Counteracting the Lack of Healthcare-Seeking Patterns in Males. by Unique Woolen<br />A growing body of research in the United States suggest that men are less likely than women to seek help from health professionals for problems as diverse as depression, substance abuse, physical disabilities and stressful life events.<br />Three fundamental elements of promoting healthcare seeking in men are;<br />Addressing internalized gender notions of masculinity and masculine identity.<br />Debasing social-constructions that hinder healthcare-seeking patterns amongst men.<br />The advocacy of healthcare-professionals for the development and /or enhancement of healthcare seeking-behaviors in men.<br />
Acknowledge powerfully internalized gender notions of masculinity and masculine identity i.e.;<br /><ul><li>“Good health a sign of strong masculinity.
Will I be taken seriously as head of my home if I’m declared clinically Ill?”</li></ul>Reflective of this, health professionals strive to change behavioral risk factors by refuting the basis of these behaviors with gendered perspectives that men can appreciate and respect.<br /><ul><li>A major factor contributing to the poor state of men’s health is risk behavior associated with traditional ‘male lifestyle.’ In essence, there is a need to help men recognize that stereotypical gender role behavior…can pose a risk to health and should be changed.</li></ul>For Example, -Notion; “It makes more since that I wait and see if these funky symptoms subside on their own ,that way I can have more expenses for my family.”<br />-Counter-notion; “It makes sense that you put to rest the funky symptoms early before they get way worse and cost you and your family way too much money.”<br />
Identify social constructions and influences that serve as barriers to healthcare-seeking patterns for men.<br />Socioeconomic status<br /><ul><li>Particularly employment status and the inability to afford treatment. “Fear of job loss”</li></ul>Masculinity/ in the form of a common male perception;<br /><ul><li>As providers for the family its shameful to use resources that may be used to enhance the comfort of the family otherwise.</li></ul>Lack of awareness of the need for care<br /><ul><li>Do not perceive the need for primary prevention.</li></ul>Racism and mistrust of the medical establishment<br /><ul><li>Most often cited barrier to health care and health-seeking behavior among Black men.</li></ul>Religion and spirituality<br /><ul><li>Can be a barrier or a facilitator</li></ul>Criminal Background<br /><ul><li>Especially Black males, accounting for nearly half of men incarcerated in 2005.(Bureau of Justice Statistics)</li></ul>Influence of family, friends, and neighborhoods<br />
Advocate!<br />Continue to raise awareness that needed primary health care is not being sought by males and especially minorities, resulting in detrimental effects on their health.<br />Continue to use media to alert the general public to this health disparity as NPs and nursing organizations have found prior successes through these outlets. i.e. march of dimes effects against polio and for prenatal care.(public service announcements, radio commercials, billboards.<br />Solicit service of well respected community leaders i.e. pastors, local celebrities, radio personalities.<br />Advise clients of recommended screenings when they receive routine physical exams.<br />Leave such screening info. assessable in E.R. where most males ,especially minorities, may restrict the parameters of their hospital visits to.<br />Provide to females that maintain healthy primary care visits, literature that they can provide to males in their lives. Female loved ones are largest influence on enhancing male health-seeking behaviors, they are merited as trustworthy.<br />Bring healthcare to the community i.e., health clubs, barbershops, Young Men’s Christian Association(YMCA), churches and partaking in community health-fairs.<br />Patient Advocacy has <br />Always been an essential<br />Duty of Health-Care <br />Affiliates!<br />