Annals of Clinical Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 2434-4338
Impact of a governmental intervention to improve access to child psychiatric services in Japan
Nobuaki MichihataTakeo Fujiwara Akira IshiguroMakiko Okuyama
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2020 年 2 巻 2 号 p. 51-60



Caregivers of children with mental health problems have difficulty selecting an appropriate institution for consultation because of a lack of information and poor collaboration between public health centers and child specialists. The Japanese government launched an intervention in 2009 to improve access to child mental health services, including training for healthcare providers, family education using leaflets and homepage services, and promoting cooperation among facilities. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of the intervention using pre- and post-intervention surveys.


We conducted a pre-intervention survey in 16 specialist hospitals in 2008. After the governmental intervention was implemented in eight of the 16 specialist hospitals, we also conducted a post-intervention survey in the same hospitals in 2010. We compared changes in the time between the recognition of a child’s mental health problem and the first visit to a child psychiatrist and the caregivers’ perceived difficulty in selecting an appropriate institution before and after the intervention.


We received 4,323 and 869 answers to the pre- and post-intervention surveys, respectively. The intervention had no significant influence on the time between recognition of symptoms and visiting the specialist hospital. However, there was a significant improvement in caregivers’ perceived difficulty in selecting an appropriate medical institution after the intervention (p < 0.001).


The governmental intervention was effective in reducing the difficulty of selecting an appropriate institution.

© 2020 Society for Clinical Epidemiology

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