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Time Magazine-ranking:

Among the 50 most influential in health care

Due to the development of the Bergen 4-Day Treatment for severe anxiety disorders, TIME Magazine named psychologists Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen as two of the 50 most influential persons in health care in 2018.

Gerd Kvale og Bjarne Hansen
The Bergen 4-Day Treatment, developed by Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen, is now made accessible for patients internationally.
Photo:
Paul S. Amundsen

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Professor Gerd Kvale and Associate Professor Bjarne Hansen at UiB and Haukeland University Hospital have fundamentally changed the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Normally OCD takes months of therapy to treat. Kvale and Hansen’s model of concentrated exposure therapy - The Bergen 4-Day Treatment - gets the job done in just four days.

70 % recover completely

In October 2018 TIME Magazine selected the research duo among The Health Care 50: Fifty people transforming health care. They were the only honorees representing psychological treatment.

“So far, about 1,200 people with OCD have gone through the intensive regimen; approximately 70 % recover completely and remain in remission four years later”, TIME Magazine wrote in October.

Now Kvale and Hansen are exporting the Bergen 4-Day Treatment to USA and numerous countries in Europe.

“We are going to share this method with the world. The first step is trials at a training centre in Houston, which is an outpost of McLean Hospital, where we will investigate whether the method can be used across cultures”, Kvale says.

Center for Brain Plasticity

In Bergen, they have recently opened a new research center focusing on the brain’s ability to change.

The Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity is a collaboration between universities, health care services and training centres.

“This will give large numbers of patients a whole new lease of life,” Kvale says, adding:

“We have worked systematically for a long time to achieve this. The support of two major institutions: the Trond Mohn Foundation and the Kavli Foundation, ensures that we can continue our work, which will yield far-reaching benefits for the whole of society”.

Kvale points out that the work has two important facets.

“What is truly unique is that we can treat people against anxiety and at the same time perform basic research on neural responses,” she explains.

Thinking outside the box

“This funding opens up fantastic opportunities,” says the rector of UiB, Dag Rune Olsen, highlighting how unique the project is.

“These researchers think outside the box and ask radically different questions. This is great research that scores well on all parameters, the UiB rector says”.