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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 856543, 9 pages
Research Article

Are There Differences in the Health Outcomes of Mothers in Europe and East-Asia? A Cross-Cultural Health Survey

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Graz and Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 14, 8036 Graz, Austria
2Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, 1-1-1 Kagamiyama, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8524, Japan

Received 7 October 2014; Accepted 13 November 2014; Published 27 November 2014

Academic Editor: Kyousuke Takeuchi

Copyright © 2014 Eva Mautner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the current study was to investigate differences in quality of life outcomes and depression of mothers in East-Asia and Central Europe. 170 women in Japan and 226 women in Austria with children between 3 and 5 answered the same cross-culturally validated questionnaires. The Quality of Life Questionnaire from the WHO (WHOQOL-Bref), the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2), the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-13), a Social Support Scale (MSPSS), and questions on gender orientation were used. In all dimensions of QOL (physical, psychological, social, and environmental) Japanese women had lower QOL scores compared to Austrian mothers (). Seven percent of women in both countries experienced major depression. In both countries sense of coherence, experienced stress level, satisfaction with income, social support, and gender roles had an influence on QOL and depressive symptoms. Mothers in Japan consider life events less comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful and experience less support. Consequently, creating an environment where fathers could be more involved in child rearing and mothers have more opportunities to choose between life styles and working and social environments would improve QOL not only in Japanese mothers but also in other countries all over the world.