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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2381: Mental Health Recovery of Evacuees and Residents from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident after Seven Years—Contribution of Social Network and a Desirable Lifestyle

27 Oct 2018

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2381: Mental Health Recovery of Evacuees and Residents from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident after Seven Years—Contribution of Social Network and a Desirable Lifestyle

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112381

Authors:
Masatsugu Orui
Satomi Nakajima
Yui Takebayashi
Akiko Ito
Maho Momoi
Masaharu Maeda
Seiji Yasumura
Hitoshi Ohto

The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident resulted in the exposure to radiation and evacuation, which has created psychological distress among the Fukushima residents. With the provision of multi-faceted support and the progress of the reconstruction, their mental health has appeared to show signs of recovery. However, there have been few studies investigating their recovery. To clarify the related factors associated with mental health recovery, a cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted. Subjects whose answers were associated with Resilience, Recovery, and Remitting patterns of mental health status were categorized in the Recovery group, while those associated with Delayed/Chronic dysfunction were placed in the Non-recovered group. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, disaster-related unemployment (odds ratio (OR): 0.80, 95% CI (confidence interval): 0.65–0.99) and economic hardship (OR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.65–0.98) were associated with the hindrance of recovery. In contrast, overall good health (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.20–1.80), regular physical activity (OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.01–1.50), social interaction with friends (OR: 1.25, 95% CI: 1.00–1.55), and established social roles (OR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.14–1.82) were associated with the promotion of recovery. In conclusion, our study showed a positive association between mental health recovery and a desirable lifestyle and social network, particularly with social roles. Thus, the provision of active social roles can promote recovery related to a disaster as with multi-faceted support.

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