Niigata University, Japan
Taichi Narita pursued his PhD from Graduate School of Health Sciences at Niigata University, Japan. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Graduate School of Health Science at the same university. His speciality lies in public health nursing, especially community mental health.
The ratio of psychiatric hospital beds to the population in Japan is the highest among OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Among 310,000 psychiatric inpatients, 70,000 are considered “socially hospitalized,” and there is a need for supporting long-term hospitalized patients during their transition to local communities. However, it is difficult for them to continue a stable community life. Therefore, the background to the community life of schizophrenia patient’s with long-term hospitalization was investigated to develop stable community life. Qualitative and inductive approaches were used in this study through ethnographic methods. Participants were schizophrenia patients that had experienced over three-years hospitalization and using day-care services (N=9). Interviews and participant observation were conducted by making during home visits. The data identified the conditions of participant’s home and community life and was used to develop themes. Participants were men with a mean age of 58.8±9.0 years, the mean period of hospitalization was 18.7±12.8 years, and the mean use of day-care was 8.8±2.2 years. The following themes were identified as the background of their community life: (1) stability of medical conditions for continuing community life, (2) maintaining daily life by proactively utilizing support, and (3) continuing life by connecting with day-care members. Participants maintained their daily life through different types of support, which stabilizing their medical conditions. They have developed relationships with day-care service staff and obtained a sense of belonging without being isolated. It is essential to provide opportunities for long-term hospitalized patients to build mutual social relationships in local communities.