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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2000 Feb;54(1):97-103.

Psychological effect of the Nagasaki atomic bombing on survivors after half a century.

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The School of Allied Medical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan.


In 1997 a mental health survey using a 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) and an interview survey of an atomic bombing experience were conducted in survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bombing. Overall psychological distress measured on the basis of the GHQ-30 was greater in the atomic bombing survivors than in the controls. As for the contents of psychological distress, those concerning emotion such as anxiety and depression were milder in survivors than in the controls, but those related to social activities such as apathy, disturbance of human relations, loss of enjoyment of living were more severe. Furthermore, recurring and distressing recollection of the experience of the atomic bombing, suspicion over the relationship between the atomic bombing and an unhealthy physical condition, and the experience of witnessing death or severe injury of close relatives due to the atomic bombing were significantly related to the degree of psychological distress of the survivors.

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