Maternal subjective well-being and preventive health care system in Japan and Finland

Yoshie Yokoyama, Tuovi Hakulinen, Masako Sugimoto, Karri Silventoinen, Mirjam Kalland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background: Maternal well-being is an important issue not only for mothers but also for their offspring and whole families. This study aims to clarify differences in subjective well-being for mothers with infants and associated factors by comparing Japanese and Finnish mothers. Methods: In Finland, 101 mothers with infants who received health check-ups at child's age 4 months participated in the study. In Japan, 505 mothers with infants who should receive health check-ups at child's age 4 months and, whose age, age of the infant and number of children matched with the Finnish mothers were selected. The factors associated with maternal subjective well-being were explored by the linear regression analysis. All Finnish mothers had individual infant health check-ups by nurses in Child Health Clinics nearly monthly. The same nurse was responsible for following up the family throughout the years. All Japanese participants received group health check-up once at child's age 3 to 4 months, and a nurse did not cover same child and their mother. Results: Finnish mothers showed significantly better subjective well-being compared with Japanese mothers. Whereas 85% of Finnish mothers responded that they had obtained childcare information from public health nurses, significantly fewer Japanese mothers indicated the same response (8%). Linear regression analyses disclosed that mothers' subjective well-being was associated with country, mothers' stress and age. Conclusion: Finnish mothers had better subjective well-being than Japanese mothers. Our results may indicate that the Finnish health care system supports mothers better than the Japanese health care system does.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)652-657
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • 3141 Health care science
  • preventive health services
  • 5141 Sociology
  • 5142 Social policy

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