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The Disaster Psychiatric Assistant Team (DPAT) is Japan’s original mental health care dispatched team during disasters. Established in 2013, this team has been involved in the response to many disaster-related mental issues.
We Aimed to evaluate the DPAT activity in response to the past 4 disasters (Ontake volcano, Hiroshima flood, Joso flood, and Kumamoto earthquake), using the disaster mental health information support system (DMHISS).
DMHISS data from the four disasters was extracted. Descriptive statistics were performed from the obtained dataset and the characteristics of the disaster victims from each disaster were compared and examined.
About 2,400 cases were obtained and tabulated to from the database. Based on descriptive statistics, the DPAT support objectives, activities and activity periods Aim to establish (1) the characteristics of the affected areas (population composition, psychiatric medical condition), (2) the scale and content of the disaster (the injured, building damage, number of evacuees), and (3) the activity ability. The number of counseling cases peaked several days after the disaster onset, and the importance of the DPAT activity during the acute phase was confirmed. The time course of the consultation number, which is a measure of the termination, could be predicted from the disaster scale and content. These results suggest that DPAT activity may be a guideline for local disasters for one month and for wide-reaching disasters for two months or longer.
It is suggested that the timing of activity and the termination period could be estimated from factors including the type of disaster, the size of the disaster, and the number of evacuees using the disaster mental health medical activities from four disasters. It should be considered necessary to accumulate data and examine indicators related to the DPAT activity.
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)
We launched a health promotion program called the Hamarassen (“let’s get together”) Farm, which provided farming opportunities for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake who resided in temporary housing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of this program on physical and mental health in terms of bone mineral density (BMD) and a sense of purpose in life.
Among 39 female participants in whom BMD was evaluated, there were 12 Hamarassen participants, 8 self-farming control subjects, and 19 non-farming control subjects. BMD was measured by calcaneal quantitative ultrasound immediately after the project launch and 5 months later. A sense of purpose in life prior to and 2 months after the project’s commencement was measured in 21 additional Hamarassen participants by use of the K-I Scale. Interviews were also conducted to qualitatively evaluate the effects of the Hamarassen program.
The mean BMD T-score improved by 0.43 in the Hamarassen group, by 0.33 in the self-farming group, and by 0.06 in the controls (p=0.02). Among the 21 Hamarassen participants in whom mental health was evaluated, the average score for a sense of purpose in life improved from 20.5 to 24.9 (p=0.001).
The Hamarassen Farm provided disaster victims with opportunities for social participation, interpersonal interaction, and physical exercise; such opportunities may improve physical and psychosocial well-being. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:103-110)
A 20-residue peptide E5 containing five glutamates, an
analog of the fusion peptide of influenza virus hemagglutinin
(HA) exhibiting fusion activity at acidic pH lower than
6.0–6.5 was studied by circular dichroism (CD), Fourier
transform infrared, and 1H-NMR spectroscopy
in water, water/trifluoroethanol (TFE) mixtures, dodecylphosphocholine
(DPC) micelles, and phospholipid vesicles. E5 became structurally
ordered at pH ≤6 and the helical content in the peptide
increased in the row: water < water/TFE < DPC ∼
phospholipid vesicle while the amount of β-structure
was approximately reverse. 1H-NMR data and line-broadening
effect of 5-, 16-doxylstearates on proton resonances of
DPC bound peptide showed E5 forms amphiphilic α-helix
in residues 2–18, which is flexible in 11–18
part. The analysis of the proton chemical shifts of DPC
bound and CD intensity at 220 nm of phospholipid bound
E5 showed that the pH dependence of helical content is
characterized by the same pKa ≈5.6.
Only Glu11 and Glu15 in DPC bound peptide showed such elevated
pKas, presumably due to transient hydrogen
bond(s) Glu11 (Glu15) δCOO−(H+)
… HN Glu15 that dispose(s) the side chain of Glu11
(Glu15) residue(s) close to the micelle/water interface.
These glutamates are present in the HA-fusion peptide and
the experimental half-maximal pH of fusion for HA and E5
peptides is ∼5.6. Therefore, a specific anchorage of
these peptides onto membrane necessary for fusion is likely
driven by the protonation of the carboxylate group of Glu11
(Glu15) residue(s) participating in transient hydrogen
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