Einar Heiervang

University of Oslo, Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway

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Publications (35)84.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Conducted a randomized controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and compared the relative effectiveness of individual (ICBT) and group (GCBT) treatment approaches for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Referred youth (N = 182, M age = 11.5 years, range 8-15 years, 53% girls) with separation anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to ICBT, GCBT or a waitlist control (WLC) in community clinics. Pre-, post-, and one year follow-up assessments included youth and parent completed diagnostic interview and symptom measures. After comparing CBT (ICBT and GCBT combined) to WLC, ICBT and GCBT were compared along diagnostic recovery rates, clinically significant improvement, and symptom measures scores using traditional hypothesis tests, as well as statistical equivalence tests. Significantly more youth lost all anxiety disorders after CBT compared to WLC. Full diagnostic recovery rate was 25.3% for ICBT and 20.5% in GCBT, which was not significantly different. There was continued lack of significant differences between ICBT and GCBT at one year follow-up. However, equivalence between GCBT and ICBT could only be demonstrated for clinical severity rating of the principal anxiety disorder and child reported anxiety symptoms post-treatment. Findings support the effectiveness of CBT compared to no intervention for youth with anxiety disorders, with no significant differences between ICBT and GCBT. However, the relatively low recovery rates highlight the need for further improvement of CBT programs and their transportability from university to community settings.
    Behaviour Research and Therapy 03/2014; 57C:1-12. · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    Stine Lehmann, Einar R Heiervang, Toril Havik, Odd E Havik
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    ABSTRACT: High prevalence of mental disorders among foster children highlight the need to examine the mental health of children placed out of home. We examined the properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in screening school-aged foster children for mental disorders.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e102134. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Stine Lehmann, Odd E Havik, Toril Havik, Einar R Heiervang
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of mental disorders in 6- to 12-year-old foster children and assess comorbidity and risk factors. Information on mental health was collected from foster parents and from teachers using Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) Web-based diagnostic interview. Child welfare services provided information about care conditions prior to placement and about the child's placement history. Diagnostic information was obtained about 279 (70.5%) of 396 eligible foster children. In total, 50.9% of the children met the criteria for one or more DSM-IV disorders. The most common disorders were grouped into 3 main diagnostic groups: Emotional disorders (24.0%), ADHD (19.0%), and Behavioural disorders (21.5%). The comorbidity rates among these 3 main groups were high: 30.4% had disorders in 2 of these 3 diagnostic groups, and 13.0% had disorders in all 3 groups. In addition, Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) was diagnosed in 19.4% of the children, of whom 58.5% had comorbid disorders in the main diagnostic groups. Exposure to violence, serious neglect, and the number of prior placements increased the risk for mental disorders. Foster children in Norway have a high prevalence of mental disorders, compared to the general child population in Norway and to other societies. The finding that 1 in 2 foster children presented with a mental disorder with high rates of comorbidity highlight the need for skilled assessment and qualified service provision for foster children and families.
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 11/2013; 7(1):39.
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of parental emotional well-being and parenting practices as mediators of the association between familial socioeconomic status (SES) and child mental health problems. The sample included 2,043 5th-7th graders (50.7 % female) participating in the second wave of the Bergen Child Study. Children completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, parents reported family economy and education level, emotional well-being (measured with the Everyday Feelings Questionnaire), and the use of negative disciplinary and affirmative parenting practices (measured using the Family Life Questionnaire). Path analyses were conducted to examine the associations between SES and externalizing and internalizing problems. Results supported a model where family economy was associated with externalizing problems through parental emotional well-being and parenting practices, whereas maternal education level was associated with externalizing problems through negative discipline. The direct association between paternal education level and externalizing problems was not mediated by parenting. For internalizing problems, we found both direct associations with family economy and indirect associations with family economy through parental emotional well-being and parenting. The results suggest that parental emotional well-being and parenting practices are two potential mechanisms through which low socioeconomic status is associated with child mental health problems.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 10/2013; · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Depressive disorders are disabling conditions striking at all ages. In adults, subthreshold depression (SD) is viewed as being on a continuum with major depressive disorder (MDD). Whether this holds for children and adolescents, is still unclear. We performed the first systematic review of SD in subjects below 18 years, in order to explore if childhood SD and MDD share causal pathways, phenomenology and outcomes, supporting a dimensional view. A critical systematic review in accordance with preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement. A review protocol was developed a priori, and all reports were assessed by two reviewers. The literature search generated 941 eligible references and 24 studies were included. Although diagnostic criteria for SD showed great variability, similarities for SD and MDD were striking. Both were common conditions with similar risk factor patterns. Clinical characteristics in both groups were depressed mood, suicidal ideation and high comorbidity. Outcomes were almost equally poor, with increased psychiatric morbidity and health service use. SD intervention studies showed promising results. Reports with data on SD not reported in keywords or abstract may have been missed by the search strategy. A dimensional view of depressive disorders is also supported in children and adolescents, suggesting SD to be a precursor to MDD. Although SD is a somewhat milder condition than MDD, it has severe outcomes with psychopathology and impairment. There is a need of identifying cost-efficient and longlasting interventions in order to prevent development of early SD into MDD.
