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Product title :

Mental and physical distress of field veterinarians during and soon after the 2010 foot and mouth disease outbreak in Miyazaki, Japan

Author(s) : K. Makita, A. Tsuji, Y. Iki, A. Kurosawa, H. Kadowaki, A. Tsutsumi, T. Nogami & M. Watari

Summary :

An outbreak of foot and mouth disease occurred in Miyazaki, Japan, in April 2010, and nearly 290,000 animals were culled to control the disease. This study was conducted to demonstrate the causes and intensity of mental distress felt by the field veterinarians participating in the control programme. A focus group discussion was conducted with ten veterinarians to understand their distress during the outbreak, and a questionnaire to quantify the degree of distress experienced each week was administered to 16 veterinarians. A detailed questionnaire was separately administered to 70 veterinarians six months after the outbreak was controlled, to assess mental distress status and to identify the risk factors for serious mental illness (SMI) using the six-item Kessler scale (K6). Overall, mental distress (mean 3.1) was significantly greater than physical distress (mean 1.9, p < 0.001). The risk factors for mental distress were categorised into three groups: culling, communication with farmers, and gender; each category was qualitatively described. Only two respondents (2.9%) had high K6 scores suggesting SMI.

Keywords
Culling – Foot and mouth disease – Japan – Mental health – Miyazaki – Veterinarian.

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