Program for Promoting the Employment of Schizophrenic Patients in Japan

  •  Hatsumi Yoshii    
  •  Nobutaka Kitamura    


In Japan, a large proportion of schizophrenic patients cannot find work. Accordingly, it is necessary to promote positive attitudes among employers about hiring such patients. However, few programs in Japan educate employers about schizophrenia and there is little evaluation of such programs. Our study participants were 1,175 executives in private enterprises who registered with an Internet questionnaire survey company. The participants in the intervention group viewed an educational video developed to increase understanding about schizophrenia. This longitudinal study examined how employers’ attitudes about hiring schizophrenic patients changed before and after watching the video. The number of respondents from both the intervention and non-intervention groups who responded that they did not understand how to employ and manage schizophrenics and so would not hire them showed a significant increase at 1 week after baseline (p = 0.001); however, there was a significant increase at 3 years after baseline only in the non-intervention group (p = 0.019). Only in the non-intervention group did Social Distance Scale-Japanese version scores show a significant decrease at 1 week after baseline (p = 0.011); they increased significantly from 1 week after to 3 years after baseline (p = 0.001). Our educational intervention aimed to promote employers’ willingness to employ schizophrenic patients. However, to reduce stigma and increase such willingness, our program could be improved.

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