    Journal of affective disorders 07/2013; · 3.76 Impact Factor
  • 01/2013; Universitetsforlaget., ISBN: 978-82-15-01879
  • Hvordan sikre angstpasienter kunnskapsbasert behandling, Edited by Gerd Kvale; Odd Einar Havik; Tone Tangen; Einar Røsholt Heiervang; Bente Mowatt Storm Haugland, 01/2013: chapter Angstlidelser hos voksne og barn - behov for økt innsats; Universitetsforlaget., ISBN: 978-82-15-01879
  • 59th Meeting of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 10/2012
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    59th Meeting of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 10/2012
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the factor structure and psychometric properties of an observer-rated youth alliance measure, the Therapy Process Observational Coding System for Child Psychotherapy-Alliance scale (TPOCS-A). The sample was 52 youth diagnosed with anxiety disorders (M age = 12.43, SD = 2.23, range = 8-15; 56% boys; 98% Caucasian) drawn from a randomized controlled trial. Participants received a manualized individual cognitive behavioral treatment, the FRIENDS for life program, in public community clinics in Norway. Diagnostic status, treatment motivation, and perceived treatment credibility were assessed at pretreatment. Using the TPOCS-A, independent observers rated child-therapist alliance from the third therapy session. Child- and therapist-reported alliance measures were collected from the same session. An exploratory factor analysis supported a one-factor solution, which is consistent with previous studies of self- and observer-rated youth alliance scales. Psychometric analyses supported the interrater reliability, internal consistency, and convergent/divergent validity of the TPOCS-A. Accumulating psychometric evidence indicate that the TPOCS-A has the potential to fill a measurement gap in the youth psychotherapy field. In youth psychotherapy, alliance may be unidimensional, so establishing a strong bond and engaging the child in therapeutic activities may both be instrumental to establishing good alliance early in treatment. However, it is important to be cautious when interpreting the factor analytic findings, because the sample size may have been too small to identify additional factors. Future research can build upon these findings by examining the factor structure of youth alliance measures with larger, more diverse samples.
    Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 03/2012; 41(2):246-54. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the agreement between diagnoses and severity ratings assigned by clinicians using a structured web-based interview within a child and adolescent mental health outpatient setting. Information on 100 youths was obtained from multiple informants through a web-based Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). Based on this information, four experienced clinicians independently diagnosed (according to the International Classification of Diseases Revision 10) and rated the severity of mental health problems according to the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) and the Children's Global Assessment Scale (C-GAS). Agreement for diagnosis was κ=0.69-0.82. Intra-class correlation for single measures was 0.78 for HoNOSCA and 0.74 for C-GAS, and 0.93 and 0.92, respectively for average measures. Agreement was good to excellent for all diagnostic categories. Agreement for severity was moderate, but improved to substantial when the average of the ratings given by all clinicians was considered. Therefore, we conclude that experienced clinicians can assign reliable diagnoses and assess severity based on DAWBA data collected online.
    Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 01/2012; 8:16-21.
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    ABSTRACT: To examine whether the widely used Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) can validly be used to compare the prevalence of child mental health problems cross nationally. We used data on 29,225 5- to 16-year olds in eight population-based studies from seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Britain, India, Norway, Russia and Yemen. Parents completed the SDQ in all eight studies, teachers in seven studies and youth in five studies. We used these SDQ data to calculate three different sorts of "caseness indicators" based on (1) SDQ symptoms, (2) SDQ symptoms plus impact and (3) an overall respondent judgement of 'definite' or 'severe' difficulties. Respondents also completed structured diagnostic interviews including extensive open-ended questions (the Development and Well-Being Assessment, DAWBA). Diagnostic ratings were all carried out or supervised by the DAWBA's creator, working in conjunction with experienced local professionals. As judged by the DAWBA, the prevalence of any mental disorder ranged from 2.2% in India to 17.1% in Russia. The nine SDQ caseness indicators (three indicators times three informants) explained 8-56% of the cross-national variation in disorder prevalence. This was insufficient to make meaningful prevalence estimates since populations with a similar measured prevalence of disorder on the DAWBA showed large variations across the various SDQ caseness indicators. The relationship between SDQ caseness indicators and disorder rates varies substantially between populations: cross-national differences in SDQ indicators do not necessarily reflect comparable differences in disorder rates. More generally, considerable caution is required when interpreting cross-cultural comparisons of mental health, particularly when these rely on brief questionnaires.
