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Open AccessArticle

Social Capital Enhanced Disaster Preparedness and Health Consultations after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Power Station Accident

1
Department of Health Risk Communication, Fukushima Medical University, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
2
Fukushima Prefectural Centre for Environmental Creation, 2-10 Fukasaku, Miharu-machi, Tamura-gun, Fukushima 963-7700, Japan
3
Department of Blood Transfusion and Transplantation Immunology, Fukushima Medical University, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
4
Department of Advanced Cancer Immunotherapy, Fukushima Medical University, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030516
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Preparedness for and Response to Nuclear Disasters)
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident in 2011, there was a strong demand to promote disaster preparedness approaches and health checkups for the prevention of lifestyle diseases. This study examined the yearly change in the percentage of those who prepared for disasters and who utilized health checkups in Fukushima Prefecture, and identified the factors governing disaster preparedness and utilization of health checkups. We used the public opinion survey from 2011 to 2015 (n = 677–779 each year) on prefectural policies that is conducted every year by the Fukushima Prefecture government Public Consultation Unit. We found that the percentage of those who prepare for disasters decreased, while that for health checkups did not significantly change. With regard to disaster preparedness, experiences of disaster enhance disaster preparedness, while bonds with other local people help to maintain preparedness. For health checkups, familiarity with the welfare service was the most important factor governing such consultations. The findings suggest that social capital should be promoted in order to improve disaster preparedness. The findings also suggest that residents’ accessibility to medical and welfare services is also important in promoting the utilization of health checkups. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster preparedness; disaster risk reduction; Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station; Great East Japan Earthquake; healthcare checkups; social capital disaster preparedness; disaster risk reduction; Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station; Great East Japan Earthquake; healthcare checkups; social capital
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Hasegawa, M.; Murakami, M.; Takebayashi, Y.; Suzuki, S.; Ohto, H. Social Capital Enhanced Disaster Preparedness and Health Consultations after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Power Station Accident. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 516.

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