. There were also the expected correlations for the helplessness and hopelessness scores, but there was no clear distinction between helplessness and hopelessness in the way they correlated with the UCL. In the second study, the coping item in TOMCATS and the three-item helplessness scores showed clear and monotonous gradients over a subjective socioeconomic status (SES) ladder. Positive response outcome expectancy ("coping") was related to high subjective SES and no expectancy ("helplessness") to low subjective SES. In a model including age and sex, TOMCATS scores explained more variance (r (2) = 0.16) in self-reported health than both subjective (r (2) = 0.08) and objective SES (r (2) = 0.02). CONCLUSION: The brief TOMCATS questionnaire showed acceptable and significant correlations with a traditional coping questionnaire and is sensitive enough to register systematic differences in response outcome expectancies across the socioeconomic ladder. The results furthermore confirm that psychological and learning factors contribute to the socioeconomic gradient in health.
    International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 02/2012; 20(2). · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to provide a narrative review of the current state of knowledge of the role of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the management of chronic nonspecific back pain. A literature search on all studies published up until July 2012 (PubMed and PsycINFO) was performed. The search string consisted of 4 steps: cognitive behavioral therapy/treatment/management/modification/intervention, chronic, back pain (MeSH term) or low back pain (MeSH term), and randomized controlled trial (MeSH term). The conclusions are based on the results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and reviews of RCTs. Interventions were not required to be pure CBT interventions, but were required to include both cognitive and behavioral components. The search yielded 108 studies, with 46 included in the analysis. Eligible intervention studies were categorized as CBT compared to wait-list controls/treatment as usual, physical treatments/exercise, information/education, biofeedback, operant behavioral treatment, lumbar spinal fusion surgery, and relaxation training. The results showed that CBT is a beneficial treatment for chronic back pain on a wide range of relevant variables, especially when compared to wait-list controls/treatment as usual. With regards to the other comparison treatments, results were mixed and inconclusive. The results of this review suggest that CBT is a beneficial treatment for chronic nonspecific back pain, leading to improvements in a wide range of relevant cognitive, behavioral and physical variables. This is especially evident when CBT is compared to treatment as usual or wait-list controls, but mixed and inconclusive when compared with various other treatments. Multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary interventions that integrate CBT with other approaches may represent the future direction of management of chronic back pain, with treatments modified for specific circumstances and stakeholders. There is a need for future intervention studies to be specific in their use of cognitive behavioral elements, in order for results to be comparable.
    Journal of Pain Research 01/2012; 5:371-80.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim was to investigate how working in an extreme and isolated environment in the Arctic affected the diurnal rhythm of saliva cortisol. Field study. Twenty-five male tunnel workers were screened during 3 different working cycles with different light conditions during a 9-month construction period; April/May (24 hours [h] light), September/October (approximately 12 h light and 12 h darkness) and November/December (24 h darkness). The work schedule was 10 h on/14 h off, 21 days at work/21 days off work. The workers alternated between the day shift in 1 work period and the night shift in the next. Four saliva samples were collected on day 14 in all 3 periods; immediately after awakening, and then 30 minutes, 6 hours and 12 hours after awakening. Regardless of shift schedule, the workers' cortisol levels were significantly lower in the period with 24 hours of light per day compared to the period with "normal" light conditions. There were no differences in the cortisol levels of the workers on night shifts in the period with 24 hours of darkness compared to those in the period with "normal" light conditions, but the workers who were on day shifts in the period with 24 of hours darkness had a disturbed cortisol rhythm (lower peak after awakening and lack of the normal decrease during the day). External light conditions and shift schedule were important factors in regulating the workers' cortisol rhythm. It seems to be easier to adapt to a night rhythm than an early morning rhythm in an isolated and extreme environment.
    International journal of circumpolar health. 12/2011; 70(5):542-51.
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the reluctance of, and examine the arguments given by Norwegian general practioners (GPs), regarding their unwillingness to recruit their patients for a study where sick leave would be based on randomization. A qualitative study presenting individual arguments from 50 Norwegian GPs, as written responses to a web-based, open-ended questionnaire. The responses, ranging from 3-145 words, were analysed with systematic text condensation. The GPs did not want to participate in a study where sick leave was decided by randomization. First, the complexity of clinical judgment was addressed. Would it be ethically acceptable to set the professional and medical assessment aside, and if so, was there any better judge than the regular GP in making this important decision? Second, the arguments dealing with sick leave as a human and legal right were addressed. Will patients feel they have a legitimate right to sick leave and will they be open for discussion with their GP? Third, the risk of jeopardizing the relationship between patient and doctor was emphasized. Would the patients be able to trust their GP if he or she offered the patient entry into a trial where sick leave would be decided by randomization? Randomization of sick leave in general practice in Norway was not viewed as feasible by the GPs themselves because of the importance of clinical judgment, ethical obligations, and the belief that the patients would refuse participation, and thereby, that the doctor-patient relationship would be disturbed.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2011; 39(8):888-93. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychological and behavioural factors seem to influence the results of bariatric surgery and the ability to achieve sustained weight loss and subjective wellbeing after the operation. Adequate pre- and postoperative psychological counselling are suggested to improve the results of surgery. However, some patients are reluctant to participate in pre- and postoperative counselling. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible influence of psychiatric disorders on willingness to participate in group counselling in patients accepted for bariatric surgery. One hundred and forty-one patients referred to bariatric surgery (F/M: 103/38) with mean body mass index (BMI) of 45.2 kg/m2 (SD = 5.3) and mean age of 42.0 years (SD = 10.4) were interviewed with Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) and Structured Clinical Interview (SCID-II) preoperatively. The overall prevalence of current psychiatric disorders was 49%. Thirty-one percent did not want to participate in counselling groups. Patients who were unwilling to participate in counselling groups had significantly higher prevalence of social phobia (32%/ 12%, p = 0.006) and avoidant personality disorder (27%/ 12%, p = 0.029) than patients who agreed to participate. Psychiatric disorders are prevalent among candidates for bariatric surgery. Social phobia and avoidant personality disorder seem to influence the willingness to participate in counselling groups. Individual counselling and/or web-based counselling might be recommended for bariatric surgery patients who are reluctant to participate in group counselling.
    Obesity Surgery 06/2011; 21(6):730-7. · 3.74 Impact Factor

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