Prospect of future housing and risk of psychological distress at 1 year after an earthquake disaster

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, many of the affected have been forced to live in temporary housing or at a relative's house. Special attention needs to be paid to the negative health impacts resulting from such changes in living conditions. This study examined the association between future housing prospects and the risk of psychological distress 1 year after the earthquake. Methods In 2012, a questionnaire was completed by a cross-sectional study of people aged 20 years or older living in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi, northeastern Japan, an area that had been severely inundated by the tsunami. Future housing prospects post-earthquake were classified into four categories: already settled in permanent housing, moving to new housing, under consideration, or unable to make any plans. Psychological distress was evaluated using the Kessler 6 scale, defined as ≥5 points out of 24. We performed multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for potential confounding factors. Results Of the 3614 individuals studied, subjects whose future housing was under consideration (odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6-2.7, P < 0.01) and those who were unable to make any future housing plans (OR = 1.9, 95%CI = 1.4-2.5, P < 0.01) exhibited a significantly higher risk of psychological distress compared with subjects who had already settled in permanent housing. Conclusion In this study, subjects whose future housing prospects were under consideration and those who were unable to make any future housing plans were at a higher risk of psychological distress 1 year after the earthquake disaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1

Keywords

  • Great East Japan Earthquake
  • cross-sectional study
  • disaster
  • prospect of future housing
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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