Sichuan is the province that is most affected by earthquakes in mainland China. The employment assistance policies have gained an important position in the reconstruction efforts of the government. And the health condition of survivors has long been a concern of humanities scholars. But most studies focused only on the psychological health of earthquake populations and not on their overall health status. This study used both original data and tracking data. The data analysis of this study was mainly based on comparative analysis of the two data. We conducted the first investigation in May and June and the second investigation in October and November. A total of 2,000 earthquake survivors from five hard-hit disaster areas (Wenchuan, Qingchuan, Mianzhu, Lushan, Dujiangyan) participated in the investigation. First, we give descriptive statistical analysis of the post-disaster employment assistance policies of Chinese government and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of earthquake populations. Second, we will explore the relationship between the eight domains of HRQOL of earthquake populations. Third, we also conduct confirmatory factor analysis to the medical outcome study short form 36 (SF-36). Finally we employ the structural equation modeling (SEM) to explore the effects of post-disaster employment assistance policies on the HRQOL of earthquake populations. The following conclusions are obtained from our analysis: (1) both the post-disaster employment assistance policies and SF-36 scales have good internal consistency. (2) The assessment of the employment assistance policies is relatively low. (3) The physical health and mental health of earthquake populations are not optimistic, and the HRQOL scores are low. (4) The SEM of the effect of employment assistance policies on the HRQOL of earthquake populations shows that the implementation of the seven domains of the post-disaster employment assistance policies of Chinese government is closely related. (5) The effect of different employment assistance policies of Chinese government on HRQOL differs. A few suggestions on how to improve the HRQOL of earthquake populations are given to according to our understanding of the effect of different policies on employment.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Data were obtained on the tracking and distribution of magnitude >5.0 earthquakes in China and surrounding areas from 2008 to 2013 were obtained from the China Earthquake Administration Website. The figure is produced by ArcMap 10.1 software.
Apolone, G., & Mosconi, P. (1998). Review of the concept of quality of life assessment and discussion of the present trend in clinical research. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation, 13(suppl 1), 65–69.
Cavrini, G., Broccoli, S., Puccini, A., & Zoli, M. (2012). EQ-5D as a predictor of mortality and hospitalization in elderly people. Quality of Life Research, 21(2), 269–280. doi: 10.1007/s11136-011-9937-0.
Chang, S. E. (2000). Transportation performance, disaster vulnerability, and long-term effects of earthquakes. In Second euro conference on global change and catastrophe risk management, Laxenburg, Austria, July 6–9, 2000.
Chen, J. (2009a, August) Ninety percent of the unemployed back to work in Sichuan earthquake disaster areas. Retrieved 5th December from http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2009-08/14/content_11881970.htm.
Chen, N. (2009b). Institutionalizing public relations: A case study of Chinese government crisis communication on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Public Relations Review, 35(3), 187–198. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2009.05.010.
Chen, T., Li, L., & Kochen, M. (2005). A systematic review: How to choose appropriate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures in routine general practice? Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 6(9), 936–940. doi:10.1631/jzus.2005.B0936.
Chen, S., Lu, Z., & Luo, G. (2010). Study on evaluation of policy implementation of local county government under abnormal situations: taking Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction policy as an example. Journal of Public Management, 4, 008.
Chinese State Council. (2008). Policies and measures to support the Wenchuan earthquake restoration and reconstruction. http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2008-06/30/content_1031467.htm.
Claussen, B. (1999). Health and re-employment in a five-year follow-up of long-term unemployed. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 27(2), 94–100.
Cui, J. (2013, April) Lushan earthquake death toll rose to 193. Xinhua Net. Retrieved 5th December from http://news.xinhuanet.com/2013-04/23/c_115498729.htm.
Gansu Provincial Government (2008) Policies and measures to support the Gansu earthquake reconstruction. http://www.110.com/fagui/law_328035.html.
