Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 9, September 2009

Diagnosis of male depression Does general practitioner gender play a part?

Zaza Lyons Aleksandar Janca
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Depression is a common illness often underdetected in general practice. Underdetection is more common in male patients compared with females. General practitioner gender and difficulties in communicating with male patients may play a role. This study aimed to determine if GPs found depression harder to diagnose in male patients compared with female patients, identify difficulties in diagnosis, and identify any GP gender differences in the diagnostic process.
Most GPs found diagnosing depression in men difficult, particularly female GPs. There is a need for GPs to communicate more effectively with male patients to improve the diagnosis of depression.
Most respondents (64%) reported that diagnosing depression in men was harder compared with women, 73% of female GPs compared with 58% of males (p=<0.005). Communication issues and infrequent surgery attendance by male patients were cited as the main difficulties.

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