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Psychosocial Consequences Among Nurses in the Affected Area of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 and the Fukushima Complex Disaster: A Qualitative Study

  • Hideko Sato (a1), Teeranee Techasrivichien (a2), Atsuko Omori (a3), Masako Ono-Kihara (a2) and Masahiro Kihara (a2)...



The goal of this study was to assess the psychosocial consequences among nurses affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in order to identify their coping strategies and explore possible countermeasures against complex disasters.


In 2012, we conducted a qualitative study and screened participants for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Thirty-eight nurses participated in this study. The result showed a relatively high proportion of probable PTSD (39%). Thirty-two conceptual codes emerged from the data and were grouped into 8 categories: “initial acute stress,” “acute stress turning chronic,” “chronic physical and mental fatigue,” “occupational stress,” “fear of the impact of radiation on children’s health,” “occupational satisfaction,” “positive influences of the disaster experiences,” and “impact of mutual care through interpersonal cognition.”


The study reveals that mutual care may have a positive impact in assisting recovery and enhancing the psychological well-being of nurses. We suggest that disaster management should take into consideration the conflict between professional and family responsibilities. In the light of the chronic impact of the nuclear crisis, enhanced support for interpersonal relationships and human resources, as well as appropriate safety precautions, is urgently needed to help affected nurses. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;page 1 of 8)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Hideko Sato, Department of Nursing, Tokyo Kasei University, 2-15-1 Inariyama, Sayama, Saitama, 350-1398, Japan (e-mail:


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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • ISSN: 1935-7893
  • EISSN: 1938-744X
  • URL: /core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness
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