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Open Access Research article

Effect of an education program on improving knowledge of schizophrenia among parents of junior and senior high school students in Japan

Hatsumi Yoshii1*, Yuichiro Watanabe2, Hideaki Kitamura2, Jun Chen1 and Kouhei Akazawa1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Informatics and Statistics, Niigata University Graduate, School of Medicine 1-754 Asahimachi, Chuo-ku, Niigata, Japan 951-8520

2 Department of Psychiatry, Niigata University Graduate School of Medicine 1-754 Asahimachi, Chuo-ku, Niigata, Japan 951-8520

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:323  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-323

Published: 17 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Early detection and intervention in schizophrenia are important in improving quality of life after treatment and are major issues in psychiatric care. Therefore, it is necessary to increase knowledge of schizophrenia among the general public. Among parents of junior and senior high school students in Japan, we compared rates of correct answers for items on knowledge of schizophrenia and ability to discriminate this psychosis from other disorders on questionnaires given before and after viewing a web-based education program.

Methods

Questionnaires were distributed to 2,690 parents. The program was developed to help parents obtain a basic understanding of schizophrenia and to emphasize the necessity of early detection.

Results

Before the program, the rate of correct answers was 77% for items concerning basic knowledge of schizophrenia, 47% for "discrimination of schizophrenia symptoms," and 30% for "discrimination of prodromal symptoms." The program resulted in an improvement in basic knowledge of schizophrenia, discrimination of schizophrenia symptoms, and discrimination of prodromal symptoms (P < 0.001 for all).

Conclusions

Our web-based education program was useful in helping parents acquire a basic knowledge of schizophrenia and discriminate correctly the symptoms of schizophrenia.