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Cognitive and psychological reactions of the general population three months after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Kyutoku Y, Tada R, Umeyama T, Harada K, Kikuchi S, Watanabe E, Liegey-Dougall A, Dan I - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: Such a hugely complex disaster inevitably has negative psychological effects on general populations as well as on the direct victims.As post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTS) were significantly more present in people in the primarily affected area than in those in secondary- or non-affected areas, the path models were constructed for the primary victims.The paths to QoL via negative routes (from negative cognitive appraisal, PTS, and general stress) were dominant, suggesting the importance of clinical intervention for reducing negative cognitive appraisal, and for caring for general stress and PTS to maintain QoL at an early stage of psychological adaptation to a disaster.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Functional Brain Science Laboratory, Center for Development of Advanced Medical Technology, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan. qworkdog@jichi.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

Background: The largest earthquake on record in Japan (magnitude 9.0) occurred on March 11, 2011, and the subsequent tsunami devastated the Pacific coast of Northern Japan. These further triggered the Fukushima I nuclear power plant accidents. Such a hugely complex disaster inevitably has negative psychological effects on general populations as well as on the direct victims. While previous disaster studies enrolled descriptive approaches focusing on direct victims, the structure of the psychological adjustment process of people from the general population has remained uncertain. The current study attempted to establish a path model that sufficiently reflects the early psychological adaptation process of the general population to large-scale natural disasters.

Methods and findings: Participants from the primary disaster area (n = 1083) and other areas (n = 2372) voluntarily participated in an online questionnaire study. By constructing path models using a structural equation model procedure (SEM), we examined the structural relationship among psychological constructs known related to disasters. As post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTS) were significantly more present in people in the primarily affected area than in those in secondary- or non-affected areas, the path models were constructed for the primary victims. The parsimoniously depicted model with the best fit was achieved for the psychological-adjustment centered model with quality of life (QoL) as a final outcome.

Conclusion: The paths to QoL via negative routes (from negative cognitive appraisal, PTS, and general stress) were dominant, suggesting the importance of clinical intervention for reducing negative cognitive appraisal, and for caring for general stress and PTS to maintain QoL at an early stage of psychological adaptation to a disaster. The model also depicted the presence of a positive route where positive cognitive appraisal facilitates post-traumatic growth (PTG) to achieve a higher QoL, suggesting the potential importance of positive psychological preventive care for unexpected natural disasters.

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Model 1 with QoL as a final outcome after modifications.This model exhibited a higher and more sufficient goodness of fit, and thus may better represent the psychological adaptation process after the earthquake. One-headed arrows indicate the direction of observed regression. Two-headed arrows indicate observed correlation, with error components being omitted for simplicity. Additional observed paths are indicated as bold-lined arrows, and unsupported paths are shown as dotted-lined arrows. The numbers on the arrows represent regression coefficients.
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pone-0031014-g003: Model 1 with QoL as a final outcome after modifications.This model exhibited a higher and more sufficient goodness of fit, and thus may better represent the psychological adaptation process after the earthquake. One-headed arrows indicate the direction of observed regression. Two-headed arrows indicate observed correlation, with error components being omitted for simplicity. Additional observed paths are indicated as bold-lined arrows, and unsupported paths are shown as dotted-lined arrows. The numbers on the arrows represent regression coefficients.

Mentions: Two path models (Figures 1 and 2) were examined. Goodness of fit indices improved after the posthoc modifications based on the criteria discussed in data analyses for all the hypothesized models. Model 1 (Figure 3) showed a sufficient fit and Model 2 (Figure 4) showed a marginal fit (Table 3). Standardized path coefficients are shown in Figures 3 and 4 respectively. In a comparison between the models after the modifications based on the AIC, Model 1 reflected observed relationships in a more parsimonious and informative way than it did with the other model.


Cognitive and psychological reactions of the general population three months after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Kyutoku Y, Tada R, Umeyama T, Harada K, Kikuchi S, Watanabe E, Liegey-Dougall A, Dan I - PLoS ONE (2012)

Model 1 with QoL as a final outcome after modifications.This model exhibited a higher and more sufficient goodness of fit, and thus may better represent the psychological adaptation process after the earthquake. One-headed arrows indicate the direction of observed regression. Two-headed arrows indicate observed correlation, with error components being omitted for simplicity. Additional observed paths are indicated as bold-lined arrows, and unsupported paths are shown as dotted-lined arrows. The numbers on the arrows represent regression coefficients.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3275613&req=5

pone-0031014-g003: Model 1 with QoL as a final outcome after modifications.This model exhibited a higher and more sufficient goodness of fit, and thus may better represent the psychological adaptation process after the earthquake. One-headed arrows indicate the direction of observed regression. Two-headed arrows indicate observed correlation, with error components being omitted for simplicity. Additional observed paths are indicated as bold-lined arrows, and unsupported paths are shown as dotted-lined arrows. The numbers on the arrows represent regression coefficients.
Mentions: Two path models (Figures 1 and 2) were examined. Goodness of fit indices improved after the posthoc modifications based on the criteria discussed in data analyses for all the hypothesized models. Model 1 (Figure 3) showed a sufficient fit and Model 2 (Figure 4) showed a marginal fit (Table 3). Standardized path coefficients are shown in Figures 3 and 4 respectively. In a comparison between the models after the modifications based on the AIC, Model 1 reflected observed relationships in a more parsimonious and informative way than it did with the other model.

Bottom Line: Such a hugely complex disaster inevitably has negative psychological effects on general populations as well as on the direct victims.As post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTS) were significantly more present in people in the primarily affected area than in those in secondary- or non-affected areas, the path models were constructed for the primary victims.The paths to QoL via negative routes (from negative cognitive appraisal, PTS, and general stress) were dominant, suggesting the importance of clinical intervention for reducing negative cognitive appraisal, and for caring for general stress and PTS to maintain QoL at an early stage of psychological adaptation to a disaster.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Functional Brain Science Laboratory, Center for Development of Advanced Medical Technology, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan. qworkdog@jichi.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

Background: The largest earthquake on record in Japan (magnitude 9.0) occurred on March 11, 2011, and the subsequent tsunami devastated the Pacific coast of Northern Japan. These further triggered the Fukushima I nuclear power plant accidents. Such a hugely complex disaster inevitably has negative psychological effects on general populations as well as on the direct victims. While previous disaster studies enrolled descriptive approaches focusing on direct victims, the structure of the psychological adjustment process of people from the general population has remained uncertain. The current study attempted to establish a path model that sufficiently reflects the early psychological adaptation process of the general population to large-scale natural disasters.

Methods and findings: Participants from the primary disaster area (n = 1083) and other areas (n = 2372) voluntarily participated in an online questionnaire study. By constructing path models using a structural equation model procedure (SEM), we examined the structural relationship among psychological constructs known related to disasters. As post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTS) were significantly more present in people in the primarily affected area than in those in secondary- or non-affected areas, the path models were constructed for the primary victims. The parsimoniously depicted model with the best fit was achieved for the psychological-adjustment centered model with quality of life (QoL) as a final outcome.

Conclusion: The paths to QoL via negative routes (from negative cognitive appraisal, PTS, and general stress) were dominant, suggesting the importance of clinical intervention for reducing negative cognitive appraisal, and for caring for general stress and PTS to maintain QoL at an early stage of psychological adaptation to a disaster. The model also depicted the presence of a positive route where positive cognitive appraisal facilitates post-traumatic growth (PTG) to achieve a higher QoL, suggesting the potential importance of positive psychological preventive care for unexpected natural disasters.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus