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Journal Article


Shigemura J, Tanigawa T, Nishi D, Matsuoka Y, Nomura S, Yoshino A. PLoS One 2014; 9(2): e87516.


Department of Psychiatry, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.


(Copyright © 2014, Public Library of Science)








BACKGROUND: The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The nearby Daini plant also experienced substantial damage but remained intact. Workers for the both plants experienced multiple stressors as disaster victims and workers, as well as the criticism from the public due to their company's post-disaster management. Little is known about the psychological pathway mechanism from nuclear disaster exposures, distress during and immediately after the event (peritraumatic distress; PD), to posttraumatic stress responses (PTSR). METHODS: A self-report questionnaire was administered to 1,411 plant employees (Daiichi, n = 831; Daini, n = 580) 2-3 months post-disaster (total response rate: 80.2%). The socio-demographic characteristics and disaster-related experiences were assessed as independent variables. PD and PTSR were measured by the Japanese versions of Peritraumatic Distress Inventory and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, respectively. The analysis was conducted separately for the two groups. Bivariate regression analyses were performed to assess the relationships between independent variables, PD, and PTSR. Significant variables were subsequently entered in the multiple regression analyses to explore the pathway mechanism for development of PTSR. RESULTS: FOR BOTH GROUPS, PTSR HIGHLY ASSOCIATED WITH PD (DAIICHI: adjusted β, 0.66; p<0.001; vs. Daini: adjusted β, 0.67; p<0.001). PTSR also associated with discrimination/slurs experience (Daiichi: 0.11; p<0.001; vs. Daini, 0.09; p = 0.005) and presence of preexisting illness(es) (Daiichi: 0.07; p = 0.005; vs. Daini: 0.15; p<.0001). Other disaster-related variables were likely to be associated with PD than PTSR. CONCLUSION: Among the Fukushima nuclear plant workers, disaster exposures associated with PD. PTSR was highly affected by PD along with discrimination/slurs experience.

Language: en


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