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Title: A one-year prospective follow-up study on the health profile of Hikikomori living in Hong Kong
Authors: Yuen, JWM 
Wong, VCW
Tam, WWS
So, KW
Chien, WT
Issue Date: 2019
Source: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2019, v. 16, no. 4, 546
Abstract: Background: A prospective cohort study was conducted to follow-up on 104 participants on their changes of social, psychological and physical health as exposed to the hikikomori lifestyle.
Methods: Participants were interviewed at baseline, 6 months and 12 months by administering a set of questionnaires and anthropometric measurements.
Results: All three health domains of hikikomori were significantly improved over the follow-up period as evidenced by: (1) increased social network scores from 2.79 ± 1.80 to 3.09 ± 1.87, (2) decreased perceived stress scores from 21.18 ± 5.87 to 20.11 ± 5.79, and (3) reduced blood pressure levels from 118/75 to 115/71 and waist-to-hip ratios. Almost half of the participants have recovered from hikikomori by returning to the workforce in society; however, the health improvements were dominant in those that remained as hikikomori and were associated with the gradual swapping of exercise practices from light to moderate level strength.
Conclusions: With intended exposure to social worker engagement, physical assessments of the cohort study triggered the social workers to encourage participants to do more exercises, which in turn enhanced their awareness of health modification towards a better health. Engagement of social workers could be considered as part of the intended exposure for all participants, which suggested social work intervention was effective in helping hikikomori recovery.
Keywords: Health
Hidden youth
Hikikomori
Hypertension
Obesity
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health 
EISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16040546
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
The following publication Yuen, J. W., Wong, V. C., Tam, W. W., So, K. W., & Chien, W. T. (2019). A One-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study on the Health Profile of Hikikomori Living in Hong Kong. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(4), 546 is available at https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040546
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