Topic: Disasters, terror and stress management

The Tsunami programme Part 1: Experiences and reactions of those who were there. Adults

2005 This project has been completed 2015

Project Manager

  • Heir, Trond

    Heir, Trond

    Research Professor/ Professor University of Oslo / dr. scient.

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Project Members

  • Tønnessen, Arnfinn
  • Hussain, Ajmal
  • Nygaard, Egil
  • Weisæth, Lars

Main objective

To investigate consequences on psychological health from exposure to disaster (2004 tsunami) in adults, particularly long-term effects and symptom progression. To identify predictors of serious psychological problems after the tsunami. To establish the prevalence of various disaster-related psychological states of illness. To investigate psychometric characteristics in the Norwegian versions of psychiatric self-report instruments.


Questionnaire survey, a half-year and two years after the disaster. In-depth interviews of those who were present in Khao Lak, 2 ½ years after the catastrophe.

Further information

Survey – Adults

Questionnaires sent to persons over 18 years of age who returned to Norway after having been in the disaster area will focus on the following factors:

  • degree of exposure (degree of vulnerability)
  • how they were impacted by the disaster
  • how they experienced the disaster
  • reactions during and after the disaster
  • perception of the period of time after returning home


The tsunami – a prospective study on long term health effects in Norwegian citizenz exposed to the disaster. 

Doctoral Research Fellow: Ajmal Hussain

The study has surveyed the consequences to health in survivors after a disaster, with particular emphasis on the occurrence of mental health illness 2-3 years after the event. Factors associated with prolonged psychological complaints after the disaster in 2004 have been identified. In addition, attention has been given to changes in the survivors’ religious convictions.

Survey – Children

In addition to surveying acute stress reactions, interviews have been conducted with children and parents two times, first in autumn 2005 and again during summer 2007. For further information, see: Berørte barn og foreldre

Collaborating partners:

Collaboration has been established with  The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS) in the USA under the leadership of Professor/Director Robert Pynoos and Co-Director Alan Steinberg.

In addition, collaboration has been established with senior lecturer Tom Lundin, dr. med., National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry, Uppsala University, Sweden.