Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression prevalence and associated risk factors among local disaster relief and reconstruction workers fourteen months after the Great East Japan Earthquake: A cross-sectional study

Atsushi Sakuma, Yoko Takahashi, Ikki Ueda, Hirotoshi Sato, Masahiro Katsura, Mikika Abe, Ayami Nagao, Yuriko Suzuki, Masako Kakizaki, Ichiro Tsuji, Hiroo Matsuoka, Kazunori Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Many local workers have been involved in rescue and reconstruction duties since the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) on March 11, 2011. These workers continuously confront diverse stressors as both survivors and relief and reconstruction workers. However, little is known about the psychological sequelae among these workers. Thus, we assessed the prevalence of and personal/workplace risk factors for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), probable depression, and high general psychological distress in this population. Methods: Participants (N = 1294; overall response rate, 82.9%) were workers (firefighters, n = 327; local municipality workers, n = 610; hospital medical workers, n = 357) in coastal areas of Miyagi prefecture. The study was cross-sectional and conducted 14 months after the GEJE using a self-administered questionnaire which included the PTSD Checklist-Specific Version, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the K6 scale. Significant risk factors from bivariate analysis, such as displacement, dead or missing family member(s), near-death experience, disaster related work, lack of communication, and lack of rest were considered potential factors in probable PTSD, probable depression, and high general psychological distress, and were entered into the multivariable logistic regression model. Results: The prevalence of probable PTSD, probable depression, and high general psychological distress was higher among municipality (6.6%, 15.9%, and 14.9%, respectively) and medical (6.6%, 14.3%, and 14.5%, respectively) workers than among firefighters (1.6%, 3.8%, and 2.6%, respectively). Lack of rest was associated with increased risk of PTSD and depression in municipality and medical workers; lack of communication was linked to increased PTSD risk in medical workers and depression in municipality and medical workers; and involvement in disaster-related work was associated with increased PTSD and depression risk in municipality workers. Conclusions: The present results indicate that at 14 months after the GEJE, mental health consequences differed between occupations. High preparedness, early mental health interventions, and the return of ordinary working conditions might have contributed to the relative mental health resilience of the firefighters. Unlike the direct effects of disasters, workplace risk factors can be modified after disasters; thus, we should develop countermeasures to improve the working conditions of local disaster relief and reconstruction workers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24-03-2015

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Earthquakes
Disasters
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Japan
Cross-Sectional Studies
Depression
Firefighters
Psychology
Mental Health
Workplace
Logistic Models
Communication
Checklist
Occupations
Statistical Factor Analysis
Survivors
Health
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Sakuma, Atsushi ; Takahashi, Yoko ; Ueda, Ikki ; Sato, Hirotoshi ; Katsura, Masahiro ; Abe, Mikika ; Nagao, Ayami ; Suzuki, Yuriko ; Kakizaki, Masako ; Tsuji, Ichiro ; Matsuoka, Hiroo ; Matsumoto, Kazunori. / Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression prevalence and associated risk factors among local disaster relief and reconstruction workers fourteen months after the Great East Japan Earthquake : A cross-sectional study. In: BMC Psychiatry. 2015 ; Vol. 15, No. 1.
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Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression prevalence and associated risk factors among local disaster relief and reconstruction workers fourteen months after the Great East Japan Earthquake : A cross-sectional study. / Sakuma, Atsushi; Takahashi, Yoko; Ueda, Ikki; Sato, Hirotoshi; Katsura, Masahiro; Abe, Mikika; Nagao, Ayami; Suzuki, Yuriko; Kakizaki, Masako; Tsuji, Ichiro; Matsuoka, Hiroo; Matsumoto, Kazunori.

In: BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 15, No. 1, 58, 24.03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression prevalence and associated risk factors among local disaster relief and reconstruction workers fourteen months after the Great East Japan Earthquake

T2 - A cross-sectional study

AU - Sakuma, Atsushi

AU - Takahashi, Yoko

AU - Ueda, Ikki

AU - Sato, Hirotoshi

AU - Katsura, Masahiro

AU - Abe, Mikika

AU - Nagao, Ayami

AU - Suzuki, Yuriko

AU - Kakizaki, Masako

AU - Tsuji, Ichiro

AU - Matsuoka, Hiroo

AU - Matsumoto, Kazunori

PY - 2015/3/24

Y1 - 2015/3/24

N2 - Background: Many local workers have been involved in rescue and reconstruction duties since the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) on March 11, 2011. These workers continuously confront diverse stressors as both survivors and relief and reconstruction workers. However, little is known about the psychological sequelae among these workers. Thus, we assessed the prevalence of and personal/workplace risk factors for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), probable depression, and high general psychological distress in this population. Methods: Participants (N = 1294; overall response rate, 82.9%) were workers (firefighters, n = 327; local municipality workers, n = 610; hospital medical workers, n = 357) in coastal areas of Miyagi prefecture. The study was cross-sectional and conducted 14 months after the GEJE using a self-administered questionnaire which included the PTSD Checklist-Specific Version, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the K6 scale. Significant risk factors from bivariate analysis, such as displacement, dead or missing family member(s), near-death experience, disaster related work, lack of communication, and lack of rest were considered potential factors in probable PTSD, probable depression, and high general psychological distress, and were entered into the multivariable logistic regression model. Results: The prevalence of probable PTSD, probable depression, and high general psychological distress was higher among municipality (6.6%, 15.9%, and 14.9%, respectively) and medical (6.6%, 14.3%, and 14.5%, respectively) workers than among firefighters (1.6%, 3.8%, and 2.6%, respectively). Lack of rest was associated with increased risk of PTSD and depression in municipality and medical workers; lack of communication was linked to increased PTSD risk in medical workers and depression in municipality and medical workers; and involvement in disaster-related work was associated with increased PTSD and depression risk in municipality workers. Conclusions: The present results indicate that at 14 months after the GEJE, mental health consequences differed between occupations. High preparedness, early mental health interventions, and the return of ordinary working conditions might have contributed to the relative mental health resilience of the firefighters. Unlike the direct effects of disasters, workplace risk factors can be modified after disasters; thus, we should develop countermeasures to improve the working conditions of local disaster relief and reconstruction workers.

AB - Background: Many local workers have been involved in rescue and reconstruction duties since the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) on March 11, 2011. These workers continuously confront diverse stressors as both survivors and relief and reconstruction workers. However, little is known about the psychological sequelae among these workers. Thus, we assessed the prevalence of and personal/workplace risk factors for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), probable depression, and high general psychological distress in this population. Methods: Participants (N = 1294; overall response rate, 82.9%) were workers (firefighters, n = 327; local municipality workers, n = 610; hospital medical workers, n = 357) in coastal areas of Miyagi prefecture. The study was cross-sectional and conducted 14 months after the GEJE using a self-administered questionnaire which included the PTSD Checklist-Specific Version, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the K6 scale. Significant risk factors from bivariate analysis, such as displacement, dead or missing family member(s), near-death experience, disaster related work, lack of communication, and lack of rest were considered potential factors in probable PTSD, probable depression, and high general psychological distress, and were entered into the multivariable logistic regression model. Results: The prevalence of probable PTSD, probable depression, and high general psychological distress was higher among municipality (6.6%, 15.9%, and 14.9%, respectively) and medical (6.6%, 14.3%, and 14.5%, respectively) workers than among firefighters (1.6%, 3.8%, and 2.6%, respectively). Lack of rest was associated with increased risk of PTSD and depression in municipality and medical workers; lack of communication was linked to increased PTSD risk in medical workers and depression in municipality and medical workers; and involvement in disaster-related work was associated with increased PTSD and depression risk in municipality workers. Conclusions: The present results indicate that at 14 months after the GEJE, mental health consequences differed between occupations. High preparedness, early mental health interventions, and the return of ordinary working conditions might have contributed to the relative mental health resilience of the firefighters. Unlike the direct effects of disasters, workplace risk factors can be modified after disasters; thus, we should develop countermeasures to improve the working conditions of local disaster relief and reconstruction workers.

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