International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences Research

Published by: Asian Medical Journals
Online ISSN: 2313-2752
Print ISSN: 2313-7746
Quick Submission    Login/Submit/Track

No. 2

Gendered Perspectives of Men’s Health and Help Seeking: Implications for Public Health and Health Promotion

Pages: 13-28
Find References

Finding References


Gendered Perspectives of Men’s Health and Help Seeking: Implications for Public Health and Health Promotion

Search :
Google Scholor
Search :
Microsoft Academic Search
Cite

Citation: 2

Marita Hennessy , Patricia Mannix-McNamara

Export to    BibTeX   |   EndNote   |   RIS

  1. N. Richardson, Getting inside men’s health. Kilkenny, Ireland: Health Promotion Department, South Eastern Health Board, 2004.
  2. A. White and K. Cash, "The state of men’s health in Western Europe," Journal of Men’s Health and Gender, vol. 1, pp. 60–66, 2004.
  3. World Health Organisation, "Life expectancy: Life expectancy by country. In global health observatory and data repository," 2014.
  4. S. Yin, "Gender disparities in health and mortality, population reference bureau." Available http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2007/genderdisparities.aspx [Accessed March 15 2014], 2007.
  5. Central Statistics Office, Men and women in Ireland 2011. Dublin: The Stationery Office, 2011.
  6. Department of Health, Health in Ireland: Key trends 2013. Dublin: Department of Health and Children, 2013.
  7. C. Brittle and C. Bird, Literature review on effective sex- and gender-based systems/models of care: Produced for the office on women’s health within the U.S. Department of health and human services. Arlington, Virginia: Uncommon Insights, LLC, 2007.
  8. S. Kraemer, "The fragile male," British Medical Journal, vol. 321, pp. 1609–1612, 2000.
  9. L. M. Verbrugge, "The twain meet: Empirical explanations of sex differences in health and mortality," Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, vol. 30, pp. 282–304, 1989.
  10. W. H. Courtenay, "College men’s health: an overview and a call to action," Journal of American College Health, vol. 46, pp. 279-290, 1998.
  11. A. Stakelum and J. Boland, Men talking: A study of men’s health in the North Eastern health board. Kells: Department of Public Health, North Eastern Health Board, 2001.
  12. C. A. Green and C. R. Pope, "Gender, psychosocial factors and the use of medical services: A longitudinal analysis," Social Science and Medicine, vol. 48, pp. 1363–1372, 1990.
  13. I. Banks, "New models for providing men with health care," Journal of Men’s Health and Gender, vol. 1, pp. 155–158, 2004.
  14. L. Doyal, "Sex, gender, and health: The need for a new approach," British Medical Journal, vol. 323, pp. 1061-1063, 2001.
  15. R. McEvoy and N. Richardson, Men’s health in Ireland: A report from the men’s health forum in Ireland. Belfast: Men’s Health Forum in Ireland, 2004.
  16. World Health Organisation, Mainstreaming gender equity in health: The need to move forward – The ‘madrid statement. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2001.
  17. A. White, B. De Sousa, R. De Visser, R. Hogston, M. S. Aage, P. Makara, N. Richardson, and W. Zato?ski, The state of men’s health in Europe. Brussels: European Commission. Available http://ec.europa.eu/health/population_groups/publications/index_en.htm [Accessed March 15 2014], 2011.
  18. P. Östlin, E. Eckermann, U. S. Mishra, M. Nkowane, and E. Wallstam, "Gender and health promotion: A multisectoral policy approach," Health Promotion International, vol. 21, pp. 25–35, 2006.
  19. T. Lloyd, Boys’ and young men’s health: What works? London: Health Development Agency, 2002.
  20. J. Watson, Male bodies: Health, culture and identity. Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000.
  21. S. Hutchinson, W. Marsiglio, and M. Cohan, "Interviewing young men about sex and procreation: Methodological issues," Qualitative Health Research, vol. 12, pp. 42–60, 2002.
  22. R. O’Brien, K. Hunt, and G. Hart, "It’s caveman stuff, but that is to a certain extent how guys still operate: Men’s accounts of masculinity and help seeking," Social Science and Medicine, vol. 61, pp. 503–516, 2005.
