The Medical Foundation Dødehavstiftelsen – Multidisciplinary Rehabilitative Climatotherapy, Education and Research in Chronic Diseases

For more in-depth scientific information about the Foundation’s work, please click here

Mission and purpose

Dødehavstiftelsen is an idealistic, non-profit medical research institute, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people suffering from chronic diseases.

In every chronic disease the clinical picture is complex; patients are afflicted both physically and mentally, with additional psychosocial challenges.

Dødehavstiftelsen’s mission is to strengthen the rehabilitation services offered to Norwegian patients suffering from chronic diseases and to ensure that they receive adequate medical multidisciplinary rehabilitation through trusted, controlled and well-evaluated scientific treatment methods, as for example in the unique healing climate at the Dead Sea.

Our purpose is to:

  • Ensure and improve the quality of the rehabilitation program for chronic diseases through continuous research
  • Spread the knowledge gained and inform people through scientific publications
  • Develop training programs for health care personnel within medical multidisciplinary rehabilitative treatment, in which climatotherapy is an important and integral part

About us

  • Dødehavstiftelsen is an idealistic, non-profit medical research institute, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people suffering from chronic diseases
  • The Foundation aims to strengthen the rehabilitation programs offered to Norwegian patients suffering from chronic diseases so that they will receive an effective, multidisciplinary rehabilitation through recognised, controlled and scientifically proven treatment methods
  • Dødehavstiftelsen was launched 18th November, 2008 in Rosenkildehuset, Stavanger, Norway
  • The foundation is established with a Board and a Scientific Research Committee
  • Chief Physician Elisabeth Dramsdahl is Chairman of the Board. Visual artist Kjell Pahr-Iversen is a Member of the Board and has donated artworks to the Foundation
  • Professors from the University Hospitals of Bergen and Stavanger and from Rikshospitalet (Oslo) are members of the Scientific Research Committee, which is led by Dr. Marco Harari and Prof. Hugo A. Jørgensen
  • The main objectives of the Scientific Committee are evidence-based medical research, education and information. The Scientific Research Committee initiates the scientific studies and ensures their quality

Dødehavstiftelsen operates in compliance with current Norwegian laws and guidelines and the authorities’ current health requirements towards the Norwegian population.

Chronic diseases 

In every chronic disease the full picture is complex and patients have both physical and mental afflictions, in addition to psychosocial challenges. This results in a reduced quality of life and great suffering for the individual, with spillover effects to the family and network around him or her. In Norway, people suffering from muscular and skeletal diseases, fibromyalgia, arthrosis and osteoarthritis, chronic pain syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome, constitute the largest group of people with long-term sickness and incapacity. At the same time, this group lacks functioning rehabilitation services.

People suffering from chronic diseases need a different type of healthcare than acute medicine. The rehabilitation offered at the Dead Sea combines the best parts of medical climatotherapy with a multidisciplinary and multidimensional rehabilitation program which is tailored to meet each individual needs.

This type of rehabilitation program is considered one of the best treatments for people suffering from chronic diseases such as: muscular and skeletal diseases, fibromyalgia, arthrosis and osteoarthritis, chronic pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatic diseases, skin disorders and respiratory disorders, such as asthma and COPD.

The Dead Sea experience

As of today, almost 2 000 Norwegians suffering from chronic diseases have completed a three-week intensive rehabilitation program at the Dead Sea. A follow-up of patients after they have returned home shows good long-term results, with improved functioning and quality of life, less medication and a generally reduced need of health care. Many can resume work, study or education. Norwegian physicians are increasingly referring patients to treatment at the Dead Sea. 

Unique climatic conditions 

The Dead Sea’s location in a desert 420 meters below sea level, on the earth’s lowest point, helps explain the special conditions that make this area particularly suitable for treatment of various chronic diseases. This has been known throughout history, and treatment and research have been done here for nearly 50 years. Hundreds of scientific publications in international medical journals have documented the effects of the treatment. 
The combination of sunlight, mineral salts, water and black mud, creates a unique natural health spa and a microclimate that does not exist anywhere else in the world. This extraordinary combination of natural elements provides the capability to rehabilitate and restore physiological functions. The specialists in climatotherapy use both their knowledge in these fields and the special climatic conditions in various ways, in the rehabilitation programs proposed to the patients.

  • Dry and comfortable climate: more than 330 days of sunshine and less than 45mm rain per year
  • Low relative humidity
  • High terrestrial barometric pressure
  • High oxygen partial pressure in the air, which is also rich in magnesium and bromine
  • Unique low intensities of ultraviolet A and B radiation, enabling safe sun exposure as an important part of the medical climatotherapy
  • The Dead Sea water holds the Earth's highest concentration of minerals and sulphur, which is also found in the Dead Sea mud

Medical multidisciplinary rehabilitative climatotherapy 

Through recognised scientific medical treatment methods, patients at the Dead Sea receive medical climatotherapy as an integral part of the custom-made multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. This also includes medical physical treatment and mindfulness sessions with psychosocial and psychological interventions, cognitive competence training, training on coping with everyday stress and patient consultations. Patients receive nutritional and dietary guidance. Individual adjustments to the program are important to deal with each patient’s complex issues.


More and more people live with chronic health problems that cannot be fully healed. Today's health services are not doing enough for this group, and there is a lack of rehabilitation places. 

Dødehavstiftelsen is working to improve the quality of life of people with chronic diseases by strengthening the rehabilitation program for this group.

To accomplish this we need your help! Together we can make a difference! 

Dødehavstiftelsens Venner (Friends of Dødehavstiftelsen) is a nationwide support association. 
Donate or join now! Membership fee is NOK 250/year.

Donations to Dødehavstiftelsen can be paid into bank account number:15030383041
From abroad: IBAN: NO 05 15030383041 / BIC: DNBANOKK

The whole amount of your donations goes directly to the foundation. 

Thank you for your support!