The effects of living environment on disaster workers: A one-year longitudinal study

Masanori Nagamine, Nahoko Harada, Jun Shigemura, Kosuke Dobashi, Makiko Yoshiga, Naoki Esaki, Miyuki Tanaka, Masaaki Tanichi, Aihide Yoshino, Kunio Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Defense Force workers engaged in disaster relief activities might suffer from strong psychological stress due to the tasks that they had been involved. We evaluated how living environments, work environments, and individual factors psychologically affect those who engaged in disaster relief activities. Method: Data generated with 1506 personnel engaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake relief activity were analyzed. Those who scored ≥25 points on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) were allocated into the high post-traumatic stress response (high-PTSR) group, and the high general psychological distress (high-GPD) group, respectively. Results: The multiple logistic regression analysis extracted living environment (camping within the shelter sites) as the significant risk factor for both high-PTSR (OR=3.39, 95% CI 2.04-5.64, p<0.001) and high-GPD (OR=3.35, 95% CI 1.77-6.34, p<0.001) groups. Conclusion: It is desirable for disaster workers to have a living environment in which they can keep an appropriate distance from the victims.

Original languageEnglish
Article number358
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 21

Keywords

  • Disaster workers
  • Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Living environment
  • Post-traumatic stress response
  • Psychological distress
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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