The March 2011 “triple disaster” (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident) had a profound effect on northern Japan. Many medical students at Fukushima Medical University volunteered in the relief effort. We aimed to investigate the nature of students’ post-disaster involvement and examine the psychological impact of their experiences using a survey containing elements from the Davidson Trauma Scale and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. We collected 494 surveys (70 % response rate), of which 132 students (26.7 %) had volunteered. Volunteers were more likely to be older, have witnessed the disaster in person, had their hometowns affected, and had a family member or close friend injured. In the month after 3/11, volunteers were more likely to want to help, feel capable of helping, and report an increased desire to become a physician. Both in the month after 3/11 and the most recent month before the survey, there were no significant differences in distressing symptoms, such as confusion, anger, or sadness, between volunteers and non-volunteers. Volunteers reported a significantly higher level of posttraumatic growth than non-volunteers. Participating in a greater variety of volunteer activities was associated with a higher level of posttraumatic growth, particularly in the Personal Strength domain. There may be self-selection in some criteria, since students who were likely to be resistant to confusion/anxiety/sadness may have felt more capable of helping and been predisposed to volunteer. However, participation in post-disaster relief efforts did not appear to have a harmful effect on medical students, an important consideration for mobilizing volunteers after future disasters.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 14, 2015
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud