Mental health of two communities of Japanese-Brazilians: A comparative study in Japan and in Brazil

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Miyasaka, Lincoln Sakiara [UNIFESP]
Otsuka, K.
Tsuji, K.
Atallah, Álvaro Nagib [UNIFESP]
Kunihiro, J.
Nakamura, Y.
Kato, S.
Abe, Y.
Kamada, Y.
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The aim of the present study was to assess the mental health status of Japanese-Brazilians living in Kiyoharadai, Japan and compare the findings with the Japanese-Brazilians living in Bauru, Brazil. A comparative community-based mental health survey was conducted from November 1997 to April 1999 on a randomly selected sample of Brazilians of Japanese descent living in Bauru, Brazil (n=213) and on the entire Brazilian community of Kiyoharadai, Utsunomiya, Japan (n=158), using the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ-20). Analysis was done by chi(2) Fisher and multiple logistic regression. Scores indicating probable cases of minor psychiatric disorders, were found in 3.2% of the community in Bauru city and 17.8% (OR=7.01) of the community in Kiyoharadai. the sociodemographic data indicated that those with high SRQ-20 scores were most likely to be female (OR=2.98), smokers (OR=2.76). and those whose former occupation was student when living in Brazil (OR=9.57). the mental health status of the Japanese-Brazilians living in Kiyoharadai, Japan is significantly worse than that of the community living in Bauru, Brazil, particularly among women, smokers and those who were students when living in Brazil. Further research concerning the mental health of this community is necessary and assistance provided.
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. Carlton: Blackwell Publishing Asia, v. 56, n. 1, p. 55-64, 2002.