  23. J. Oliffe and L. Mróz, "Men interviewing men about health and illness: Ten lessons learned," Journal of Men’s Health & Gender, vol. 2, pp. 257–260, 2005.
  24. D. L. Morgan and A. U. Scannell, Planning focus groups (Focus Group Kit 2). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1998.
  25. S. Vaughn, J. S. Schumm, and J. Sinagub, Focus group interviews in education and psychology. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications, 1996.
  26. N. Britten, "Qualitative research: Qualitative interviews in medical research," British Medical Journal, vol. 311, pp. 251–253, 1995.
  27. V. Braun and V. Clarke, "Using thematic analysis in psychology," Qualitative Research in Psychology, vol. 3, pp. 77–101, 2006.
  28. C. Pope, S. Ziebland, and N. Mays, "Qualitative research in health care: Analysing qualitative data," British Medical Journal, vol. 320, pp. 114-116, 2000.
  29. R. A. Krueger, Analysing and reporting focus group results. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1998.
  30. World Medical Association, Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects, 6th ed. Washington: World Medical Association, 2002.
  31. A. Bowling, Research methods in health: Investigating health and health services. Buckingham: Open University Press, 1997.
  32. Department of Health and Children, National men’s health policy 2008 – 2013: Working with men in Ireland to achieve optimum health and well-being. Dublin: The Stationery Office, 2008.
  33. N. Richardson and P. C. Carroll, "Getting men’s health onto a policy agenda - charting the development of a national men’s health policy in Ireland," Journal of Men’s Health, vol. 6, pp. 105–113, 2009.
  34. N. Richardson and J. A. Smith, "National men’s health policies in Ireland and Australia: What are the challenges associated with transitioning from development to implementation?," Public Health, vol. 125, pp. 424–432, 2011.
  35. S. Aoun, R. J. Donovan, L. Johnson, and G. Egger, "Preventive care in the context of men’s health," Journal of Health Psychology, vol. 7, pp. 243–252, 2002.
  36. J. A. Smith, A. Braunack-Mayer, G. Wittert, and M. Warin, "It’s sort of like being a detective: Understanding how Australian men self-monitor their health prior to seeking help," BMC Health Services Research, vol. 8, p. 56, 2008.
  37. F. Tudiver and Y. Talbot, "Why don’t men seek help? Family physicians’ perspectives on help-seeking behavior in men," The Journal of Family Practice, vol. 48, pp. 47–52, 1999.
  38. R. O’Brien, K. Hunt, and G. Hart, "The average Scottish man has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, lying there with a portion of chips: Prospects for change in Scottish men’s constructions of masculinity and their health-related beliefs and behaviours," Critical Public Health, vol. 19, pp. 363–381, 2009.
  39. C. Tannenbaum and B. Frank, "Masculinity and health in late life men," American Journal of Men’s Health, vol. 5, pp. 243–254, 2011.
  40. M. Jeffries and S. Grogan, "Oh, I”m just, you know, a little bit weak because I’m going to the doctor’s’: Young men’s talk of self-referral to primary healthcare services," Psychology and Health, vol. 27, pp. 898–915, 2011.
  41. M. García-Calvente, N. Hidalgo-Ruzzante, M. Del Río-Lozano, J. Marcos-Marcos, E. Martínez-Morante, G. Maroto-Navarro, I. Mateo-Rodríguez, and E. Gil-García, "Exhausted women, tough men: A qualitative study on gender differences in health, vulnerability and coping with illness in Spain," Sociology of Health & Illness, vol. 34, pp. 911–926, 2012.
  42. P. M. Galdas, F. Cheater, and P. Marshall, "Men and health help-seeking behaviour: Literature review," Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 49, pp. 616–623, 2005.
  43. P. M. Galdas, J. L. Johnson, M. E. Percy, and P. A. Ratner, "Help seeking for cardiac symptoms: Beyond the masculine-feminine binary," Social Science and Medicine, vol. 71, pp. 18–24, 2010.
  44. T. O’ Dowd and F. O. Keeffe, Men and their health – a primary care initiative. Dublin: Department of Public Health and Primary Care Trinity College Dublin, 2004.
