The Usefulness of Brief Telephonic Intervention After a Nuclear Crisis: Long-Term Community-Based Support for Fukushima Evacuees
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident in 2011 produced over 100000 evacuees. In order to deal with an increased need of mental health care, brief, transdiagnostic Telephonic Interventions (TI) have been provided for those at risk of different mental health problems identified based on results of the Mental Health and Lifestyle Survey (MHLS). This study aimed to examine usefulness of TI with focusing on evacuees' subjective estimation assessed in individual follow-up interviews.
... ow-up interviews. The sample comprised 484 persons who had been evacuated from 13 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture to 8 safer regions in and out of Fukushima. We conducted semi-structured interviews for participants receiving TI (intervention group) and those not receiving TI despite being identified as high risk (non-intervention group). The intervention group was older, had a higher proportion of self-reported mental illness, and higher unemployment compared with the non-intervention group. The satisfaction proportion of those who underwent TI was as high as 74.6%. Satisfaction was significantly associated with advance knowledge of TI availability (OR = 3.00, 95% CI: 1.59‐5.64), and advice on health-related practices (OR = 2.15, 95% CI: 1.12‐4.13). Thus, TI is considered to be feasible and useful for public health management practices in major disasters.