Does the 'hikikomori' syndrome of social withdrawal exist outside Japan? A preliminary international investigation

Takahiro Kato, Masaru Tateno, Naotaka Shinfuku, Daisuke Fujisawa, Alan R. Teo, Norman Sartorius, Tsuyoshi Akiyama, Tetsuya Ishida, Tae Young Choi, Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, Ryohei Matsumoto, Umene Nakano Wakako, Yota Fujimura, Anne Wand, Jane Pei Chen Chang, Rita Yuan Feng Chang, Behrang Shadloo, Helal Uddin Ahmed, Tiraya Lerthattasilp, Shigenobu Kanba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To explore whether the 'hikikomori' syndrome (social withdrawal) described in Japan exists in other countries, and if so, how patients with the syndrome are diagnosed and treated. Methods: Two hikikomori case vignettes were sent to psychiatrists in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. Participants rated the syndrome's prevalence in their country, etiology, diagnosis, suicide risk, and treatment. Results: Out of 247 responses to the questionnaire (123 from Japan and 124 from other countries), 239 were enrolled in the analysis. Respondents' felt the hikikomori syndrome is seen in all countries examined and especially in urban areas. Biopsychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors were all listed as probable causes of hikikomori, and differences among countries were not significant. Japanese psychiatrists suggested treatment in outpatient wards and some did not think that psychiatric treatment is necessary. Psychiatrists in other countries opted for more active treatment such as hospitalization. Conclusions: Patients with the hikikomori syndrome are perceived as occurring across a variety of cultures by psychiatrists in multiple countries. Our results provide a rational basis for study of the existence and epidemiology of hikikomori in clinical or community populations in international settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1075
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume47
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2012

Fingerprint

psychiatrist
withdrawal
Psychiatry
Japan
psychiatric treatment
epidemiology
cultural factors
etiology
hospitalization
Bangladesh
Thailand
Korea
suicide
Iran
environmental factors
Therapeutics
Taiwan
urban area
Suicide
India

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Does the 'hikikomori' syndrome of social withdrawal exist outside Japan? A preliminary international investigation. / Kato, Takahiro; Tateno, Masaru; Shinfuku, Naotaka; Fujisawa, Daisuke; Teo, Alan R.; Sartorius, Norman; Akiyama, Tsuyoshi; Ishida, Tetsuya; Choi, Tae Young; Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh; Matsumoto, Ryohei; Wakako, Umene Nakano; Fujimura, Yota; Wand, Anne; Chang, Jane Pei Chen; Chang, Rita Yuan Feng; Shadloo, Behrang; Ahmed, Helal Uddin; Lerthattasilp, Tiraya; Kanba, Shigenobu.

In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Vol. 47, No. 7, 01.07.2012, p. 1061-1075.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kato, T, Tateno, M, Shinfuku, N, Fujisawa, D, Teo, AR, Sartorius, N, Akiyama, T, Ishida, T, Choi, TY, Balhara, YPS, Matsumoto, R, Wakako, UN, Fujimura, Y, Wand, A, Chang, JPC, Chang, RYF, Shadloo, B, Ahmed, HU, Lerthattasilp, T & Kanba, S 2012, 'Does the 'hikikomori' syndrome of social withdrawal exist outside Japan? A preliminary international investigation', Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 47, no. 7, pp. 1061-1075. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-011-0411-7
Kato, Takahiro ; Tateno, Masaru ; Shinfuku, Naotaka ; Fujisawa, Daisuke ; Teo, Alan R. ; Sartorius, Norman ; Akiyama, Tsuyoshi ; Ishida, Tetsuya ; Choi, Tae Young ; Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh ; Matsumoto, Ryohei ; Wakako, Umene Nakano ; Fujimura, Yota ; Wand, Anne ; Chang, Jane Pei Chen ; Chang, Rita Yuan Feng ; Shadloo, Behrang ; Ahmed, Helal Uddin ; Lerthattasilp, Tiraya ; Kanba, Shigenobu. / Does the 'hikikomori' syndrome of social withdrawal exist outside Japan? A preliminary international investigation. In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2012 ; Vol. 47, No. 7. pp. 1061-1075.
@article{9b7660bfe0a94926abe7716035cc11c0,
title = "Does the 'hikikomori' syndrome of social withdrawal exist outside Japan? A preliminary international investigation",
abstract = "Purpose: To explore whether the 'hikikomori' syndrome (social withdrawal) described in Japan exists in other countries, and if so, how patients with the syndrome are diagnosed and treated. Methods: Two hikikomori case vignettes were sent to psychiatrists in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. Participants rated the syndrome's prevalence in their country, etiology, diagnosis, suicide risk, and treatment. Results: Out of 247 responses to the questionnaire (123 from Japan and 124 from other countries), 239 were enrolled in the analysis. Respondents' felt the hikikomori syndrome is seen in all countries examined and especially in urban areas. Biopsychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors were all listed as probable causes of hikikomori, and differences among countries were not significant. Japanese psychiatrists suggested treatment in outpatient wards and some did not think that psychiatric treatment is necessary. Psychiatrists in other countries opted for more active treatment such as hospitalization. Conclusions: Patients with the hikikomori syndrome are perceived as occurring across a variety of cultures by psychiatrists in multiple countries. Our results provide a rational basis for study of the existence and epidemiology of hikikomori in clinical or community populations in international settings.",
author = "Takahiro Kato and Masaru Tateno and Naotaka Shinfuku and Daisuke Fujisawa and Teo, {Alan R.} and Norman Sartorius and Tsuyoshi Akiyama and Tetsuya Ishida and Choi, {Tae Young} and Balhara, {Yatan Pal Singh} and Ryohei Matsumoto and Wakako, {Umene Nakano} and Yota Fujimura and Anne Wand and Chang, {Jane Pei Chen} and Chang, {Rita Yuan Feng} and Behrang Shadloo and Ahmed, {Helal Uddin} and Tiraya Lerthattasilp and Shigenobu Kanba",
year = "2012",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00127-011-0411-7",
language = "English",
volume = "47",
pages = "1061--1075",
journal = "Social Psychiatry",
issn = "0037-7813",
publisher = "D. Steinkopff-Verlag",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does the 'hikikomori' syndrome of social withdrawal exist outside Japan? A preliminary international investigation

