WATANABE Naoki M.D, Aomori Prefecture Mental Health Center, Vice Director Prior : St.Marianna University, School of Medicine, Associate Professor, 医学部, 助教授 (40202428)
WAKE Norie M.H.S, University of the Ryukyus, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Psycholoty, Instructor, 医学部, 助手 (90315474)
|Budget Amount *help
¥3,500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,500,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,200,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,400,000)
Psychological and Social Factors Affecting Suicides Among the Elderly
A comparative study was conducted on the mental health of elderly citizens of Akita Prefecture, an area with the highest suicide rate in Japan, and Okinawa Prefecture, an area with the lowest suicide rate among elderly women in Japan.The primary purpose of the study was to elucidate the promoting factors for suicide in Akita Prefecture, and the suppressing factors for suicide in Okinawa Prefecture, as well as to derive "suicide prevention" and "mental health promotion" information from Okinawa, which is world renown for longevity.
The subjects were elderly citizens over the age of 65 living in Akita Prefecture(1425 citizens) and Okinawa Prefecture (160 citizens).The questionnaire used in the survey included items for social support and depression (CES-D), as well as IADL..
52.9% of Akita Prefecture subjects and 20.3% of Okinawa Prefecture subjects lived with a three generation family, while 6.7% in Akita and 27.5% in Ok
inawa lived alone.
When asked about stress coping strategies, 26.3% replied that they "endure the burden", which is 2.5 times more that then national average for the same item(Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2000).25.4% of Akita citizens and 20.3% of Okinawan, citizens scored higher than 16 on the depression scale(CES-D), and 13.3% of Akita citizens, verses 7.6% of Okinawa citizens scored higher that 21 on the same scale.Further, multiple regression analysis suggested that factors relating to the CES-D in Akita were, living with a son, role in society, emotional support from people other than family members, and participation in cultural activities, while factors relating to the CES-D in Okinawa were sleeping conditions, state of health, and support from family members.In addition, 62.6% of elderly Okinawan citizens communicated with friends on a daily basis and received support from the community, suggesting that personal relations play a large part in mental health and psychological well being. Less