    Social Psychiatry 10/2011; 47(8):1321-31. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) is a broad-band child mental health instrument, which has been reported to be a good screener for the ADHD phenotype. Questionnaires containing the SDQ and the 18 SNAP-IV items corresponding to the DSM-IV ADHD symptoms were completed by parents and teachers for 66% (N = 6,233) of all 7- to 9-year-olds in the city of Bergen, Norway, 2002. Screening properties of the five-item SDQ hyperactivity-inattention subscale for the DSM-IV ADHD phenotype were examined. Using the DSM-IV ADHD phenotype based on both informants as the gold standard (5.2% of the sample), the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses demonstrated an area under the curve of 0.91 (95% CI: 0.90-0.92) for parent and 0.95 (95% CI: 0.94-0.95) for teacher SDQ hyperactivity-inattention subscale ratings. The SDQ hyperactivity-inattention predictive algorithm identified 74% of those with the ADHD combined subtype as possible or probable cases, but only 22% of those with the inattentive subtype. The 5-item long SDQ hyperactivity-inattention subscale is a shorter substitute for the 18-item ADHD symptom list. The SDQ predictive algorithm had an acceptable sensitivity for the ADHD combined subtype, but low sensitivity for the ADHD inattentive and the ADHD hyperactive subtypes.
    European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 07/2011; 20(9):451-8. · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the prevalence of the ADHD phenotype based on parent and teacher reports in a general population sample of 7- to 9-year-old Norwegian children and evaluate the effect of parent attrition, gender and informant on the prevalence estimate. The population consisted of all children (N = 9,430) attending 2nd-4th grade in the City of Bergen, Norway. The 18 symptoms of ADHD corresponding to the SNAP-IV and DSM-IV were included in the Bergen Child Study questionnaire to teachers and parents. Teacher information was available for 9,137 children (97%) and information from both informants was available for the 6,237 children (66%) whose parents agreed to participate in the study. The prevalence of the ADHD phenotype based on the combination of parent and teacher reports was 5.2% among participants. Teacher ratings of non-participants had a doubled rate of ADHD high scorers with an OR of 2.1 (95% CI, 1.9-2.4). The non-participant ADHD high scorers had more inattentive and fewer hyperactive/impulsive symptoms as compared to participating ADHD high scorers. Teachers reported high scores of hyperactivity/impulsivity and the combined symptom constellation much more frequently in boys than girls, while the difference between genders was less marked according to parent reports. The ADHD phenotype was twice as prevalent among non-participants as among participants. Reported prevalences in population studies are therefore likely to be underestimates, if such attrition bias is not accounted for. Choice of informant, criteria for symptom count, definitions of subtypes and gender differences influence the prevalence estimates of the ADHD phenotype.
    Social Psychiatry 04/2011; 47(5):763-9. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: The use of screening instruments can reduce waiting lists and increase treatment capacity. The aim of this study was to examine the usefulness of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) with the original UK scoring algorithms, when used as a screening instrument to detect mental health disorders among patients in the Norwegian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) North Study. A total of 286 outpatients, aged 5 to 18 years, from the CAMHS North Study were assigned diagnoses based on a Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). The main diagnostic groups (emotional, hyperactivity, conduct and other disorders) were then compared to the SDQ scoring algorithms using two dichotomisation levels: 'possible' and 'probable' levels. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio (ORD) were calculated. Sensitivity for the diagnostic categories included was 0.47-0.85 ('probable' dichotomisation level) and 0.81-1.00 ('possible' dichotomisation level). Specificity was 0.52-0.87 ('probable' level) and 0.24-0.58 ('possible' level). The discriminative ability, as measured by ORD, was in the interval for potentially useful tests for hyperactivity disorders and conduct disorders when dichotomised on the 'possible' level. The usefulness of the SDQ UK-based scoring algorithms in detecting mental health disorders among patients in the CAMHS North Study is only partly supported in the present study. They seem best suited to identify children and adolescents who do not require further psychiatric evaluation, although this as well is problematic from a clinical point of view.
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 01/2011; 5:32.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies have consistently shown that pregnancy smoking is associated with twice the risk of hyperactivity/inattention problems in the offspring. An association of this magnitude may indicate behavioural difficulties as one of the most important health effects related to smoking during pregnancy. However, social and genetic confounders may fully or partially account for these findings. A cohort including all singletons born in Finland from 1 January 1987 through 31 December 2001 was followed until 1 January 2006 based on linkage of national registers. Data were available for 97% (N = 868,449) of the population. We followed singleton children of smoking and non-smoking mothers until they had an International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) or to the end of the observation period. We used sibling-matched Cox regression analyses to control for social and genetic confounding. We found a much smaller association between exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of HKD in children using the sibling-matched analysis [hazards ratio (HR) = 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97-1.49] than was observed in the entire cohort (HR 2.01, 95% CI 1.90-2.12). Our findings suggest that the strong association found in previous studies may be due to time-stable familial factors, such as environmental and genetic factors. If smoking is a causal factor, the effect is small and less important than what the previous studies indicate.
