Nissen, Alexander Press Photos

Nissen, Alexander

Project Employee
Unit: Section for Trauma, catastrophes and forced migration - adults and elderly
Telephone: 916 23 650

Areas of Expertise

Bio: I completed my bachelor’s degree in economics at UC Berkeley before training as a medical doctor at Yale University in the US. I have later completed a master’s degree in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in the UK. Before going into research, I worked as a child- and adolescent psychiatrist at Oslo University Hospital, Norway. I have been employed at NKVTS since 2011, part- or full-time, and I also have a part-time position as a statistician at the Red Cross University College, Stockholm, Sweden.  

Academic interest: refugee health/mental health (e.g. burden of disease; risk- and protective factors); health and integration in refugees; global (mental) health; psychotraumatology; PTSD;  epidemiology/ epidemiological methods (e.g. study design and statistics, pre-registration/hypothesis generating vs. testing research)



– researcher in the REFUGE-project, which explores (mental) health and integration in adults refugees from Syria who arrived in Norway between 2015 and 2017

– researcher in the study: “Should we talk about mental health? Feasibility of assessment of mental health and treatment needs in newly arrived refugees from the war in Ukraine – a pilot study”

– researcher/statistician in the research program “Resiliency, Mental Health and Social Participation among Refugees (RMSR)” at the Red Cross University College, Stockholm, Sweden


Google Scholar profile:           https://scholar.google.no/citations?user=zOpLai4AAAAJ&hl=en

ResearchGate profile:             https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alexander-Nissen/publications



Scientific articles and chapters


Nissen, A., Hynek, K. A., Scales, D., Hilden, P. K., & Straiton, M. L. (2022). Chronic pain, mental health and functional impairment in adult refugees from Syria resettled in Norway: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry, 22(1), 1-16. doi:10.1186/s12888-022-04200-x

Sengoelge, M., Nissen, A., & Solberg, Ø. (2022). Post-Migration Stressors and Health-Related Quality of Life in Refugees from Syria Resettled in Sweden. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), 19(5). doi:10.3390/ijerph19052509


Berthelsen, M., Hansen, M. B., Hansen, M. B., Nissen, A., Nielsen, M. B., Knardahl, S., & Heir, T. (2021). The Impact of a Workplace Terrorist Attack on the Psychosocial Work Environment: A Longitudinal Study From Pre- to Post-disaster. Frontiers In Public Health, 9. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2021.708260

Brennen, T., Blix, I., Nissen, A., Skumlien, M., Holmes, E. A., Skumlien, M., & Holmes, E. A., & Solberg, Ø. (2021). Investigating the frequency of intrusive memories after 24 hours using a visuospatial interference intervention: a follow-up and extension. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12(1), 1-12. doi:10.1080/20008198.2021.1953788

Dale, M. T. G., Nissen, A., Berthelsen, M., Gjessing, H. K., & Heir, T. (2021). Psychosocial work factors and sick leave risk after a terrorist bomb attack: a survey and registry-based longitudinal study of governmental employees in Norway. BMJ Open, 11. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052628

Nissen, A., Cauley, P., Saboonchi, F., Andersen, A. J., & Solberg, Ø. (2021). Mental health in adult refugees from Syria resettled in Norway between 2015 and 2017: A nationwide, questionnaire-based, cross-sectional prevalence study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. doi:10.1080/20008198.2021.1994218

Nissen, A., Sengoelge, M., & Solberg, Ø. (2021). Post-migration Stressors and Subjective Well-Being in Adult Syrian Refugees Resettled in Sweden: A Gender Perspective. Frontiers In Public Health, 9. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2021.717353

Solberg, Ø., Sengoelge, M., Nissen, A., & Saboonchi, F. (2021). Coping in limbo? The moderating role of coping strategies in the relationship between post-migration stress and well-being during the asylum-seeking process. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), 18(3), 1-16. doi:10.3390/ijerph18031004


Berthelsen, M., Hansen, M. B., Nissen, A., Nielsen, M. B., Knardahl, S., & Heir, T. (2020). Effects of exposure to workplace terrorism on subsequent doctor certified sickness absence, and the modifying role of psychological and social work factors: a combined survey and register study. BMC Public Health, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-020-08465-3

Grønning Dale, M. T., Nissen, A. F. W., Berthelsen, M., & Heir, T. (2020). Post-traumatic stress reactions and doctor-certified sick leave after a workplace terrorist attack: Norwegian cohort study. BMJ Open, 10(2). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032693

Nissen, A., & Heir, T. (2020). Security interventions and perceived safety and threat following workplace terrorism: a three-wave longitudinal study of ministerial employees in Norway. Journal of Risk Research, 1-15. doi:10.1080/13669877.2020.1848903

Nissen, A., Berthelsen, M., Grønning Dale, M. T., Hansen, M. B., & Heir, T. (2020). Is perceived safety and threat after workplace terrorism linked to employee sick-leave? A registry-based longitudinal study of governmental employees in Norway. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11:185249(1), 1-13. doi:10.1080/20008198.2020.1785249

