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The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The Daiichi workers faced multiple stressors (workplace trauma, victim experiences, and public criticism deriving from their company’s post-disaster management). Literatures suggest the importance of workplace interpersonal support (WIS) in enhancing psychological health among disaster workers. We sought to elucidate the role of their demographics, disaster-related experiences, and post-traumatic stress symptoms on perceived WIS.
We analyzed self-report questionnaires of 885 workers 2-3 months post-disaster. We used sociodemographic and disaster exposure-related variables and post-traumatic stress symptoms (measured by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised) as independent variables. We asked whether WIS from colleagues, supervisors, or subordinates was perceived as helpful, and used yes or no responses as a dependent variable. Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess correlates of WIS.
Of the participants, one-third (34.7%) reported WIS. WIS was associated with younger age (20-28 years [vs 49-], adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 3.25, 95% CI: 1.99-5.32), supervisory work status (aOR: 2.30, 95% CI: 1.35-3.92), and discrimination or slur experience (aOR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.08-2.53).
Educational programs focusing on WIS might be beneficial to promote psychological well-being among nuclear disaster workers, especially younger workers, supervisors, and workers with discrimination experiences. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:460–463)