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Men worried about time, being seen as a whinger in primary care

Cost. Waiting time. Lack of confidence.

These are some of the healthcare barriers men and primary healthcare nurses (PHCN) identified in a new study published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health.

Led by Del Lovett, a PhD candidate at Charles Darwin University, the research explored the perception of PHCNs in men’s health services and men’s expectation of the nurse.

The study authors said both PHCNs and men were unclear about the role of the PHCN in men’s healthcare services.

“PHCNs reported their lack of clarity was due partly to poor knowledge of the concept and definition of men’s health, which affected their confidence to deliver health care and health promotion for men,” the paper read.

One nurse participant said to better engage men and provide quality healthcare services, she would need to attend relevant training, saying:

I haven’t had any formal training in men’s health or health promotion, and if the right type of education was provided, I would do it.

The men in the study said they became annoyed by the cost, waiting time and lack of extended hours and also identified being seen as a whinger as a barrier to accessing primary healthcare.

One explained:

You get in when you can and not at the right time of the day [that suits work commitments] that you want. You wait too long to get what you need [prescription or medical certificate]. It costs too much and it kind of works like a ‘drive-through’.

Some of the barriers to healthcare access both participant groups identified were the culture and environment in general practice and the limitation of Australia’s Medicare healthcare financing system.

In an interview with Nursing Review, Lovett discussed some of the other factors at play and how the relationship between PHCNs and men can be strengthened.

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