Nissen, A., Cauley, P., Saboonchi, F., Andersen, A. J., & Solberg, Ø. (2020). Cohort profile: Resettlement in Uprooted Groups Explored (REFUGE) – A longitudinal study of mental health and integration in adult refugees from Syria resettled in Norway between 2015 and 2017. BMJ Open, 10(7). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036101

Sengoelge, M., Solberg, Ø., Nissen, A., & Saboonchi, F. (2020). Exploring Social and Financial Hardship, Mental Health Problems and the Role of Social Support in Asylum Seekers Using Structural Equation Modelling. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), 17(19), 1-14. doi:10.3390/ijerph17196948

Solberg, Ø., Nissen, A., Vaez, M., Cauley, P., & Saboonchi, F.Eriksson, A. K. (2020). Children at risk: A nation-wide, cross-sectional study examining post-traumatic stress symptoms in refugee minors from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan resettled in Sweden between 2014 and 2018. Conflict and Health, 14:67, 1-12. doi:10.1186/s13031-020-00311-y


Nissen, A., Hansen, M., Bang Hansen, M., Nielsen, M. B., Birkeland Nielsen, M., Knardahl, S., & Heir, T. (2019). Employee safety perception following workplace terrorism. A longitudinal study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 10. doi:10.1080/20008198.2018.1478584


Hansen, M., Bang Hansen, M., Berthelsen, M., Nissen, A., & Heir, T. (2018). Sick leave before and after a work-place targeted terror attack. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. doi:10.1007/s00420-018-1390-8


Hansen, M., Birkeland, M. S., Nissen, A., Blix, I., Solberg, Ø., & Heir, T. (2017). Prevalence and course of symptom-defined PTSD in individuals directly or indirectly exposed to terror: A longitudinal study. Psychiatry, 80(2), 171-183. doi:10.1080/00332747.2016.1230983

Nissen, A., Cook, J., Loha, E., & Lindtjorn, B. (2017). Proximity to vector breeding site and risk of Plasmodium vivax infection: a prospective cohort study in rural Ethiopia. Malaria Journal, 16:380, 1-11. doi:10.1186/s12936-017-2031-5


Blix, I., Kanten, A. B., Birkeland, M. S., Solberg, Ø., Nissen, A., & Heir, T. (2016). Thinking About What Might Have Happened: Counterfactual Thinking and Post-traumatic Stress in Individuals Directly and Indirectly Exposed to the 2011 Oslo Bombing. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30(6), 983-991. doi:10.1002/acp.3289

Nissen, A., & Heir, T. (2016). Perceived safety at work in the wake of terror: The importance of security measures and emergency preparedness. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 10(6), 805-811. doi:10.1017/dmp.2016.45


Nissen, A., Nielsen, M. B., Solberg, Ø., Hansen, M., & Heir, T. (2015). Perception of threat and safety at work among employees in the Norwegian ministries after the 2011 Oslo bombing. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 28(6), 650-662. doi:10.1080/10615806.2015.1009831


Blix, I., Hansen, M., Birkeland, M. S., Nissen, A., & Heir, T. (2013). Posttraumatic growth, posttraumatic stress and psychological adjustment in the aftermath of the 2011 Oslo bombing attack. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 11:160. doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-160

Hansen, M., Nissen, A., & Heir, T. (2013). Proximity to terror and post-traumatic stress: a follow-up survey of governmental employees after the 2011 Oslo bombing attack. BMJ Open, 3(7). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002692


Nissen, A., & McKee, H. (2003). Yale project for health action: AIDS education in South Africa. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.


Michelsen, H., Nissen, A., & Ottesen, A. (2023). “Skal vi snakke om psykisk helse”: En pilotstudie av opplevd hjelpebehov og holdninger til psykisk helse hos Ukrainske flyktninger [Should we talk about mental health. A pilot study of attitudes to mental health and subjective treatment needs in newly arrived refugees from Ukraine] Norwegian only. Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 2).

Solberg, Ø., Nissen, A., Cauley, P., & Andersen, A. J. (2020). Mental health and quality of life among refugees from Syria after forced migration to Norway: Main findings from the REFUGE study. (Rapport 1/2020).

Other publications

Straiton, M. L., & Nissen, A. F. W. (2022 August). Insomnia and the role of postmigration stress among Syrian refugees. Paper presented at Nordic Migration Research Conference 2022, Copenhagen.

Nissen, A. (2021 September). Ringvirkningene etter terror. Arbeidsliv: ansatte i Regjeringskvartalet. Foredrag på Ringvirkninger fra terror: Rettens og velferdsstatens møte med de rammede etter 22. juli, Juridisk Fakultet, UiO (Digitalt).

Nissen, A. (2016). Data analysis project exploring the effect of proximity to vector breeding site on P.vivax infection using data from a prospective cohort study of residents in a rural village in Ethiopia. (Master’s thesis).

Nissen, A. (2014 November). Opplevelse av sikkerhet blant ansatte i departementene etter 22. juli. Foredrag på 10-års jubileum NKVTS, NKVTS.

Nissen, A. (2013 June). Perception of Threat and Safety at Work among Ministerial Employees after the 2011 Oslo Bombing. Paper presented at 13th European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Bologna.

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