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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 14;8(8):e65331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065331. eCollection 2013.

The relationship between media consumption and health-related anxieties after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Author information

1
Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. amigon0918@m.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster caused a global panic by a release of harmful radionuclides. In a disaster setting, misusage of contemporary media sources available today can lead to disseminated incorrect information and panic. The study aims to build a scale which examines associations between media and individual anxieties, and to propose effective media usages for future disaster management.

METHODS:

The University of Tokyo collaborated with the Fukushima local government to conduct a radiation-health-seminar for a total of 1560 residents, at 12 different locations in Fukushima. A 13 item questionnaire collected once before and after a radiation-seminar was used on factor analysis to develop sub-scales for multiple regression models, to determine relationships between the sub-scales and media type consumed. A paired t-test was used to examine any changes in sub-scale of pre- and post-seminar scores.

RESULTS:

Three sub-scales were revealed and were associated with different media types: was with rumors, while concern for the future was positively associated with regional-newspapers and negatively with national-newspapers. Anxiety about social-disruption was associated with radio. The seminar had a significant effect on anxiety reduction for all the three sub-scales.

CONCLUSION:

Different media types were associated with various heightened concerns, and that a radiation seminar was helpful to reduce anxieties in the post-disaster setting. By tailoring post-disaster messages via specific media types, i.e., radio, it may be possible to effectively convey important information, as well as to calm fears about particular elements of post-disaster recovery and to combat rumors.

PMID:
23967046
PMCID:
PMC3743804
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0065331
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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