Genda, Y. (2012). Future employment policy suggested by the post-earthquake response. Japan Labor Review, 9(4), 86–104.
Glynn, P. J., & Taplin, R. (2013). The essential role of employment and the workplace in climate change policy and effective disaster risk management planning. In Climate change and disaster risk management (pp. 399–409). doi:10.1007/978-3-642-31110-9_26.
Graetz, B., (1993). Health consequences of employment and unemployment: longitudinal evidence for young men and women. Social Science & Medicine, 36(6), 715–724.
Hennessy, C. H., Moriarty, D. G., Zack, M. M., Scherr, P. A., & Brackbill, R. (1994). Measuring health-related quality of life for public health surveillance. Public Health Reports, 109(5), 665.
Higuchi, Y., Inui, T., Hosoi, T., Takabe, I., & Kawakami, A. (2012). The impact of the Great East Japan earthquake on the labor market: need to resolve the employment mismatch in the disaster-stricken areas. Japan Labor Review, 9(4), 4–21.
Hirayama, Y. (2000). Collapse and reconstruction: Housing recovery policy in Kobe after the Hanshin great earthquake. Housing Studies, 15(1), 111–128. doi:10.1080/02673030082504.
Hu, X., Salazar, M. A., Zhang, Q., Lu, Q., & Zhang, X. (2010). Social protection during disasters: evidence from the Wenchuan earthquake. IDS Bulletin, 41(4), 107–115.
Huang, M. (2010). Employment assistance policy research in resettlement community after Wenchuan earthquake: Q shelters as example. Master Thesis, Huadong University of Technology.
Huang, I. C., Wu, A. W., & Frangakis, C. (2006). Do the SF-36 and WHOQOL-BREF measure the same constructs? Evidence from the Taiwan population. Quality of Life Research, 15(1), 15–24. doi:10.1007/s11136-005-8486-9.
Jenney, M. E., & Campbell, S. (1997). Measuring quality of life. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 77(4), 347–350. doi:10.1136/adc.77.4.347.
Jiang, Y., Tan, J., Liu, H., & Ma, B. (2009). The analysis of the influence factors on the transfer and resettlement of rural labor force in the earthquake-stricken area in Sichuan Province: Investigations from 23 villages of 5 counties in Sichuan Province. Journal of Sichuan Agricultural University, 27(2), 252–257.
Kakarot-Handtke, E. (2012). Keynes’s employment function and the gratuitous Phillips curve disaster. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2130421.
Kakuma, R., Minas, H., van Ginneken, N., et al. (2011). Human resources for mental health care: Current situation and strategies for action. The Lancet, 378(9803), 1654–166.
Ke, X., Liu, C., & Li, N. (2010). Social support and quality of life: A cross-sectional study on survivors eight months after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. BMC Public Health, 10(1), 573. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-573.
Kun, P., Chen, X., Han, S., Gong, X., Chen, M., Zhang, W., et al. (2009). Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in Sichuan Province, China after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Public Health, 123(11), 703–707. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2009.09.017.
Lam, C. L., Tse, E. Y., Gandek, B., & Fong, D. Y. (2005). The SF-36 summary scales were valid, reliable, and equivalent in a Chinese population. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 58(8), 815–822.
Li (2011, February) Sichuan: New situation of employment in the earthquake affected areas. China Daily. Retrieved 3 December from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/zgrbjx/2011-02/01/content_11949328.htm
Liang, Y., & Cao, R. (2014). Is the health status of female victims poorer than males in the post-disaster reconstruction in China: A comparative study of data on male victims in the first survey and double tracking survey data. BMC women's health, 14(1), 18. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-18.
Liang, Y., & Guo, M. (2014). Utilization of Health Services and Health-Related Quality of Life Research of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Social Indicators Research, 1–19. doi:10.1007/s11205-014-0585-y.
