What impact do acoustic environment problems have on the stress suffered by evacuees at temporary shelters?

Koji Nagahata, Hideyuki Kanda, Tetsuhito Fukushima, Norio Suzuki, Megumi Sakamoto, Fuminori Tanba, Shin Ya Kaneko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A questionnaire survey and interviews were conducted among victims of the Mid-Niigata Earthquake from Yamakoshi village to elucidate the problems related to the living environment and the stressful experiences encountered by them in the temporary shelters. In this study we aim to clarify the relationships between environmental problems, including acoustic environment problems, and stressful experiences encountered in the temporary shelters, and we examine the impact of the acoustic environment of the temporary shelters on evacuee stress. Among the environmental problems (living space, temperature, illumination, acoustic environment, odor, and problems related to the shelter facilities and to maintaining privacy), the acoustic environment was the fifth most frequently cited environmental problem. However, a higher proportion of the participants who complained about the acoustic environment of the temporary shelters had stressful experiences than those who did not complain about the acoustic environment. These relationships were shown to be statistically significant by chi-square tests. It was found by logistic regression analyses that among the living environment problems, the acoustic environment was the most important factor in determining whether refugees found living conditions unpleasant and/or experienced stress. These results suggest that improvements to the acoustic environment of temporary shelters should lead to the mitigation of some evacuee stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-116
Number of pages7
JournalAcoustical Science and Technology
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Acoustic environmental problems
  • Mid-niigata earthquake
  • Stressful experiences
  • Temporary shelters for victims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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