Effects of Mental Disorders on the Academic Outcomes of University Students--A Retrospective Study Using Medical Records from a Health Services Center

Terumi Ishii, Hirokazu Tachikawa, Takafumi Hori, Masanori Ishikawa, Kimitaka Hatanaka, Miyuki Aiba, Takashi Asada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Falling behind in class is a serious problem for university students as it can lead to social problems and increase the risk of suicide. Although it is common for students suffering from mental disorders to fall behind academically, there have been few studies investigating the difficulties these students face in order to graduate from university. Therefore, we investigated factors associated with dropping out of school with the purpose of creating a strategy to improve the academic outcomes of students who regularly seek psychiatric consultation.

SUBJECTS: We investigated undergraduate students who received consultation at Tsukuba University's Health Services Center Psychiatry Department and whose academic outcomes between the 2004 and 2013 academic years were known.

METHODS: Academic outcomes were obtained from Tsukuba University's grade management system by permission of the authority. The students were divided into either a graduate or dropout group depending on their academic outcomes. The medical records for both groups were retrospectively investigated, and factors that were predicted to affect academic outcomes were assessed using statistical methods.

RESULTS: The dropout group was younger in grade and had a greater severity of illness at initial consultation. Moreover, this group had a greater number of consultation visits, showed less cooperation with the instructor in charge, had a significantly longer duration of social with drawal and temporary leave of absence from school, and had a significantly greater number of students with grade retention. When a time factor was incorporated in the analysis, the presence of grade retention/temporary leave of absence from school and social withdrawal was significantly correlated with dropping out of school.

CONCLUSION: It was revealed that not only the mental disorder itself, but also psychosocial severity and the maladjusted state that occur secondary to such mental disorder influence academic outcomes. These results indicated that in order to improve academic outcomes, it is necessary not only to appropriately treat the disorder, but to also provide university community support for social maladjusted states of the students in psychiatric treatments, such as social withdrawal, educational support for daily living, individual support for daily living, and academic support, through cooperation with the educational organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-977
Number of pages13
JournalSeishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica
Volume117
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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