  45. A. M. Tod, C. Read, A. Lacey, and J. Abbott, "Barriers to uptake of services for coronary heart disease: A qualitative study," British Medical Journal, vol. 323, pp. 214-218, 2001.
  46. A. K. White and M. Johnson, "Men making sense of their chest pain—niggles, doubts and denials," Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 9, pp. 534–41, 2000.
  47. A. White and L. L. Lockyer, "Tackling coronary heart disease," British Medical Journal, vol. 323, pp. 1016-1017, 2001.
  48. R. E. Evans, H. Brotherstone, A. Miles, and J. Wardle, "Gender differences in early detection of cancer," Journal of Men's Health and Gender, vol. 2, pp. 209-217, 2005.
  49. L. K. Smith, C. Pope, and J. L. Botha, "Patients’ help-seeking experiences and delay in cancer presentation: A qualitative synthesis," The Lancet, vol. 366, pp. 825-831, 2005.
  50. F. Watkins, K. Bristow, S. Robertson, R. Norman, A. Litva, and D. Stanistreet, "I think boys would rather be alpha male: Being male and sexual health experiences of young men from a deprived area in the UK," Health Education Journal, vol. 72, pp. 635–643, 2013.
  51. F. C. Douglas, J. Greener, E. Van Teijlingen, and A. Ludbrook, "Services just for men? Insights from a national study of the well men services pilots," BMC Public Health, vol. 13, p. 425, 2013.
  52. M. Robinson and S. Robertson, "Health information needs of men," Health Education Journal, vol. 73, pp. 150–158, 2014.
  53. A. George and P. Fleming, "Factors affecting men’s help-seeking in the early detection of prostate cancer: Implications for health promotion," The Journal of Men’s Health & Gender, vol. 1, pp. 345–352, 2004.
  54. R. Evans, A. G. K. Edwards, G. Elwyn, E. Watson, R. Grol, J. J. Brett, and J. Austoker, "It’s a maybe test: Men’s experiences of prostate specific antigen testing in primary care," British Journal of General Practice, vol. 57, pp. 303–310, 2007.
  55. J. M. Ferrante, E. K. Shaw, and J. G. Scott, "Factors influencing men’s decisions regarding prostate cancer screening: A qualitative study," Journal of Community Health, vol. 36, pp. 839–844, 2011.
Marita Hennessy , Patricia Mannix-McNamara (2014). Gendered Perspectives of Men’s Health and Help Seeking: Implications for Public Health and Health Promotion. International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 1(2): 13-28. DOI:
Men have a shorter life expectancy than women and have higher death rates.  Despite this, men have limited contact with GPs, are reluctant primary care users and often seek help late in the course of an illness compared to women.  While research has elicited men’s attitudes towards their health and accessing health services, it has not determined the factors that men take into account when assessing their own health status; the criteria men use to decide whether or not to seek formal health care; or the factors that inform men’s perception of what constitutes an acceptable threshold for seeking help.  Therefore, this research set out to explore these aspects of men’s health. 
A qualitative approach was undertaken incorporating semi-structured interviews (n=18 males), two three focus groups with males (n=26) and two focus groups with females (n=20). Potential research participants were sourced from urban and rural locations throughout Ireland via purposive/snowball sampling.  The principle of theoretical saturation was applied.  The focus groups and interviews were recorded, transcribed and then analysed using thematic analysis.  
Men’s attitudes and behaviours towards health seeking were complex.  Health consciousness increased with age, as did willingness to access health and preventive health services.  Health was primarily assessed by physical fitness and absence of disease/illness.  Perceived severity of the symptom was the primary trigger to attend the GP although others included persistent symptoms, prompting by a significant other, a direct/indirect health crisis and the media.  Men experienced structural, psychological and social barriers to help seeking.  Such factors must be taken into consideration when developing health services and health promotion programmes for men.


Contribution/ Originality