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Review

Mental Health Consequences of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Nuclear Disasters: A Scoping Review

1
Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Kurume University, Asahi-machi 67, Kurume 830-0011, Japan
2
Department of Disaster Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Koichi Tanigawa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147478
Received: 24 May 2021 / Revised: 6 July 2021 / Accepted: 9 July 2021 / Published: 13 July 2021
Many individuals who were affected by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident continue to face a challenging recovery. We reviewed the long-term mental health consequences of three major nuclear power plant accidents: the Three Mile Island (TMI, 1979), Chernobyl (1986), and Fukushima (2011) nuclear disasters. We examined the relevant prospective cohort studies and before-and-after studies that covered more than two timepoints, searching four databases (PubMed, Ichushi, PsyArticles, and PTSDPub). We identified a total of 35 studies: TMI, n = 11; Chernobyl, n = 6; and Fukushima, n = 18. The smaller numbers of early-phase studies (within 6 months) of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters may also indicate the chaotic situation at those timepoints, as large-scale interviews were conducted in the early phase after the TMI disaster. Although the patterns of effects on mental health outcomes were diverse, more than half of the participants in the studies we evaluated were categorized into low or under-threshold symptom groups in all three disasters. Across the three disasters, the radiation exposure level estimated by the proximity and stigma were the common risk factors for mental health outcomes. Our findings will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the worst nuclear accidents in history on the affected individuals’ mental health, and our results illustrate the longitudinal consequences of such disasters. View Full-Text
Keywords: Three Mile Island disaster; Chernobyl disaster; Fukushima disaster; nuclear power plant accident; mental health Three Mile Island disaster; Chernobyl disaster; Fukushima disaster; nuclear power plant accident; mental health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oe, M.; Takebayashi, Y.; Sato, H.; Maeda, M. Mental Health Consequences of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Nuclear Disasters: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7478. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147478

AMA Style

Oe M, Takebayashi Y, Sato H, Maeda M. Mental Health Consequences of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Nuclear Disasters: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7478. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147478

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oe, Misari, Yui Takebayashi, Hideki Sato, and Masaharu Maeda. 2021. "Mental Health Consequences of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Nuclear Disasters: A Scoping Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7478. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147478

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