Culturally sensitive disaster nursing by Public health nurses in Japan

Miki Marutani, Nahoko Harada, Kanae Takase, Hiroko Okuda, Yukiko Anzai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To clarify culturally sensitive disaster nursing by public health nurses (PHNs) in Japan, an island nation located on the Pacific Rim, with regard to PHNs’ intentions and comforting supports for affected people. Design: Qualitative descriptive study. Sample: Participants were 17 local PHNs and 13 affected people in nine disaster-affected municipalities throughout Japan. Measurements: Semi-structured interviews were conducted between October 2018 and July 2019. Two types of categories were qualitatively created: categories for PHNs’ culturally sensitive disaster nursing actions, including their intentions; and categories for comforting supports that PHNs provided for affected people through the four phases of disaster. The relationship between these two types of categories was determined. Cultural factors were extracted from the culturally sensitive disaster nursing actions of PHNs and categorized. Results: Regarding intentions, in the acute phase, PHNs utilized culture. In the sub-acute phase, they utilized, acted based on, followed, thought of, and balanced cultural knowledge. In the mid-term-phase, they utilized, thought of, followed, and balanced with local culture. In the long-term phase, they merged, thought of, balanced, utilized, and followed local cultural practices. The actions associated with these intentions corresponded to comforting supports for affected people. Cultural factors, such as transportation style, were obtained in each phase. Conclusion: To enhance the resilience of a community affected by disaster, PHNs should focus on maximizing, preserving, and accommodating culture to maintain familiar life patterns when people's circumstances are totally disrupted by powerful forces of nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-996
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • comfort
  • cultural care
  • disasters
  • public health nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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