Torgeir Sørensen

MF Norwegian School of Theology, Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway

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Publications (6)4.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Religious belief can be used as a pain coping strategy. Our purpose was to evaluate the relationship between headache and religious activity using prospective data from a large population-based study. This longitudinal cohort study used data from two consecutive surveys in the Nord-Tr[latin small letter o with stroke]ndelag Health Survey (HUNT 2 and 3) performed in 1995-1997; and 2006-2008. Among the 51,383 participants aged >= 20 years who answered headache questions at baseline, 41,766 were eligible approximately 11 years later. Of these, 25,177 (60%) completed the question in HUNT 3 regarding religious activity. Frequent religious attendees (fRA) (used as a marker of stronger religious belief than average) were defined as those who had been to church/prayer house at least once monthly during the last six months. In the multivariate analyses, adjusting for known potential confounders, individuals with headache 1-14 days/month in HUNT 2 were more likely to be fRA 11 years later than headache-free individuals. Migraine at baseline predisposed more strongly to fRA at follow-up (OR = 1.25; 95% CI 1.19-1.40) than did non-migrainous headache (OR = 1.13; 95% 1.04-1.23). The odds of being fRA was 48% increased (OR 1.48; 95% 1.19-1.83) among those with migraine 7-14 days/month at baseline compared to subjects without headache. In contrast, headache status at baseline did not influence the odds of being frequent visitors of concerts, cinema and/or theatre at follow-up 11 years later. In this prospective study, headache, in particular migraine, at baseline slightly increased the odds of being fRA 11 years later.
    The Journal of Headache and Pain 01/2014; 15(1):1. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we describe religious activity, view of life and religious coping-related attitudes in Nord-Trøndelag County (Norway), give in-depth perspectives on the interpretation of these variables, and evaluate their applicability. Data were collected from the population-based Nord-Trøndelag Health Study's third wave, HUNT 3 (2006–2008) (N = 50,374), and supplemented by a focus group interview. Demographic variables showed findings corresponding to previous research. Women and the elderly were more religiously active and more affiliated with religion. The values of the view of life variable overlapped. Different understanding regarding whether bad things happen for a purpose was indicated. Seeking God's help for strength and solace, both verbalised and not verbalised, had lower prevalence than prayer in general and was considered as a situational and positive activity. The study suggests which variables can be replicated in other surveys in a Norwegian or Scandinavian context.
    Mental Health Religion & Culture 07/2012; Religion & Culture(Vol. 15):571-585.
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The death of a family member is a stressful life event and can result in an increased level of depressive symptoms. Previous American research has shown inverse relationships between religious involvement and depression. European investigations are few and findings inconsistent; different contexts may have an important influence on findings. We therefore investigated the relationship between attendance at church/prayer house and depressive symptoms, and whether this relationship was moderated by the death of a close family member, in Norway. Methods. A population-based sample from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, Norway (HUNT 3, N = 37,981), was the population examined. Multiple regression and interaction tests were utilised. Results. Religious attendees had lower scores on depressive symptoms than non-attendees; death of a close family member moderated this relationship. The inverse relationships between attendance at church/prayer house and depressive symptoms were greater among those experiencing the death of an immediate family member in the last twelve months compared to those without such an experience, with men's decrease of depressive symptoms more pronounced than women's. Conclusion. In a population-based study in Norway, attendance at church/prayer house was associated with lower depressive symptoms, and the death of a close relative and gender moderated this relationship.
    Depression research and treatment 01/2012; 2012:396347.
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    Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie 01/2012; 34(2):191-213. · 0.34 Impact Factor
  • Torgeir Sørensen, Tor Torbjørnsen
    Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening 05/2011; 131(9-10):932.
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    ABSTRACT: Research from the United States shows a possible relationship between religious attendance (RA) and blood pressure (BP). The religious context in the United States differs widely from Scandinavia. The aim was, therefore, to test whether the relationship between RA and BP is specific to the religious culture in the United States or whether a similar relationship exists between RA and BP in a Norwegian context. Data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study's third wave, HUNT 3 (2006-08), was used. The associations between RA and diastolic (DBP) and systolic (SBP) blood pressure in women (n = 20,066) and men (n = 15,898) were investigated in a cross-sectional study using multiple regression analyses. Mean DBP for women/men was 71.0 mmHg/76.7 mmHg. Mean SBP was 128.5 mmHg/134.0 mmHg; 39.1%/42.8% of women/men never attended religious services, 3.8%/3.4% attended more than 3x/month. The bivariate associations were statistically significant between RA and SBP in both genders and women's DBP but not men's DBP. After adjustment, inverse associations between RA and DBP/SBP for both genders were found. The RA-DBP relationship (p < 0.001) demonstrated a gradient in effect for both genders, with increasing RA associated with decreasing DBP, with 1.50/1.67 mmHg lower in women/men respectively in those attending more than 3x/month, 0.87/1.16 mmHg lower in those attending 1-3x/month, and 0.49/0.10 mmHg less in those attending 1-6x/6 months. Differences in RA-SBP (p < 0.05) were 2.12/1.71 mmHg, 0.30/0.11 mmHg, and 0.58/0.63 mmHg, respectively. In a large population-based survey in Norway, RA was associated with lower DBP and SBP after adjusting for relevant variables.
    The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 01/2011; 42(1):13-28. · 0.81 Impact Factor