Torgeir Sørensen

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

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Publications (7)4.03 Total impact

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    Torgeir Sørensen · Lars Lien · Anne Landheim · Lars Danbolt
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    ABSTRACT: The Norwegian health authorities buy one third of their addiction treatment from private institutions run by organizations and trusts. Several of these are founded on religious values. The aim of the study was to investigate such value-based treatment and the patients’ experiences of spirituality and religiousness as factors of meaning-making in rehabilitation. The study was performed in an explorative qualitative design. Data were collected through focus-group interviews among therapists and in-patients at a religiously founded substance misuse service institution. The analysis was carried out by content analysis through systematic text-condensation. Through different activities and a basic attitude founded on religious values, the selected institution and the therapists facilitated a treatment framework which included a spiritual dimension and religious activity. The patients appreciated their free choice regarding treatment approaches, which helped them to make meaning of life in various collective and individual settings. Rituals and sacred spaces gave peace of mind and confidence in a situation that up to now had been chaotic and difficult. Sermons and wording in rituals contributed to themes of reflection and helped patients to revise attitudes and how other people were met. Private confessions functioned for several patients as turning point experiences influencing patients’ relations to themselves and their surroundings. Spirituality and religious activity contributed to meaning-making among patients with substance use disorder and had significance for their rehabilitation.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Religions
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · The Journal of Headache and Pain
  • Torgeir Sørensen · Lars Lien · Jostein Holmen · Lars Johan Danbolt
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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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Mental Health Religion & Culture
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    Torgeir Sørensen · Lars J Danbolt · Jostein Holmen · Harold G Koenig · Lars Lien
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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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Depression research and treatment
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This study investigates the prevalence of 'Seeking God's Help', its relation to time since diagnosis, and its association with Life Satisfaction for all cancer types. This study also investigates Disease-Specific Quality of Life (QoL: European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer modules) for patients with breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. Data were obtained from the third wave of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study of Norway (HUNT-3; 2006-2008), with 2,086 cancer patients identified by the Cancer Registry of Norway and 6,258 cancer-free controls. Our results indicate a higher prevalence of 'Seeking God's Help' after a shorter time since diagnosis among men. No association was observed in multivariate analyses between 'Seeking God's Help' and 'Life Satisfaction' or 'Disease-Specific QoL' in long-term cancer survivors. Longitudinal investigations are needed to elucidate the relationship between the 'Seeking God's Help' variable and Life Satisfaction and Disease-Specific QoL among cancer patients in a Norwegian context.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie
  • Torgeir Sørensen · Tor Torbjørnsen

    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening
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    Torgeir Sørensen · Lars J Danbolt · Lars Lien · Harold G Koenig · Jostein Holmen
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine