Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Caregiver Burden: A Cross-Sectional Study
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE After the great East Japan earthquake of 2011, residents with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers in Fukushima were evacuated to the prefecture of Chiba. We investigated the impact of the earthquake on the caregivers' burden. METHODS Between August 2011 and January 2012, 46 caregivers evacuated from Fukushima and 46 caregivers at similar facilities in Chiba who were not forced to evacuate completed a survey including the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and additional questions. A logistic regression analysis and median tests were performed. RESULTS The evacuation was linked to GHQ-12 global scores ≥3, indicating psychiatric morbidity (relative risk [RR]=2.81), as well as to scores ≥8, indicating a more severe condition (RR=3.57). There was a trend for evacuated caregivers to have more social dysfunction than psychological distress. CONCLUSIONS A statistically significant difference in emotional stress was observed among caregivers who were forced to evacuate after the earthquake.
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ABSTRACT: Herein we summarize the public health actions taken to mitigate exposure of the public to radiation after the Fukushima accident that occurred on 11 March 2011 in order to record valuable lessons learned for disaster preparedness. Evacuations from the radiation-affected areas and control of the distribution of various food products contributed to the reduction of external and internal radiation exposure resulting from the Fukushima incident. However, risk communication is also an important issue during the emergency response effort and subsequent phases of dealiing with a nuclear disaster. To assist with their healing process, sound, reliable scientific information should continue to be disseminated to the radiation-affected communities via two-way communication. We will describe the essential public health actions following a nuclear disaster for the early, intermediate and late phases that will be useful for radiological preparedness planning in response to other nuclear or radiological disasters. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Japan Radiation Research Society and Japanese Society for Radiation Oncology.Journal of Radiation Research 04/2015; 56(3). DOI:10.1093/jrr/rrv013 · 1.69 Impact Factor