Report on Maternal Anxiety 16 Months After the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster: Anxiety Over Radioactivity

  •  Hatsumi Yoshii    
  •  Hidemitsu Saito    
  •  Saya Kikuchi    
  •  Takashi Ueno    
  •  Kineko Sato    


The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011. The tsunami caused extensive damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in a level 7 nuclear accident. Among those affected by this combined disaster were many pregnant and parturient women. Sixteen months after the earthquake, we conducted a questionnaire survey on anxiety among 259 women who gave birth around the time of the earthquake in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the affected areas. Participants reported 12 categories of anxiety, including anxiety over radioactivity. This study aimed to determine anxiety over radioactivity among this specific population and to record measures for future study. Anxiety over radiation was classified into seven subcategories: food safety, outdoor safety, effects on the fetuses of pregnant women, effects on children, radiation exposure, economic problems, and distrust of information disclosed. This study confirmed that concrete types of anxiety over radiation were keenly felt by mothers who had experienced the disaster who were currently raising children. The findings suggest the need to provide accurate information to these mothers, who are otherwise inundated with miscellaneous confusing information.

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