The research Article “Partners’ Ongoing Treatment for Chronic Disease and the Risk of Psychological Distress after the Great East Japan Earthquake” by Prof. Naoki Nakaya et al. was published on line, 10 Aug. 2016.
Several studies have reported that not only patients with chronic diseases but also their partners are likely to face major psychosocial problems. This study examined the association between a partner’s ongoing treatment for chronic disease and the risk of psychological distress after the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE).
In 2012, a questionnaire was distributed as part of a cross-sectional study of participants aged 20 years or older living in a municipality that had been severely inundated by the tsunami following the GEJE. We identified couples using the household numbers of the municipality and collected self-reported information on ongoing chronic disease treatment for stroke, cancer, myocardial infarction, and angina.
Psychological distress was evaluated using the Kessler 6 scale (K6) and was defined as a score ≥ 5/24 points. Among 1,246 couples (2,492 participants) thus identified, 2,369 completed the K6.
The number of participants whose partners were under treatment for chronic diseases was 209 (9%). Overall, participants with partners who were receiving treatment for chronic diseases (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.95-1.8, P = 0.09) did not show a significantly higher risk of psychological distress using logistic regression analysis.
Women, but not men, whose partners were receiving treatment for chronic diseases, had a higher risk of psychological distress (women: OR = 1.6, P = 0.02; men: OR = 1.0, P = 0.92).
After the GEJE, only in women the presence of partners under treatment for chronic diseases appears to be a risk factor for psychological distress.
Partners’ Ongoing Treatment for Chronic Disease and the Risk of Psychological Distress after the Great East Japan Earthquake
Naoki Nakaya, Akira Narita, Naho Tsuchiya, Tomohiro Nakamura, Ichiro Tsuji, Atsushi Hozawa, Hiroaki Tomita
The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Vol. 239 (2016) No. 4 August p. 307-314
Published online August 10, 2016