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The Association Between Medical Treatment of Physical Diseases and Psychological Distress After the Great East Japan Earthquake: The Shichigahama Health Promotion Project

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2015

Naoki Nakaya*
Affiliation:
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai, Japan
Tomohiro Nakamura
Affiliation:
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai, Japan
Naho Tsuchiya
Affiliation:
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai, Japan
Ichiro Tsuji
Affiliation:
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai, Japan Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Forensic Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.
Atsushi Hozawa
Affiliation:
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai, Japan
Hiroaki Tomita
Affiliation:
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai, Japan Department of Disaster Psychiatry, International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
*Corresponding
Correspondence and reprint requests to Naoki Nakaya, PhD, Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Tohoku University, 2-1 Seiryo, Sendai 980-8573, Japan (e-mail: nakaya-thk@umin.ac.jp).

Abstract

Objective

Physical disease patients are known to experience high levels of psychological distress. This study examined the association between the medical treatment of physical diseases and psychological distress in the coastal area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Methods

Using cross-sectional data, we studied 3032 individuals aged ≥40 years who lived in Shichigahama, Miyagi, Japan. We examined the associations between 8 medical treatments for physical diseases and psychological distress, defined as Kessler Psychological Distress scale score ≥13 of 24 points. To investigate the associations, we performed multiple logistic regression analyses.

Results

There were statistically significant associations between psychological distress and medical treatments for myocardial infarction/angina pectoris (odds ratio [OR]=1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.0-3.0) and liver disease (OR=3.1, 95% CI=1.0-7.7). The other 4 medical treatments for physical diseases had ORs of 1.3 or higher and were positively associated with psychological distress: cancer, hyperlipidemia, kidney disease, and diabetes mellitus. The degree of damage to homes did not affect the association between most of the medical treatments for physical diseases and psychological distress.

Conclusions

In the disaster area, most of the medical treatments for physical diseases had positive associations with psychological distress, irrespective of the degree of damage to homes. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:374–381)

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2015 

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