Kobe Journal of Medical Sciences, 2000


Shinji KITAYAMA*, Yuka OKADA**, Teruko TAKUMI ***, Satoshi TAKADA*, Yuko INAGAKI****, and Hajime NAKAMURA* 

*Department of Pediatrics, Kobe University School of Medicine 
**Kobe University Faculty of Human Development 
***Hyogo-prefectural Nojigiku Medical Center for Disabled Children, Kitayamadai, Nishi-ku, Kobe, Japan 
****Konan Women 's University Faculty of Literature, Morikitamachi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Japan 

Kobe J. Med. Sci. 46. 189-200. October 2000 

AB: Children who experienced the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster were followed to ascertain how the psychological and physical reactions after this disaster changed. Changes observed in the symptoms of children at one and two years after the earthquake were compared between those who had lived in severely damaged area (level 7 on the Japan Meteorological Agency intensity scale) and those who had lived in mildly damaged area (less than 5 on the same scale). The survey was conducted using a questionnaire filled out by the children's parents. Two years after the earthquake, the children had returned to normal in terms of their physical conditions, even in the severely damaged area. However, symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) such as persistent reexperiencing, persistent avoidance, and increased arousal were significantly more frequently found among children from the severely damaged area than among those from the mildly damaged area. To evaluate the psychological and physical reactions after the disaster is very important in order to support the children when large- scale disasters occur.

Published Bimonthly by Kobe University School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan