Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Are nurses meeting the needs of men in primary care?

Del Lovett A E , Bodil Rasmussen B , Carol Holden C and Patricia M. Livingston D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Deakin University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Locked Bag 20000, Geelong, Vic. 3220, Australia.

B Western Health–Deakin University Research Partnership, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Locked Bag 20000, Geelong, Vic. 3220, Australia.

C Andrology Australia, Monash University, Level 4, 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.

D Deakin University, Faculty of Health, Locked Bag 20000, Geelong, Vic. 3220, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: df.clovett@ozemail.com.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 23(4) 319-322 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY16106
Submitted: 30 August 2016  Accepted: 24 May 2017   Published: 27 July 2017

Abstract

Meeting men’s health needs by improving healthcare service access is a key objective of comprehensive primary health care. The aims of this qualitative study were to explore the perception of nurses in men’s health services and to describe men’s expectation of the nurse. The comparative component identifies the barriers and facilitators to improved access to health services. A purposive sample of 19 nurses and 20 men was recruited from metropolitan and regional settings in the state of Victoria, Australia, and each participant was interviewed individually or as part of three focus groups. The main findings were: nurses and men were unclear on the role of the nurse in men’s health; and health promotion provided by nurses was predominantly opportunistic. Both participant groups indicated barriers to healthcare access related to: the culture and environment in general practice; limitation of Australia’s Medicare healthcare financing system; out-of-pocket costs, waiting time and lack of extended hours; and men not wanting to be perceived as complainers. Facilitators related to: positive inter-professional relations; effective communication; personal qualities; and level of preparedness of nurse education. The findings demonstrate a need for the role to be better understood by both men and nurses in order to develop alternative approaches to meeting men’s healthcare needs.

Additional keywords: access, barriers, men’s health, opportunistic, primary health nurse.


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