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BMC Res Notes. 2014 May 20;7:307. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-307.

The psychological impact of a dual-disaster caused by earthquakes and radioactive contamination in Ichinoseki after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Author information

1
Research Center for Child Mental Development, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. niitsu@chiba-u.jp.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The psychological impact of dual-disasters (earthquakes and a nuclear accident), on affected communities is unknown. This study investigated the impact of a dual-disaster (earthquakes and radioactive contamination) on the prevalence of psychological distress in a landlocked city within the Tohoku area, Japan.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional mail-in survey with a random sample of inhabitants from Ichinoseki city was conducted eleven months after the disasters, and data from 902 respondents were analyzed by logistic regression models, with multiple imputation methodology. The K6 was used to determine psychological distress.

RESULTS:

The estimated prevalence of psychological distress was 48.0 percent. House damage due to earthquakes and anxiety about radioactive contamination were significantly associated with psychological distress (p < 0.05), while an interactive effect between house damage and anxiety about radioactive contamination was not significant. Being female, middle-to-low educational status and unemployed were additional risk factors for psychological distress.

CONCLUSIONS:

This dual-disaster was associated with a moderate prevalence of psychological distress in the area. The impact of the earthquake and radioactive contamination appeared additive.

PMID:
24885053
PMCID:
PMC4037272
DOI:
10.1186/1756-0500-7-307
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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