We intended to build consensus on appropriate disaster mental health services among professionals working in the area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
We focused on the first 3 months after the disaster, divided into 3 phases: immediate aftermath, acute phase, and midphase. We adopted the Delphi process and asked our survey participants (n=115) to rate the appropriateness of specific mental health services in each phase and comment on them. We repeated this process 3 times, giving participants feedback on the results of the previous round. Through this process, we determined the criterion for positive consensus for each item as having the agreement of more than 80% of the participants.
We found that the importance of acute psychiatric care and prescribing regular medication for psychiatric patients gained positive consensus in the immediate aftermath and acute phase. Counseling and psychoeducation after traumatic events or provision of information gained consensus in the acute phase and midphase, and screening of mental distress gained consensus in the midphase.
Higher priority was given to continuous psychiatric services in the immediate aftermath and mental health activities in later phases. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:359–366)
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