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Natural disasters affect long-term health by directly disrupting or destroying health-care systems and social support. We examined the associations between social support and subjective symptoms (SS) among disaster victims living in their homes approximately 1–2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, which devastated the northeastern Japan seaboard and far inland, focusing on Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
The Health and Life Revival Council of Ishinomaki District conducted door-to-door household surveys between April 2012 and January 2013. Replies to 12 questions regarding social support, specifically emotional, informational, and instrumental, were investigated. SS prevalence was calculated as the proportion of those having any of 8 predetermined symptoms including back pain, neck stiffness, sleep difficulty, dizziness, heart palpitations, poor appetite, or stomachache. Logistic regression analysis by sex was used to obtain crude and adjusted odds ratios for the association between SS prevalence and forms of social support.
From 4023 households, self-reported data on 2593 individuals from 1709 households were obtained. SS prevalence was 29.1%. Adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed that instrumental support with others and emotional support with personal and others were specific associated with SS in men and women, respectively.
Our findings suggest that providing social support depending on needs is potentially effective in preventing SS in disaster areas.
Women and men might experience psychological distress differently during a disaster. This study investigated gender differences in the factors associated with psychological distress among working-age people 1 to 2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
A cross-sectional household survey of victims who remained living in their homes was conducted between May and December 2012 in Ishinomaki City, Japan. Psychological distress was defined as a Kessler Psychological Distress Scale ≥5, and gender differences were examined using a logistic regression analysis.
Data were obtained from 2593 individuals, and 1537 participants were included in the analyses. Psychological distress was observed in 28.0% of the participants. Living in a household without a salaried income and a low frequency of leaving the house were associated with psychological distress among women. Young age, lack of occupation and no informational support were associated with psychological distress among men. Income change due to the disaster and health complaints were associated with psychological distress in both genders.
For women, stable household income and frequently leaving the house can be protective factors. For men, intervention focusing on young people, occupational support, and informational support may be useful. Income change after the disaster and health complaints may be risk factors in both genders. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:487-496)
We aimed to investigate the influence of social factors, especially social support, on psychological distress and the prevalence of health problems (HPs) among victims living in their homes 14 to 21 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
A subgroup analysis was performed for elderly participants of a cross-sectional household survey in Ishinomaki area, Japan. The prevalence of psychological HPs was assessed by using a psychological distress questionnaire (K6) and by recording the number of subjective HPs. Perceived social support was assessed in 3 dimensions: informational, emotional, and instrumental support. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the association between social factors and psychological health.
An elderly subgroup with 879 participants was used for analyses. Psychological distress (K6 score≥9) was observed in 6.8% of the participants aged 65 to 74 years and in 8.0% of those aged ≥75 years. Receiving a long-term care service was associated with having HPs, and discontinuation of attendance at a hospital as an outpatient was associated with psychological distress. Receiving emotional support was associated with lower psychological distress and not having HPs.
Emotional support was found to be an important factor for promoting health among elderly disaster victims. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:64–71)
To determine the effectiveness of a personal support lifestyle education programme (PSMetS) for reducing risk factors in individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS).
A two-arm randomised controlled trial.
Companies in metropolitan Tokyo, Japan.
Male workers with diagnosed MetS or a high risk for MetS according to the Counselling Guidance Program, Japan (n 193).
The reduction in the number of risk factors for MetS (as defined according to the criteria published by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in April 2007 (MHLW-MetS)) in the PSMetS group was not significantly different from that in the usual care group by van Elteren’s test (baseline-adjusted P=0·075) for intention-to-treat (ITT), while it was significant (baseline-adjusted P=0·038) for per-protocol set (PPS). The proportion of MHLW-MetS was significantly different between groups by van Elteren’s test (baseline-adjusted P=0·031). Two components of MHLW-MetS showed significant reductions in the PSMetS group: waist circumference (baseline-adjusted P=0·001) and BMI (baseline-adjusted P=0·002). PPS and ITT analyses showed similar results.
