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Rossow I.,Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research | Hansen M.B.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies
Addiction | Year: 2016

Aims: The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the development and current status of gambling and gambling policy in Norway. Methods: An overview of the research literature and official documents and websites. Results: Gambling on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) increased dramatically in the 1990s in response to technological development and liberalization of gambling policy. Restrictions on availability of EGM gambling occurred from 2006 to 2009 and included a ban on note acceptors, a temporary ban on EGMs and re-introduction of fewer and less aggressive machines under a state monopoly. The restrictions led to significant decreases in total gambling turnover, and several studies suggest that they led to fewer gambling and gambling problems. Various factors may explain why the restrictions were politically feasible. These include media coverage of gambling concerns and economic compensation for revenue losses under the monopoly. Conclusions: In an international context of deregulation of gambling markets, the Norwegian policy restrictions on gambling availability have represented an exceptional case and provide a rare opportunity to explore the outcomes of such regulations. Overall, studies suggest that the policy restrictions have led to reductions in gambling expenditures and problem gambling. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction. Source

Opaas M.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies | Varvin S.,Oslo University College
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease | Year: 2015

Adverse and potentially traumatic experiences (PTEs) in childhood were examined among 54 adult refugee patients with pre-flight PTEs of war and human rights violations (HRVs) and related to mental health and quality of life at treatment start. Extent of childhood PTEs was more strongly related to mental health and quality of life than the extent of war and HRV experiences. Childhood PTEs were significantly related to arousal and avoidance symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to quality of life, whereas pre-flight war and HRV experiences were significantly related to reexperiencing symptoms of PTSD only. Within childhood adversities, experiences of family violence and external violence, but not of loss and illness, were significantly related to increased mental health symptoms and reduced quality of life. These results point to the importance of taking childhood adverse experiences into account in research and treatment planning for adult refugees with war and HRVs trauma. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Opaas M.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies | Hartmann E.,University of Oslo
Journal of Personality Assessment | Year: 2013

Fifty-one multitraumatized mental health patients with refugee backgrounds completed the Rorschach (Meyer & Viglione, 2008), Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, and Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (Mollica, McDonald, Massagli, & Silove, 2004), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF questionnaire (WHOQOL Group, 1998) before the start of treatment. The purpose was to gain more in-depth knowledge of an understudied patient group and to provide a prospective basis for later analyses of treatment outcome. Factor analysis of trauma-related Rorschach variables gave 2 components explaining 60% of the variance; the first was interpreted as trauma-related flooding versus constriction and the second as adequate versus impaired reality testing. Component 1 correlated positively with self-reported reexperiencing symptoms of posttraumatic stress (r =.32, p <.05). Component 2 correlated positively with self-reported quality of life in the physical, psychological, and social relationships domains (r =.34,.32, and.35, p <.05), and negatively with anxiety (r = -.33, p <.05). Each component also correlated significantly with resources like work experience, education, and language skills. Copyright © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Nordlokken A.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies
BMC public health | Year: 2013

Many studies suggest that disaster exposure is related to a subsequent increase in alcohol consumption. Most of these studies have relied on retrospective self-reports to measure changes in alcohol use. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between disaster exposure and drinking behaviors more closely, analyzing data on both self-perceived changes in alcohol consumption and current drinking habits in groups with different extents of disaster exposure. A sample of Norwegian adults (≥ 18 years) who resided in areas affected by the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami (N = 899) were assessed by a postal questionnaire 6 months after the disaster. Based on detailed questions about experiences with the tsunami, participants were grouped according to their extent of disaster exposure. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised was applied to measure the level of post-traumatic stress. Participants were asked whether they had increased or decreased their alcohol consumption after the disaster. Moreover, weekly alcohol consumption and frequency of intoxication during the past month were used as indicators of current drinking behaviors. Severely exposed individuals more often reported changing their alcohol consumption compared with those who were less exposed. Severe exposure to the tsunami was associated with both a self-perceived increase (OR 21.38, 95% CI 2.91-157.28) and decrease in alcohol consumption (OR 7.41, 95% CI 1.74-31.51). The odds ratios decreased and were not significant when adjusting for post-traumatic stress symptoms. Weekly consumption and frequency of intoxication during the past month did not vary with extent of disaster exposure. Our findings indicate a polarization effect of severe disaster exposure on self-perceived changes in alcohol consumption; that is, disaster exposure was associated with self-perceived increases and decreases in drinking. However, the absence of associations between disaster exposure and indicators of current drinking behaviors suggests that the observed polarization effect may be overestimated because of attribution and recall bias. Source

Hussain A.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies | Weisaeth L.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies | Weisaeth L.,University of Oslo | Heir T.,Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2011

Objective: We aimed to examine psychiatric morbidity and functional impairment after a natural disaster. Method: Norwegian tourists who survived the 2004 tsunami in Khao Lak (n = 63), a severely affected area in Thailand, were interviewed in person 2.5 years after the disaster. The examination included the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, the PTSD module of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders, the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS), the Global Assessment of Functioning function score (GAF-F), and questions covering background characteristics and disaster exposure. Results: The most prevalent disorders were specific phobia (30.2%), agoraphobia (17.5%), social anxiety disorder (11.1%), PTSD (11.1%), major depressive disorder (MDD, 11.1%), and dysthymic disorder (DD, 11.1%). In 24 of the 40 respondents with a current psychiatric disorder, symptoms had originated after the tsunami. The post-tsunami 2.5 year incidence of PTSD and MDD was 36.5% and 28.6%, respectively. Multivariable regression analysis showed that the depressive disorders (MDD and DD) and PTSD were associated with self-reported functional impairment (WSAS), and the depressive disorders were associated with clinician assessed functional impairment (GAF-F). Limitations: Small sample size and high education may limit the generalizability of the results. Conclusions: Depression and anxiety disorders were common among disaster victims 2.5 years after the 2004 tsunami. Psychiatric disorders other than PTSD, especially depressive disorders, are of clinical importance when considering long-term mental health effect of disasters. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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