Liang, Y., Lu, W., & Wu, W. (2014). Are social security policies for Chinese landless farmers really effective on health in the process of Chinese rapid urbanization? a study on the effect of social security policies for Chinese landless farmers on their health-related quality of life. International Journal for Equity in Health, 13(5). doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-18.
Liang, Y., & Wang, X. (2013). Developing a new perspective to study the health of survivors of Sichuan earthquakes in China: A study on the effect of post-earthquake rescue policies on survivors’ health-related quality of life. Health Research Policy and Systems, 11(1), 41. doi:10.1186/1478-4505-11-41
Liang, Y., Chu, P., & Wang, X. (2013). Health-Related Quality of Life of Chinese Earthquake Survivors: A Case Study of Five Hard-Hit Disaster Counties in Sichuan. Social Indicators Research, 1–24. doi:10.1007/s11205-013-0525-2.
Linn, M. W., Sandifer, R., & Stein, S. (1985). Effects of unemployment on mental and physical health. American Journal of Public Health, 75(5), 502–506.
Liu, N., (2009). Problems and measures the farmers faced in Sichuan earthquake areas: A perspective based on the interaction between local government and farmers. Business China, 10, 358–359.
Liu, M., Wang, L., Shi, Z., Zhang, Z., Zhang, K., & Shen, J. (2011). Mental health problems among children one-year after Sichuan earthquake in China: A follow-up study. PLoS One, 6(2), e14706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014706.
Maly, E., & Shiozaki, Y. (2012). Towards a policy that supports people-centered housing recovery—Learning from housing reconstruction after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in Kobe, Japan. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 3(1), 56–65. doi:10.1007/s13753-012-0007-1.
Matthews, L. R., Harris, L. M., Jaworski, A., Alam, A., & Bozdag, G. (2013). Function, health and psychosocial needs in job-seekers with anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders who access disability employment services. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. doi:10.3233/WOR-131660.
McGinnis, J. M., Williams-Russo, P., & Knickman, J. R. (2002). The case for more active policy attention to health promotion. Health Affairs, 21(2), 78–93.
Mehregan, N., Asgary, A., & Rezaei, R. (2012). Effects of the Bam earthquake on employment: A shift-share analysis. Disasters, 36(3), 420–438. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7717.2011.01268.x.
Miller, A., & Dishon, S. (2006). Health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis: The impact of disability, gender and employment status. Quality of Life Research, 15(2), 259–271.
Nakata, Y. (2012). Impact of feed-in tariff policy on global photovoltaic business: Expected solar cell for reconstruction after Great East Japan Earthquake. In Technology management for emerging technologies (PICMET), proceedings of PICMET’12: Technology management for emerging technologies. (pp. 3017–3023).
Ohtake, F., Okuyama, N., Sasaki, M., & Yasui, K. (2012). Impacts of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake on the labor market in the disaster areas. Japan Labor Review, 9(4), 42–63.
Qinghai Provincial Government. (2010). Policies and measures to support the Yushu earthquake employment and social Security. http://www.qh.gov.cn/ztzl/system/2011/04/14/000132174.shtml.
Roelfs, D. J., Shor, E., Davidson, K. W., & Schwartz, J. E. (2011). Losing life and livelihood: a systematic review and meta-analysis of unemployment and all-cause mortality. Social Science and Medicine, 72(6), 840–854. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.005.
Ross, C. E., & Mirowsky, J. (1995). Does employment affect health? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36, 230–243.
Salazar, M., Wang, X., Hu, X., Lu, Q., Zhang, Q., Zhou, L., et al. (2011). The impact of natural disasters on the social protection system: empirical evidence from the Wenchuan earthquake. Center for protection. Report 11. http://testing.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/ResearchReport11FINAL.pdf.
Sichuan Provincial Government. (2008). Policies and measures to support the Wenchuan earthquake employment and social insurance. http://www.sc.gov.cn/sczb/lmfl/szfbgt/200808/t20080805_302852.shtml.
