Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A One-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study on the Health Profile of Hikikomori Living in Hong Kong

Version 1 : Received: 2 January 2019 / Approved: 4 January 2019 / Online: 4 January 2019 (08:46:13 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Yuen, J.W.M.; Wong, V.C.W.; Tam, W.W.S.; So, K.W.; Chien, W.T. A One-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study on the Health Profile of Hikikomori Living in Hong Kong. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 546. Yuen, J.W.M.; Wong, V.C.W.; Tam, W.W.S.; So, K.W.; Chien, W.T. A One-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study on the Health Profile of Hikikomori Living in Hong Kong. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 546.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 546
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16040546

Abstract

Background: A prospective study was conducted to follow-up how the living lifestyle of hikikomori could change the social, mental and physical health profile. Methods: A cohort consisted of 104 young people living as Hikikomori were interviewed at baseline, 6 months and 12 months by using the same set of questionnaires and anthropometric measurements. Results: Besides the high attrition of 30% in wave 2 and 25% in wave 3, almost half of the participants have recovered from hikikomori by returning to the workforce in society. The three domains of health profile of hikikomori were significantly improved over the follow-up period by: 1) increasing the social network scores from 2.791.80 to 3.091.87, 2) decreasing the perceived stress scores from 21.185.87 to 20.115.79, and 3) reducing blood pressure levels from 118/75 to 115/71 and waist-to-hip ratios. Those variables were also predictable by lifestyle living with the hikikomori according to the Generalized Estimating Equation analysis, whereas the participants of current study had increased the practice of moderate-intensity exercises. Conclusion: Social work intervention was effective in helping the recovery of hikikomori while physical assessments followed by encouragement from social workers to do more exercises might enhance their awareness in health modification towards a better health.

Subject Areas

Hikikomori; hidden youth; health; hypertension; obesity

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