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.
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.
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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