Table of Contents
Advances in Psychiatry
Volume 2015, Article ID 265907, 8 pages
Research Article

Factors in Mental Health Problems among Japanese Dialysis Patients Living in Heavily Damaged Prefectures Two Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake

1Graduate School of Gerontology, J. F. Oberlin University, Machida-shi 194-0294, Japan
2Hachioji Azumacho Clinic, Hachioji-shi 192-0082, Japan
3Sapporo Kita Clinic, Sapporo-shi 001-0018, Japan
4Kawakita General Hospital, Suginami-ku 166-0001, Japan
5School of Nursing, Jikei University, Chofu-shi 182-08570, Japan
6Faculty of Health Care and Nursing, Juntendo University, Urayasu-shi 279-0023, Japan

Received 29 January 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Kai G. Kahl

Copyright © 2015 Hidehiro Sugisawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined the prevalence of mental health problems and related factors among dialysis patients living in prefectures that were heavily damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Research was conducted two years following the disaster, and data of 1500 residents of the prefectures were analyzed. This study examined disaster related stressors, gender, socioeconomic status, health problems prior the earthquake, and social support, all of which have been identified as aggravating/mitigating factors in previous research on disaster survivors. We also examined advanced awareness of emergency planning as a dialysis specific factor. Mental health problems after the disaster were categorized into three types: PTSD and depression comorbidity, PTSD only, and depression only. Results indicated that people with comorbidity, PTSD, and depression comprised 7.5%, 25.0%, and 2.9% of the sample, respectively. Not only disaster related stressors but also health problems prior to the disaster had an aggravating direct effect on comorbidity and PTSD. In addition, social support and advanced awareness of disaster planning had a mitigating effect on comorbidity. These results suggest that advanced awareness of disaster planning is a dialysis specific factor that could decrease the occurrence of comorbidity among dialysis patients following a disaster.