Overweight, obesity, and lifestyle-related health problems is a global epidemic and represents an increasing problem both in Norway and across the world. Further research is required in order to establish how these conditions can be prevented and handled.

Low_active_family_01 Credit: Canadian Obesity Network

As national pioneers within obesity surgery, researchers and practitioners at Førde Hospital are well-positioned to conduct research into the realm of public health, lifestyle and overweight. The research group for Public Health, Lifestyle and Overweight boasts a 15-year history of obesity surgery. Throughout these 15 years, the research group has also gathered significant insight into how obesity patients can improve their own health and quality of life through implementing lasting lifestyle changes. Research into the latter field is carried out in collaboration with the Haugland Rehabilitation Centre.

In seeking explanations for the high number of people suffering from overweight, the research group not only focuses on individual obesity patients, but on the ways in which society may contribute to early prevention of overweight. Another key field of research is patient self-reporting, a methodical approach which involves that patients evaluate their own health situation through filling in and submitting a digital questionnaire prior to consultations at the clinic. As one of several advantages, this clinical feedback system ensures true user participation, as the patient’s own input forms the basis for consultations.

The research group is cross-disciplinary and includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists, sports scientists, social scientists, and chemists. The research group was established in 2015 and is led by Assistant Professor John Roger Andersen.

Key research topics

  • Effects of obesity surgery
  • Lifestyle treatment of obesity
  • Clinical feedback systems in obesity treatment
  • Patient-reported health, quality of life, and determinants in the general population
  • Obesity in children and young adults
  • Physical activity and quality of life in children and young adults
  • New methods of blood analyses in connection with obesity treatment

Selected research projects

Routine measuring of patient-reported data using a clinical feedback system in somatics: In a project led by Kirsten Indrebø, researchers study experiences gathered from routine measurements of patient-reported data using a clinical feedback system. The group studied in the project is stoma patients. A similar project, User participation in obesity treatment, commences in 2016. The project, which includes a PhD, is led by John Roger Andersen.

Prevention and treatment of obesity: The research group has four PhD projects related to preventing and treating obesity. Anny Aasprang studies long-term effects of obesity surgery in relation to health-related quality of life; Hege Kristiansen maps overweight and obesity risk factors in children; Dag Fadnes studies obesity and inflammation; and Pål Andre Hegland’s research is related to user participation within obesity treatment.

Aside from the aforementioned PhD projects, Eli Natvik studies patient experiences related to obesity and obesity treatment, and John Roger Andersen is involved in various projects on patient-reported data from obesity treatment. Furthermore, Villy Våge is involved in several research projects related to the effects of various forms of obesity surgery on a range of health outcomes.

Predictors for health and quality of life in children and young adults: Two researchers, Tina Løkke Vie and Hans Johan Breidablik, are working on a project related to predictors for patient-perceived health. John Roger Andersen and Geir Kåre Resaland are both involved in several research projects related to physical activity, health, quality of life, and school results.

Metabolics and multivariate analyses: Two researchers, Olav Kvalheim and Tarja Rajalahti Kvalheim, are involved in several health-related research projects in which metabolics and multivariate analyses are combined.