Gerd Kvale (left) and Bjarne Hansen (right) have developed a concentrated exposure treatment that, within four days, helps more than 90 per cent of patients with severe anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The so-called
Gerd Kvale (left) and Bjarne Hansen (right) have developed a concentrated exposure treatment that, within four days, helps more than 90 per cent of patients with severe anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The so-called "Bergen method" has been very successful.

4-day anxiety treatment receives research award

Researchers Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen have received the innovation award from the Research Council of Norway for a four-day treatment program that has shown very good effects against severe anxiety disorders.

Psychologists and Professors Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen have developed a treatment program that helps patients overcome obsessive-compulsive disorder, also called OCD, within just four days.

“This award differs in many ways from other attention and feedback we have received. Because if there is something we are passionate about, it is precisely innovation that can be put into practice. The path from innovation to something that can mean a lot to people's lives can be short, but then you can't just sit in an office. This is team innovation,” Bjarne Hansen says in a press release from the Research Council (link in Norwegian).

90 per cent get better

The treatment program The Bergen 4-Day Treatment (B4DT) has proven to be very effective against serious anxiety disorders such as OCD, panic disorder and social anxiety.

B4DT has received a lot of attention both nationally and internationally, and Kvale and Hansen have, among other things, been included in Time Magazine's list of 50 people who are transforming health care.

Around 90 per cent of patients experience significant improvement through B4DT. Four years later, more than 70 per cent are still healthy.

Used in 50 clinics in Norway

More than 50 clinics in Norway have adopted this method. In addition, 4-day offers have been established in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Singapore and Iceland. An offer is under development in the USA.

The innovation prize is awarded annually to a person or business that has strategically used research in its innovation work and in that way created research-based innovation. The prize is just under 51,000 USD.

Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre presented the award to the winners on Thursday.

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