A systematic review of the factors associated with delays in medical and psychological help-seeking among men

O. Yousaf, E.A. Grunfeld, M.S. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Citations (Scopus)
273 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Despite a growing literature on the factors associated with men's low rates of medical and psychological help-seeking, a systematic review of these is missing. Such an overview can help to inform health psychologists of the barriers to the performance of adaptive health behaviours, such as prompt help-seeking, and could inform theoretical advancements and the development of targeted interventions to facilitate prompt help-seeking among men. We systematically reviewed quantitative and qualitative empirical papers on factors associated with delays in men's medical and psychological help-seeking. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed, and we used the databases PsycINFO, Medline, Embase and PsycARTICLES (with keywords: men/male*/gender*, help*/seek* and health*/service*/utili*[sation]) for papers in English. 41 citations (amounting to 21,787 participants aged 15-80 +) met the inclusion criteria. Approximately half of these used qualitative methodologies (i.e., semi-structured interviews and focus groups), while half used quantitative methodologies (i.e., questionnaires). We identify a number of recurring cognitive, emotional, health-service related and socio-demographic help-seeking factors/predictors from the 41 papers. Of these, the most prominent barriers to help-seeking were disinclination to express emotions/concerns about health, embarrassment, anxiety and fear, and poor communication with health-care professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-76
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Psychology Review
Volume9
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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