AU - Kato, Takahiro

AU - Tateno, Masaru

AU - Shinfuku, Naotaka

AU - Fujisawa, Daisuke

AU - Teo, Alan R.

AU - Sartorius, Norman

AU - Akiyama, Tsuyoshi

AU - Ishida, Tetsuya

AU - Choi, Tae Young

AU - Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh

AU - Matsumoto, Ryohei

AU - Wakako, Umene Nakano

AU - Fujimura, Yota

AU - Wand, Anne

AU - Chang, Jane Pei Chen

AU - Chang, Rita Yuan Feng

AU - Shadloo, Behrang

AU - Ahmed, Helal Uddin

AU - Lerthattasilp, Tiraya

AU - Kanba, Shigenobu

PY - 2012/7/1

Y1 - 2012/7/1

N2 - Purpose: To explore whether the 'hikikomori' syndrome (social withdrawal) described in Japan exists in other countries, and if so, how patients with the syndrome are diagnosed and treated. Methods: Two hikikomori case vignettes were sent to psychiatrists in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. Participants rated the syndrome's prevalence in their country, etiology, diagnosis, suicide risk, and treatment. Results: Out of 247 responses to the questionnaire (123 from Japan and 124 from other countries), 239 were enrolled in the analysis. Respondents' felt the hikikomori syndrome is seen in all countries examined and especially in urban areas. Biopsychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors were all listed as probable causes of hikikomori, and differences among countries were not significant. Japanese psychiatrists suggested treatment in outpatient wards and some did not think that psychiatric treatment is necessary. Psychiatrists in other countries opted for more active treatment such as hospitalization. Conclusions: Patients with the hikikomori syndrome are perceived as occurring across a variety of cultures by psychiatrists in multiple countries. Our results provide a rational basis for study of the existence and epidemiology of hikikomori in clinical or community populations in international settings.

AB - Purpose: To explore whether the 'hikikomori' syndrome (social withdrawal) described in Japan exists in other countries, and if so, how patients with the syndrome are diagnosed and treated. Methods: Two hikikomori case vignettes were sent to psychiatrists in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. Participants rated the syndrome's prevalence in their country, etiology, diagnosis, suicide risk, and treatment. Results: Out of 247 responses to the questionnaire (123 from Japan and 124 from other countries), 239 were enrolled in the analysis. Respondents' felt the hikikomori syndrome is seen in all countries examined and especially in urban areas. Biopsychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors were all listed as probable causes of hikikomori, and differences among countries were not significant. Japanese psychiatrists suggested treatment in outpatient wards and some did not think that psychiatric treatment is necessary. Psychiatrists in other countries opted for more active treatment such as hospitalization. Conclusions: Patients with the hikikomori syndrome are perceived as occurring across a variety of cultures by psychiatrists in multiple countries. Our results provide a rational basis for study of the existence and epidemiology of hikikomori in clinical or community populations in international settings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84863776045&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84863776045&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00127-011-0411-7

DO - 10.1007/s00127-011-0411-7

M3 - Article

VL - 47

SP - 1061

EP - 1075

JO - Social Psychiatry

JF - Social Psychiatry

SN - 0037-7813

IS - 7

ER -