Japanese public health nurses’ culturally sensitive disaster nursing for small island communities

Miki Marutani, Shimpei Kodama, Nahoko Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To clarify the tacit knowledge of Japanese public-health nurses who administer culturally sensitive disaster nursing for small island communities. Design: Qualitative and inductive study. Sample: Eleven public-health nurses who provided disaster aid on one of six affected islands. Measurements: Semi-structured interviews, with qualitative analysis of data. Nursing actions that were based on consideration for islanders’ culture were categorized in terms of similarity. Results: Categories of culturally sensitive disaster nursing were identified for each disaster phase of the recovery process. These included confirming islanders’ safety and using existing interpersonal bonds to notify others (acute phase); assisting shelter management by facilitating the application of local rules and bonds (semi-acute phase); compensating for weakened neighbour-based relationships through public services (mid-term phase); and supporting the completion of necessary procedures by utilizing/adjusting islanders’ existing relationships with local government personnel (long-term phase). Cultural elements included interpersonal bonds and relationship, which emerged across phases. Conclusion: Public-health nurses should utilize culture not only to comfort islanders, but also to strengthen their sense of coherence and resilience as islander. They should also remember the nursing principle of compensating for a lack of self-care. To provide effective aid, the changes in cultural influences with recovery phases should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalIsland Studies Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • Disasters
  • Islands
  • Japan
  • Nursing
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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