Article

Impaired psychological recovery in the elderly after the Niigata-Chuetsu Earthquake in Japan: A population-based study

Department of Medical Informatics, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, Asahimachi-Dori 1, Niigata 951-8520, Japan.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.32). 02/2006; 6(6):230. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-6-230
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck the Niigata-Chuetsu region of Japan at 5.56 P.M. on the 23rd of October, 2004. The earthquake was followed by sustained occurrence of numerous aftershocks, which delayed reconstruction of community lifelines. Even one year after the earthquake, 9,160 people were living in temporary housing. Such a devastating earthquake and life after the earthquake in an unfamiliar environment should cause psychological distress, especially among the elderly.
Psychological distress was measured using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in 2,083 subjects (69% response rate) who were living in transient housing five months after the earthquake. GHQ-12 was scored using the original method, Likert scoring and corrected method. The subjects were asked to assess their psychological status before the earthquake, their psychological status at the most stressful time after the earthquake and their psychological status at five months after the earthquake. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was used to reveal the factor structure of GHQ12. Multiple regression analysis was performed to analyze the relationship between various background factors and GHQ-12 score and its subscale.
GHQ-12 scores were significantly elevated at the most stressful time and they were significantly high even at five months after the earthquake. Factor analysis revealed that a model consisting of two factors (social dysfunction and dysphoria) using corrected GHQ scoring showed a high level of goodness-of-fit. Multiple regression analysis revealed that age of subjects affected GHQ-12 scores. GHQ-12 score as well as its factor 'social dysfunction' scale were increased with increasing age of subjects at five months after the earthquake.
Impaired psychological recovery was observed even at five months after the Niigata-Chuetsu Earthquake in the elderly. The elderly were more affected by matters relating to coping with daily problems.

0 Followers
 · 
107 Views
  • Source
    • "), predisaster mental health problems (Basoglu et al., 2004; Kohn et al., 2005b; Lewin et al., 1998; North et al., 1999, 2005; Tural et al., 2004), feelings of guilt (Alexander and Wells, 1991; Kuo et al., 2007), life events postdisaster (Carr et al., 1997; Hull et al., 2002; Lewin et al., 1998), female gender (DeSalvo et al., 2007; Favaro et al., 2004; Kohn et al., 2005b; Kuo et al., 2003, 2007; Lai et al., 2004; Maes et al., 2001; McFarlane et al., 1997; Montazeri et al., 2005; North et al., 1999, 2005; Tural et al., 2004), old age (Favaro et al., 2004; Toyabe et al., 2006; Varela et al., 2008; Yang et al., 2003), physical injury (Altindag et al., 2005; Hull et al., 2002; Kuo et al., 2007), lack of social support (Altindag et al., 2005; Armenian et al, 2002; Carr et al., 1997; Favaro et al., 2004; Feng et al., 2007; Wang et al., 2000), exposure to gruesome things (Armenian et al., 1998; Basoglu et al., 2004; Carlier et al., 1997; Carr et al., 1997; Dirkzwager et al., 2006; Escobar et al., 1992; Hull et al., 2002; Kohn et al., 2005b; Lai et al., 2004; Lazaratou et al., 2008; Lewin et al., 1998; Polusny et al., 2008), low level of government support or dissatisfaction with postdisaster aid and/or insurance (Dirkzwager et al., 2006; Wang et al., 2000). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article reviews the literature on mental health of volunteers after working in disasters. When mobilized they often are a community's major source for rescue and recovery. PsychINFO, PubMED, and Web of Science were searched for relevant articles published until October 2009. Of 448 articles screened, only 9 articles fulfilled our inclusion criteria. They examined the aftermath of earthquakes (4 articles), terrorist bombings (1), explosions (1), aviation disasters (1), tsunami (1), and a bus accident (1).Findings showed that, compared with professional workers, volunteers tend to have higher complaint levels. The following factors were found to contribute to mental health complaints of volunteers: Identification with victims as a friend, severity of exposure to gruesome events during disaster work, anxiety sensitivity, and lack of postdisaster social support. The review reveals the need for more research regarding predictors of stress in volunteers.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 08/2010; 198(8):529-38. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181ea1fa9 · 1.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Factor structure of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was studied by a survey of subjects who had experienced the 2004 Niigata-Chuetsu earthquake (6.8 on the Richter scale) in Japan. Psychological distress was measured at two years after the earthquake by using GHQ-12 in 2,107 subjects (99.0% response rate) who suffered the earthquake. GHQ-12 was scored by binary, chronic and Likert scoring method. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to reveal the factor structure of GHQ-12. Categorical regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationships between various background factors and GHQ-12 scores. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the model consisting of the two factors and using chronic method gave the best goodness-of-fit among the various models for factor structure. Recovery in the scale for the factor 'social dysfunction' was remarkably impaired compared with that of the factor 'dysphoria'. Categorical regression analysis revealed that various factors, including advanced age, were associated with psychological distress. Advanced age affected the impaired recovery of factor 'social dysfunction' score as well as total GHQ score. The two-factor structure of GHQ-12 was conserved between the survey at five month and that at two years after the earthquake. Impaired recovery in the ability to cope with daily problems in the subjects who had experienced the earthquake was remarkable even at two years after the earthquake.
    BMC Public Health 02/2007; 7:175. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-7-175 · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim:  This study was undertaken 5 months after the 2004 Niigata–Chuetsu earthquake in Japan to assess factors that impacted on psychological distress and its recovery.Methods:  Three thousand and twenty-six adult victims who lived in temporary shelter and in seriously damaged areas were evaluated by questionnaire. The questionnaire queried subject profile, degree of house damage, health status, and psychological distress using a 5-point scale before, immediately and 5 months after the earthquake.Results:  Immediately after the earthquake, 59.3% of the subjects had psychological distress. At 5 months after the earthquake, however, this percentage decreased to 21.8%. The psychological distress immediately after the earthquake was significantly serious in victims who: (i) were female; (ii) felt stronger fear of the earthquake and the aftershocks; (iii) lived at home or office after the earthquake; and (iv) were injured due to the earthquake or suffered from sickness after the earthquake. In contrast, the factors impairing psychological recovery 5 months after the earthquake were as follows: (i) being with unfamiliar member(s) during the night after the earthquake; (ii) serious house damage; (iii) living in temporary shelter or at a relative's home after the earthquake; and (iv) physical illness after the earthquake.Conclusion:  Despite differences between disasters, these results were consistent with those in some previous studies and may be useful for long-term mental care support.
    Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 09/2008; 62(5):503 - 507. DOI:10.1111/j.1440-1819.2008.01842.x · 1.62 Impact Factor
Show more

Preview

Download
2 Downloads
Available from