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International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

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Volume 12, Issue 1


Clinical and psychosocial characteristics in adults with pervasive development disorders: a survey in Japan

Yoshinori Yukawa
  • Department of Psychiatry, Maezawa Hospital, Tochigi, Japan
  • Department of Psychiatry, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Haruhisa Ota / Chieko Kanai / Masayuki Tani / Takashi Yamada / Ryuichiro Hashimoto / Hidenori Yamasue / Nobusama Kato / Akira Iwanami
Published Online: 2012-11-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2012-0121


Background: In spite of the relatively high prevalence of pervasive development disorders (PDD), the medical and educational services for persons with PDD are insufficient in Japan. The present study investigated the clinical and psychosocial characteristics of adults with PDD in Japan.

Methods: We selected 111 individuals with PDD out of the 257 subjects attending an outpatient clinic for adult PDD at Showa University Karasuyama Hospital, between the period of July 2008 and June of 2009. Sociodemographic factors, psychosocial characteristics, and medication status of the subjects were investigated.

Results: The mean age of subjects at the initial visit to a medical organization was 21.4 years; however, only 34.2% were diagnosed as having PDD. These results indicated that persons with PDD are apt to be misdiagnosed. Most of the persons with PDD were unmarried, and lived with their parents. This may be partly due to economic reasons, because the unemployment rate was high in this group. More than 45% of the subjects with PDD were taking psychoactive medications, which indicated that they carried a high-risk for co-existing mental health problems.

Conclusions: The results of the present study indicated that many persons with PDD are socially isolated, in spite of their relatively high level of education, and that these individuals require additional medical and educational services.

Keywords: Aspereger’s disorder (AS); autism spectrum disorders (ASD); pervasive development disorders (PDD); psychoactive medication; psychosocial characteristics

About the article

Corresponding author: Akira Iwanami, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawaku, Tokyo 142-8655, Japan

Received: 2011-06-26

Accepted: 2011-08-25

Published Online: 2012-11-28

Published in Print: 2013-02-01

Citation Information: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 12, Issue 1, Pages 25–29, ISSN (Online) 2191-0367, ISSN (Print) 2191-1231, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2012-0121.

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