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J Radiat Res. 2018 Apr 1;59(suppl_2):ii83-ii90. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rry027.

Lexical analysis suggests differences between subgroups in anxieties over radiation exposure in Fukushima.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Disaster Medicine, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, 960-1295, Japan.
2
Department of Public Health Nursing for International Radiation Exposure, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, 960-1295, Japan.
3
Department of Radiation Health Management, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, 960-1295, Japan.
4
Public Relations and Communications Office, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, 960-1295, Japan.
5
Department of Human Sciences, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1-Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, 960-1295, Japan.
6
Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Kasumi 1-2-3, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, 734-8551, Japan.

Abstract

Although many experts have attempted communication about radiation risk, fears about radiation exposure stemming from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident remain deeply rooted. The characteristics of the anxiety vary with social background, which makes it difficult to alleviate with one approach. Our ultimate goal is therefore to create risk-communication materials tailored to various groups with differing social backgrounds. Towards that end, the purpose of the present study was to clarify potential factors associated with radiation-related anxieties within these groups. After obtaining informed consent, we conducted focus group interviews (FGIs) with Fukushima residents from various social groups, including evacuees, emergency responders, government personnel, medical staff, and decontamination workers. We obtained narrative comments specifically related to the following two themes: (i) lessons learned (at work or home) in light of one's position in society, and (ii) health issues. After transcribing the comments, we examined potential factors associated with radiation-related anxieties using both quantitative and qualitative study methods simultaneously, using the KH Coder software and the Steps for Coding and Theorization (SCAT) method respectively. FGIs were undertaken with 141 persons. Categories, words and storylines extracted in this study might indicate potential anxieties that are unique to each group, but our analysis also suggested that some anxieties were common to all groups. We expect to continue the analyses and, ultimately, to establish group-tailored risk-communication materials for achieving our final goal of adapting and better managing risk-communication efforts to help people deal more effectively with the scientific, technological and societal changes that came about after the disaster.

PMID:
29648605
PMCID:
PMC5941134
DOI:
10.1093/jrr/rry027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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