New research by the Freemasons Center for Male Health and Wellbeing (FCMHW) and SAHMRI has found that contrary to popular belief, men do go to the doctor.
The study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health assessed around 2,000 men over the age of 35.
FCMHW Director, Professor Gary Wittert, who led the study with Prof Shu Kay Ng at Griffith University said men deserve more credit for seeking help for health issues.
“Our findings show men regularly visit their GP and are conscientious about their health,” Prof Wittert said.
“We see that the greater number of chronic health conditions that men have, the more frequently they visit their GP.”
The study showed the frequency of GP visits increased significantly when one of the chronic conditions was paired with depression or anxiety. Men who fit into that category went to the doctor more than 10 times per year.
Prof Wittert said the work demonstrates that health care practitioners must consider the mental health status of men when they present with chronic physical conditions and not assume their symptoms are purely the result of physical disorders.
“The evidence suggests that when depression and anxiety go undetected in those living with chronic physical diseases, it makes the experience of those chronic diseases worse for the individual,” Prof Wittert said.
“Reducing the disproportionate burden of multiple chronic diseases among men requires looking at the full picture, especially in men who are frequent users of health care.”