Psychologist and doctoral research fellow at Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital with diverse experience in assessment and rehabilitation of patients with both congenital and acquired brain injuries, as well as persistent pain conditions. Biopsychosocial approaches to understanding and treating subjective health complaints such as fatigue and pain are a particular interest and passion clinically and in my research. More broadly speaking, other main fields of interests are neuropsychology, health psychology and rehabilitation psychology.
Doctoral Research Project
The subjective feeling of being periodically fatigued, tired, even exhausted is common in the general population, as well as in a large number of medical conditions, including neurological illness, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), multiple sclerosis (MS), and poliomyelitis. Fatigue typically results in compensatory behaviors such as spending extended time in bed, daytime napping, and restricted participation in activities of daily living, which in turn can have a profound negative impact on mental and physical health. Although fatigue is common and debilitating, there is a scarcity of knowledge concerning underlying biological, psychological and psychosocial mechanisms in the development and maintenance of persisting fatigue. There is also a general lack of theoretical accounts of potentially shared and etiology-specific mechanisms across conditions. The existence of clinical subgroups and diverse clinical trajectories is not well documented, resulting in a lack of evidence-based treatment opportunities. Diagnosis and management of fatigue is further challenged by difficulties in conceptualizing and defining the phenomenon itself, since fatigue is subjectively experienced and multifaceted. Thus, as fatigue often poses a chronic problem, health professionals in community based rehabilitation settings are faced with helping patients cope with this symptom without a clear understanding of causes or treatment options.
The project "Fatigue following moderate and severe traumatic brain injury" aims to map the occurrence of fatigue following moderate to severe TBI and achieve a better theoretical and clinical understanding of the mechanisms which may cause, exacerbate or protect against persisting fatigue following TBI. The study approach acknowledges that fatigue after neurological illness is the result of complex interplay between general individual predispositions and etiology-specific factors. General risk factors for the development of fatigue will be examined in a sub-study with data from the Norwegian Twin Registry, which will inform the following clinical analyses. A better understanding of these mechanisms is a prerequisite for personalized treatment and development of empirically based randomized controlled intervention studies. This approach has relevance to other clinical conditions as well. The long-term aim is to ensure accurate diagnosis, improve treatment and rehabilitation, and to contribute to knowledge based clinical decision-making both within specialized and community based rehabilitation settings.
Funding and Collaborations
The project "Fatigue following moderate and severe TBI" is conducted in collaboration between clinical research groups at Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Lovisenberg Hospital, University of Oslo and Monash University (Australia), and in collaboration with the Norwegian user organization Personskadeforbundet LTN. The study is funded by Stiftelsen Dam.
2009 - 2014: Cand. Psychol. at University of Oslo
2015 - : Clinical psychologist at Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital
2018 - 2022: PhD candidate
Main supervisor Marianne Løvstad
Co-supervisor Nada Hadzic-Andelic
Co-supervisor Olav Vassend
Co-supervisor Stein Andersson