For male workers with MHLW-MetS or a high risk of MHLW-MetS, PSMetS reduced the number of risk factors for MHLW-MetS.
The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami affected approximately 53 000 people in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. Approximately 30 000 people were relocated to temporary/rental housing. The remainder re-inhabited tsunami-affected houses, and their conditions were not known. As social isolation could affect physical and psychological health, we investigated the risk of social isolation among the survivors who returned to their homes.
The surveyors went door-to-door to the tsunami-affected houses and interviewed each household between October 2011 and March 2012. The participants’ risk of social isolation was assessed using 3 factors: whether they have (1) friends to talk with about their problems, (2) close neighbors, and (3) social/family interactions. We analyzed the groups at risk of social isolation and identified the related factors.
The elderly (older than age 65 years) were more likely to have close neighbors and social/family interactions, as compared with younger persons. Persons living alone were less likely to have social/family interactions. Non-elderly men who were living alone were the highest proportion of people without social/family interactions.
Our findings suggested that men, particularly those younger than age 65 years and living alone, were at high risk of social isolation and may need attention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-8)
The number of extremely thin young women has increased and education at school on maintaining an optimal weight has become important. The aim of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of a group-based home-collaborative dietary education (HCDE) programme to maintain appropriate dietary intake compared to conventional school classroom education.
Two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial. Twelve classes were randomly assigned as clusters to either the HCDE group or the control group. Each participant in the HCDE group received twelve sessions of group counselling aimed at increasing energy intake at breakfast by modifying dietary intake and adopting appropriate habits. The hypothesis underlying the study was that after 6 months of HCDE the total energy intake would be increased by 627 kJ from baseline (primary endpoint). Secondary outcomes were differences in intake of various nutrients from baseline. Outcome measures after log transformation were examined by t tests and linear mixed models (crude and baseline-adjusted).
Young women among Japanese female adolescents in Tokyo.
Four hundred and seventy-four participants aged 13–15 years.
Students in twelve classes were used for analysis (n 459). Energy intake was decreased in many of the classes during the 6-month period, especially for those in the control group. After adjustment for the baseline value, significant increases in energy intake and protein, calcium, magnesium and iron intakes at breakfast were observed (P < 0·05)
Although energy intake was increased in the HCDE group compared to the control group, further study of the HCDE is warranted.
To assess the validity and reproducibility of a self-administered FFQ with eighty-two food items (FFQW82) for assessing the habitual diet in female adolescents.
The validity of the FFQW82 for assessment of nutrient intake was evaluated by comparison with a 7 d weighed food record (7d-FRRI) reported as ‘gold standard’. Reproducibility of the FFQW82 was assessed at an interval of 1 month (test–retest method). The first survey (FFQW82 and 7d-FRRI) was conducted in April 2007 and the second FFQW82 survey was conducted in May 2007. Daily consumption of energy from eleven food groups and nine nutrients were calculated from both instruments for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the whole day. Crude and energy-adjusted Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated using log-transformed data.
Middle school, Tokyo, Japan.
Female adolescents aged 12–13 years.
Sixty-three female adolescents completed both surveys. The relative difference between the energy intake calculated by the FFQW82 and the 7d-FRRI for the whole day, breakfast, lunch and dinner was 8 %, 10 %, 15 % and 10 %, respectively. As for validity, the correlation coefficient of total energy intake for the whole day was 0·31. The result for breakfast was relatively higher (0·59) compared with that for lunch (0·40) and dinner (0·32). For macronutrients, the energy-adjusted correlation coefficient ranged from 0·28 (carbohydrates) to 0·53 (protein). Reproducibility of total energy intake was 0·62 and ranged from 0·46 (fat) to 0·69 (carbohydrate) for macronutrients.
These results suggest that the FFQW82 has proved to have some potential with regard to reproducibility among our study population.
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