    International Journal of Epidemiology 11/2010; 40(2):338-45. · 6.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe and validate the 'DAWBA bands'. These are novel ordered-categorical measures of child mental health, based on the structured sections of the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). We developed computer algorithms to generate parent, teacher, child and multi-informant DAWBA bands for individual disorders and for groups of disorder (e.g. 'any emotional disorder'). The top two (out of 6) levels of the DAWBA bands were used as computer-generated DAWBA diagnoses. We validated these DAWBA bands in 7,912 British children (7-19 years) and 1,364 Norwegian children (11-13 years), using clinician-rated DAWBA diagnoses as a gold standard. In general, the prevalence of clinician-rated diagnosis increased monotonically across all levels of the DAWBA bands, and also showed a dose-response association with service use and risk factors. The prevalence estimates of the computer-generated DAWBA diagnoses were of roughly comparable magnitude to the prevalence estimates from the clinician-generated diagnoses, but the estimates were not always very close. In contrast, the estimated effect sizes, significance levels and substantive conclusions regarding risk factor associations were very similar or identical. The multi-informant and parent DAWBA bands performed especially well in these regards. Computer-generated DAWBA bands avoid the cost and delay occasioned by clinical rating. They may, therefore, sometimes provide a useful alternative to clinician-rated diagnoses, when studying associations with risk factors, generating rough prevalence estimates or implementing routine mental health screening.
    Social Psychiatry 04/2010; 46(6):521-32. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Guided self-help via Internet is a promising way of treating panic disorder (PD). The present study examined the effects of a self-help program via Internet with weekly therapist contact for PD after disseminated to a new country. Predictors of outcome were also examined. The study was an open trial with 27 participants with PD with or without agoraphobia as their primary diagnose. Medium to large effects on PD-symptoms were reported after treatment and at 6months follow-up, with smaller effects on secondary outcome measures, i.e. depression, interpersonal problems, and sleep problem. The attrition rate of 30% in present study was higher than in Swedish studies. Predictor analysis showed that participants with longer duration of PD-symptoms had less improvement on all outcome measurers, whereas higher age predicted more improvement. The guided self-help program remained effective when disseminated to a new country, but the high attrition rate needs to be addressed in future studies.
    Computers in Human Behavior. 01/2010; 26:592-596.
  • Einar Heiervang, Robert Goodman
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    ABSTRACT: Web-based surveys may have advantages related to the speed and cost of data collection as well as data quality. However, they may be biased by low and selective participation. We predicted that such biases would distort point-estimates such as average symptom level or prevalence but not patterns of associations with putative risk-factors. A structured psychiatric interview was administered to parents in two successive surveys of child mental health. In 2003, parents were interviewed face-to-face, whereas in 2006 they completed the interview online. In both surveys, interviews were preceded by paper questionnaires covering child and family characteristics. The rate of parents logging onto the web site was comparable to the response rate for face-to-face interviews, but the rate of full response (completing all sections of the interview) was much lower for web-based interviews. Full response was less frequent for non-traditional families, immigrant parents, and less educated parents. Participation bias affected point estimates of psychopathology but had little effect on associations with putative risk factors. The time and cost of full web-based interviews was only a quarter of that for face-to-face interviews. Web-based surveys may be performed faster and at lower cost than more traditional approaches with personal interviews. Selective participation seems a particular threat to point estimates of psychopathology, while patterns of associations are more robust.
    Social Psychiatry 11/2009; 46(1):69-76. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined independent contributions of executive functioning (EF), state regulation (SR), and social risk factors to symptom dimensions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in two cohorts, which included 221 Norwegian children and 294 Finnish adolescents. Independent contributions of EF and SR were shown in the Norwegian cohort and EF contributed independently in the Finnish cohort. When controlling for each symptom dimension, cognitive functioning and social risk factors were differentially associated with inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. The results show the need to include both social risk factors and cognitive functioning to obtain a better understanding of ADHD symptoms.
    Developmental Neuropsychology 11/2009; 34(6):721-35. · 2.90 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

770 Citations
84.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2014
    • University of Oslo
      • Institute of Clinical Medicine
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway
  • 2002–2014
    • Haukeland University Hospital
      • Clinic of Child and Adolescent Mental Health
      Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
  • 2010–2011
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Førde Health Trust
      Fords, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway
  • 2008–2011
    • Regionsenter for barn og unges psykiske helse
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway
  • 2000–2008
    • University of Bergen
      • Department of Biological and Medical Psychology
      Bergen, Hordaland Fylke, Norway