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Impact of language fluency level on patients’ pathway and clinical outcome of the Japanese psychiatric service

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

A. Yuasa*
Meijigakuin University, Clinical Psychology/Psychology, Tokyo, Japan
S. Nagasawa
Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Clinical Psychologist, Tokyo, Japan
A. Yu
Meijigakuin University, Clinical Psychology/Psychology, Tokyo, Japan
*Corresponding author.
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Language fluency often impacts on patients’ behaviors. It might affect their pathways, how they find an available psychiatric clinic, and the clinical outcomes, if they continue their treatments. Multicultural services deficiency is serious concern in Japanese psychiatric fields. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2014, more than two million of foreign visitors live in Japan, however, the psychiatric institutions providing multilingual services are rare and inadequate comparing the situation in Europe. The research sets the objective of analyzing the status quo in a multi-language providing psychiatric clinic, how the pathways and outcomes of language diffluent patients differ from these of the local patients. It further aims to find the significance of foreign patients, and strives the improvement of language services for non-native patients in Japanese mental health cares. The research utilized and quantitatively analyzed the retrospective research data among 900 Japanese patients and 902 non-Japanese patients, who have visited a psychiatric clinic located in Tokyo. The analysis revealed that the significant proportion of foreign patients relied on their acquaintances as their pathways, and that the lower their language levels were, the higher proportion they had this path. For the outcomes, the lower their language levels were, the higher continuity status they had. Our research suggested that two of the common ways to find a psychiatric service when local patients suffer from psychopathological maladjustments are researching Homepages and neighboring clinics, however, the foreigners with limited language abilities tended to follow the different pathways and outcome patterns.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2016

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