Sichuan Provincial Government. (2013). Policies and measures to support the 4.20 Lushan earthquake human resource and social protection. http://www.scfpym.gov.cn/show.aspx?id=16961.
Theofilou, P. (2011). Why is it important to assess health-related quality of life? Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine,. doi:10.4172/2165-7386.1000e104.
Verbrugge, L. M. (1983). Multiple roles and physical health of women and men. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 16–30.
Wang, F., He, G., Ma, Y., Deng, D., Zhao, Y., & Ru, X. (2008a). The living conditions and policy needs of residents in the earthquake affected areas. The Social Blue Book: Analysis and Prediction on Social Situation to 2009.
Wang, R., Wu, C., Zhao, Y., Yan, X., Ma, X., Wu, M., et al. (2008b). Health related quality of life measured by SF-36: a population-based study in Shanghai, China. BMC Public Health, 8(1), 292. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-292.
Wikipedia. (2013). 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Sichuan_earthquake.
Wu, J., Li, N., Hallegatte, S., Shi, P., Hu, A., & Liu, X. (2012). Regional indirect economic impact evaluation of the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake. Environmental Earth Sciences, 65(1), 161–172. doi:10.1007/s12665-011-1078-9.
Wu, X., Wang, E., Xu, H., & Zhou, J. (2009). Post-disaster risk management: From the perspective of policy acceptance of earthquake survivors in China. In Industrial engineering and engineering management, 2009. 16th International conference (pp. 1269–1273).
Xu, J., & Liao, Q. (2011). Prevalence and predictors of posttraumatic growth among adult survivors one year following 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Journal of Affective Disorders, 133(1), 274–280. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2011.03.034.
Xu, J., & Song, X. (2011). Posttraumatic stress disorder among survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake 1 year after: Prevalence and risk factors. Comprehensive psychiatry, 52(4), 431–437.
Zhang, H. (2013). Explaining the perceived justice of disaster relief policy: An empirical study based on the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China. International Journal of Social Welfare,. doi:10.1111/ijsw.12050.
Zhang, X., Hu, X. R., Reinhardt, J. D., Zhu, H. J., Gosney, J. E., Liu, S. G., et al. (2012a). Functional outcomes and health-related quality of life in fracture victims 27 months after the Sichuan earthquake. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 44(3), 206–209. doi:10.2340/16501977-0945.
Zhang, L., Liu, X., Li, Y., Liu, Y., Liu, Z., Lin, J., et al. (2012b). Emergency medical rescue efforts after a major earthquake: lessons from the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The Lancet, 379(9818), 853–861.
Zhang, Z., Shi, Z., Wang, L., & Liu, M. (2011). One year later: Mental health problems among survivors in hard-hit areas of the Wenchuan earthquake. Public Health, 125(5), 293–300. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2010.12.008.
Zhang, Z., Shi, Z., Wang, L., & Liu, M. (2012c). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among the Elderly: A Survey of the Hard-hit Areas a Year after the Wenchuan Earthquake. Stress and Health, 28(1), 61–68. doi:10.1002/smi.1403.
Zhao, C., Wu, Z., & Xu, J. (2013). The association between post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and the quality of life among Wenchuan earthquake survivors: the role of social support as a moderator. Quality of Life Research, 22, 733–743. doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0197-4.
This paper is supported by the General Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71173099), the Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 70903002) and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-11-0228). The authors would also like to thank Peiyi Lu (Sun Yat-sen University) and Wanyi Lu (Nanjing University) for their contributions to this study.
About this article
Cite this article
Liang, Y., Cao, R. Employment assistance policies of Chinese government play positive roles! The impact of post-earthquake employment assistance policies on the health-related quality of life of Chinese earthquake populations. Soc Indic Res 120, 835–857 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0620-z
- Earthquake populations
- Post-disaster employment assistance policies
- Health-related quality of life
- Sichuan earthquakes
- Chinese government