Effect of an Education Program on Improving Help-Seeking among Parents of Junior and Senior High School Students in Japan

  •  Hatsumi Yoshii    
  •  Yuichiro Watanabe    
  •  Hideaki Kitamura    
  •  Zhang Nan    
  •  Kouhei Akazawa    


Early intervention in schizophrenia is important for patient prognosis and quality of life. At the time of the first episode, quality of life is influenced by identification of symptoms and by medical help-seeking behavior. In this prospective cohort study, we investigated help-seeking among 2690 parents of junior and senior high school students before and after the parents viewed a newly developed web-based education program aimed at improving knowledge of schizophrenia. Our web-based education program aimed to improve understanding of schizophrenia, including promotion of help-seeking. Many parents (33.1%-50.0%) consulted a physician in a department of psychosomatic medicine when their child experienced symptoms. Characteristics that predicted a decision not to seek psychiatric medical help were having child with all symptoms, younger parent age, and lower family income (p<0.05). After the education program, the rate of parents who sought medical help within 1 week was significantly higher for all symptom categories except sleeplessness (p=0.001). These findings suggest that the present web-based education program was useful in promoting medical help-seeking behavior among parents of junior and senior high school students in Japan.

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