The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors related to the mental health of technical intern trainees from the Philippines in Japan, which focus on the relationship between their acculturation strategies and mental health.
Mental health, acculturation strategies, acculturative stress, job stress, social support and demographic factors including Japanese language proficiency were used for the variables in the English version of self-administered questionnaire. A total of 180 (115 men, 47 women and 16 gender unreported) Filipino technical intern trainees participated in this study. The data of 132 (95 men, 37 women) participants who completely answered the questionnaires were analyzed.
Results showed that gender, marital status, existence of children, Japanese language proficiency, acculturation strategies and acculturative stress were significantly related to the mental health of Filipino technical intern trainees. Results also showed that social support was significantly related to Japanese language proficiency and acculturation strategies for acquisition of Japanese culture.
Findings suggest that factors contributing to the worsening of mental health of Filipino technical intern trainees are (a) being male, (b) existence of a child/children, (c) single marital status, (d) low Japanese language proficiency, (e) low acquisition of Japanese culture, and (f) high acculturative stress. Findings also suggest low levels of social support are risk factors related to low Japanese language proficiency and low acquisition of Japanese culture. Support programs for improvement in Japanese language skill and familiarizing with Japanese culture may be an effective way to maintain positive mental health in Filipino technical intern trainees. In addition, an establishment of environment to be able to easily and adequately receive psychological support from their family members living in the Philippines may be important to their mental well-being.
Donor countries either suspended or restricted development aid for Myanmar during the period of the military regime. However, the democratic movement, which began in 2011, gradually resolved this situation. The government of Myanmar organized a “Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum” in 2013, where the government demonstrated a path for the country’s future development to development partners, including donor countries, international organizations, and international funds. Furthermore, the government has increased the budget for the health sector and upheld universal health coverage (UHC), a target of Social Development Goals, as a goal for the future. To achieve that goal, the “National Health Plan 2017-2021” was recently formulated. This research attempts to identify issues that need to be considered by development partners in this changing environment.
The research was conducted through field studies and literature reviews to investigate the movements of both the government of Myanmar and development partners. It identified issues that need to be considered to achieve UHC, as well as those that development partners should consider when providing aid.
Results and conclusion
During the era of the Millennium Development Goals, development partners tended to focus their development aid on maternal and child health, control of specific diseases, and strengthening health services for those specific health problems. However, in order to extend health and medical services to all people, without financial risks on the part of patients under the goal of UHC, it is necessary for the government to formulate and execute comprehensive health policies based on an analysis of Myanmar’s health and medical problems. Aligning with this change, development partners need to concretize their support in response to Myanmar’s health policy issues.
This study aimed to explore the health behaviors and identify its related factors in international university students in Japan.
A self-administered questionnaire was used, targeting 274 international students enrolled at one Japanese university. It included demographic information on financial status, social support, behaviors toward health promotion and healthcare seeking, and health literacy (HLS-EU-Q16). Those who consulted a doctor or had such intentions for diseases or injury were defined as a group characterized by healthcare seeking action. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis.
Of the 274 students, 70 (25.5%) responded to the questionnaires. Almost half of them were Chinese (44.3%), had been staying in Japan for more than a year but less than five years (54.3%) and had concerns about financial issues (50.0%). With reference to the number of Japanese friends they could consult, 44.3% had fewer than five. The latter was significantly associated with health promoting behaviors (p = 0.026). Further, duration of stay in Japan was significantly associated with health care seeking behaviors (p = 0.034). Financial status and health literacy were not significantly associated with either behavior.
Numbers of Japanese friends and duration of their stay may contribute to improve the health behaviors of international students in Japan. However, regardless of language ability, the health literacy of international students may not be utilized well enough in the host country. Providing more opportunities to international students to socialize with Japanese peers and to learn about Japanese health care systems earlier on their arrival could be highly beneficial to improve their health behaviors.