Engaging men in health

March 2009

FocusEngaging men in health

Engaging men in health care

Volume 38, No.3, March 2009 Pages 92-95

Greg Malcher

Background

Engaging men in health care involves a multifaceted approach that has as its main principle the recognition that men consume health care differently to women.

Objective/s

This article identifies barriers to engaging men in health care and offers potential and existing solutions to overcome these barriers in a range of health care settings.

Discussion

The concept of multiple masculinities recognises that not all men can be engaged via a particular technique or strategy. The perception that men are disinterested in their health is challenged and a range of approaches discussed, both in the community and in health care facilities. In the general practice setting opportunities exist for the engagement of men at the reception desk and waiting room, as well as during the consultation. Use of the workplace in engaging men is discussed. Future activities to build the capacity of health care providers to better engage men are identified and the role of policy and program development is addressed.

‘Engagement’ is the dynamic process of sharing and connecting with men to achieve better health.1 When developing strategies for engagement in health care we need to consider both the system of health care provision and those who work in that system. This encompasses a broad range of practitioners including, but not limited to, community health care providers, hospital based workers, paramedics, educators, and anyone who needs to, or should consider, the health of men in their service provision. In general practice it includes general practitioners, practice nurses and managers, receptionists and medical students.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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