Topic: Disasters, terror and stress management

The Tsunami programme Part 4: When a disaster hits home. The tsunami in an exile perspective

2005 This project has been completed 2008

Project Members

  • Vindegg, Guri
  • Neumayer, Sissel Marie
  • Moen, Kåre
  • Stige, Signe
  • Sveaass, Nora

Main objective

The purpose of the study is to investigate reactions in persons impacted by the disaster, with a focus on measures that influence the grieving process, and to assess the effect of separate support measures.

Phase 1: The meaning of coming home for posttraumatic reactions and for the grieving process

Advisor: Professor Sissel Reichelt, University of Oslo, Department of Psychology

Thesis students: Signe Stige and Guri Vindegg of the University of Oslo, Department of Psychology.

Collaborating partner:Tamilsk Ressurs- og veiledningssenter (TRVS)

  • What is the importance of returning to Sri Lanka for the grieving process for persons who have experienced deep personal loss?
  • What importance does such a return home also have for coping with earlier traumas?
  • Is it possible to describe differences in grief and grief reactions in those who have chosen to return home, compared with those who have chosen not to return?
  • Hwhat are the reactions that are described subsequent to the disaster?
  • How are new events of this kind perceived on a backdrop of earlier experiences of political violence and abuse?

Phase 2: Tamils and Acehnese residing in Norway. A study in reactions and measures

Researchers: Kåre Moen og Sissel Neumayer

he project consists of 2 sub-studies and will:

a) Map grief reactions and posttraumatic stress among Tamils and the Acehnese.

b) Map and describe help measures and activities that were implemented for and among the Acehnese and Tamils residing in Norway.

The main objectives are to:

  • Describe how they experienced the need for help during and after the disaster
  • Describe the kinds of activities and measures that were carried out by government and non-government organizations
  • Beskrive hva slags aktiviteter og tiltak som ble gjennomført i offentlig og i frivillig sektor
  • Describe how the various activities and offers were perceived and how they functioned
  • Summarize the lessons learned which may be useful in similar, later situations


Moen, K. (2007). Katastrofen som rammet landet vi flyktet fra: Tsunamien i et acehnesiske eksilperspektiv [The tsunami in an acehnese exile perspective.] Norwegian only. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 5/2007).

Sveaass, N., Moen, K., & Neumayer, S. M. (2007). Tsunamien i et eksilperspektiv. En kort gjennomgang av tre studier utført ved NKVTS [The tsunami in an exile perspective. A short review of three studies conducted at NKVTS.] Norwegian only.