Responding to a radiological crisis: Experiences of British foreign office staff in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown

Savita Bakhshi, Rebecca Lynn-Nicholson, Bryony Jones, Richard Amlôt, Neil Greenberg, G. James Rubin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Results: Participants described their crisis work as stressful, exciting, and something of which they were proud. Aside from disaster-specific stressors, factors identified as stressful included unclear roles, handing over work to new personnel, being assigned to office-based work, feeling that work was not immediately beneficial to the public, not taking good-quality breaks, and difficulties with relatives. The radiation risk provoked mixed feelings, with most participants being reassured by contact with senior scientists.

Conclusions: Interventions to safeguard the well-being of personnel during crisis work must consider the impact of a broad range of stressors.

Objectives To identify factors that affected well-being among British embassy staff based in Japan after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

Methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 36 members of staff 8 to 9 months after the earthquake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2014

Keywords

  • occupational health
  • radiation
  • stress

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