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Open Access Review

Psychosomatic problems and countermeasures in Japanese children and adolescents

Hidetaka Tanaka1*, Shigenori Terashima2, Magnus P Borres3 and Olav Thulesius4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Osaka Medical College, Osaka, Japan

2 Department of Psychology, Kansai University, Kansai, Japan

3 Department of Pediatrics, Institution of Women's and Children's Health, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden

4 Department of Clinical Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden

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BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2012, 6:6  doi:10.1186/1751-0759-6-6

Published: 20 March 2012


In Japan there are a number of children and adolescents with emotion-related disorders including psychosomatic diseases (orthostatic dysregulation, anorexia nervosa, recurrent pains), behavior problems and school absenteeism. According to our previous report, the Japanese children had significantly higher score of physical symptoms and psychiatric complaints than did the Swedish children, and these were more strongly influenced by school-related stress than by home-related stress. To enforce countermeasures for psychosomatic problems in children, the Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Pediatrics (established in 1982) have started several new projects including multi-center psychosomatic researches and society-based activities. In this article, we present an outline of our study on mental health in Japanese children in comparison with Swedish children. Countermeasures including clinical guidelines for child psychosomatic diseases are reviewed and discussed.

Psychosomatic disease; Orthostatic dysregulation; Anorexia nervosa; School absenteeism; Migraine