“I feel more comfortable speaking to a male”: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s discourse on utilizing primary health care services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract
Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have the highest morbidity and mortality rates, and lowest rates of health service utilization in Australia. There is a current perception that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are disinterested in their health. This study aimed to identify the perceived motivators, barriers and enablers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s utilization of primary health care services, explore their experiences and obtain suggestions from them as to how services could be modified to improve utilization.
Methods: This study utilized the principles of Indigenist Research Methods. Semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (N = 19) took place in South Australia and far north Queensland. Participants were asked
about their experiences with primary health care services, including what they could remember as a child. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data was completed without the use of computer software.
Results: Feelings of invincibility, shame, being uncomfortable, fearful, along with long waiting times, having a lack of knowledge, and culturally inappropriate staff/services were all found to be barriers to service utilization. Enabling
factors included convenience, the perceived quality of the service, feeling culturally safe and/or a sense of belonging, and having a rapport with staff. Motivation for attending primary health care services included going when feeling
sick/unwell, attending a particular service (dental or sexual health), visiting for check-ups and preventative health and family encouragement. This study also highlights strategies surrounding logistical factors, promotion of services and improved communications, having culturally appropriate services and providing gender specific services all of which were suggested by the participants to improve service utilization.
Conclusion: Contrary to common misperceptions, this study demonstrated that most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men participants were motivated to engage with primary health care services for preventative health care. Even
though there were men that fitted the stereo-type who avoid doctors, there were usually underlying reasons and barriers accounting for this reluctance. This study suggests that if primary health care services commit to better understanding the barriers, enablers and motivators their cohort of men face, then utilization could be greatly improved.
Keywords: Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization
LanguageEnglish
Article number1475-9276
Pages1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal for equity in health
Volume17
Issue number185
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization

Cite this

@article{e07ae9e1022e40cf8b1b5d01e59831e4,
title = "“I feel more comfortable speaking to a male”: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s discourse on utilizing primary health care services",
abstract = "AbstractBackground: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have the highest morbidity and mortality rates, and lowest rates of health service utilization in Australia. There is a current perception that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are disinterested in their health. This study aimed to identify the perceived motivators, barriers and enablers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s utilization of primary health care services, explore their experiences and obtain suggestions from them as to how services could be modified to improve utilization.Methods: This study utilized the principles of Indigenist Research Methods. Semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (N = 19) took place in South Australia and far north Queensland. Participants were askedabout their experiences with primary health care services, including what they could remember as a child. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data was completed without the use of computer software.Results: Feelings of invincibility, shame, being uncomfortable, fearful, along with long waiting times, having a lack of knowledge, and culturally inappropriate staff/services were all found to be barriers to service utilization. Enablingfactors included convenience, the perceived quality of the service, feeling culturally safe and/or a sense of belonging, and having a rapport with staff. Motivation for attending primary health care services included going when feelingsick/unwell, attending a particular service (dental or sexual health), visiting for check-ups and preventative health and family encouragement. This study also highlights strategies surrounding logistical factors, promotion of services and improved communications, having culturally appropriate services and providing gender specific services all of which were suggested by the participants to improve service utilization.Conclusion: Contrary to common misperceptions, this study demonstrated that most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men participants were motivated to engage with primary health care services for preventative health care. Eventhough there were men that fitted the stereo-type who avoid doctors, there were usually underlying reasons and barriers accounting for this reluctance. This study suggests that if primary health care services commit to better understanding the barriers, enablers and motivators their cohort of men face, then utilization could be greatly improved.Keywords: Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization",
keywords = "Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization",
author = "Kootsy Canuto and Gary Wittert and Stephen Harfield and Alex Brown",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "17",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "International journal for equity in health",
issn = "1475-9276",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "185",

}

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T1 - “I feel more comfortable speaking to a male”: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s discourse on utilizing primary health care services

AU - Canuto, Kootsy

AU - Wittert, Gary

AU - Harfield, Stephen

AU - Brown, Alex

PY - 2018/12/17

Y1 - 2018/12/17

N2 - AbstractBackground: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have the highest morbidity and mortality rates, and lowest rates of health service utilization in Australia. There is a current perception that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are disinterested in their health. This study aimed to identify the perceived motivators, barriers and enablers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s utilization of primary health care services, explore their experiences and obtain suggestions from them as to how services could be modified to improve utilization.Methods: This study utilized the principles of Indigenist Research Methods. Semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (N = 19) took place in South Australia and far north Queensland. Participants were askedabout their experiences with primary health care services, including what they could remember as a child. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data was completed without the use of computer software.Results: Feelings of invincibility, shame, being uncomfortable, fearful, along with long waiting times, having a lack of knowledge, and culturally inappropriate staff/services were all found to be barriers to service utilization. Enablingfactors included convenience, the perceived quality of the service, feeling culturally safe and/or a sense of belonging, and having a rapport with staff. Motivation for attending primary health care services included going when feelingsick/unwell, attending a particular service (dental or sexual health), visiting for check-ups and preventative health and family encouragement. This study also highlights strategies surrounding logistical factors, promotion of services and improved communications, having culturally appropriate services and providing gender specific services all of which were suggested by the participants to improve service utilization.Conclusion: Contrary to common misperceptions, this study demonstrated that most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men participants were motivated to engage with primary health care services for preventative health care. Eventhough there were men that fitted the stereo-type who avoid doctors, there were usually underlying reasons and barriers accounting for this reluctance. This study suggests that if primary health care services commit to better understanding the barriers, enablers and motivators their cohort of men face, then utilization could be greatly improved.Keywords: Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization

AB - AbstractBackground: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have the highest morbidity and mortality rates, and lowest rates of health service utilization in Australia. There is a current perception that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are disinterested in their health. This study aimed to identify the perceived motivators, barriers and enablers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s utilization of primary health care services, explore their experiences and obtain suggestions from them as to how services could be modified to improve utilization.Methods: This study utilized the principles of Indigenist Research Methods. Semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (N = 19) took place in South Australia and far north Queensland. Participants were askedabout their experiences with primary health care services, including what they could remember as a child. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data was completed without the use of computer software.Results: Feelings of invincibility, shame, being uncomfortable, fearful, along with long waiting times, having a lack of knowledge, and culturally inappropriate staff/services were all found to be barriers to service utilization. Enablingfactors included convenience, the perceived quality of the service, feeling culturally safe and/or a sense of belonging, and having a rapport with staff. Motivation for attending primary health care services included going when feelingsick/unwell, attending a particular service (dental or sexual health), visiting for check-ups and preventative health and family encouragement. This study also highlights strategies surrounding logistical factors, promotion of services and improved communications, having culturally appropriate services and providing gender specific services all of which were suggested by the participants to improve service utilization.Conclusion: Contrary to common misperceptions, this study demonstrated that most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men participants were motivated to engage with primary health care services for preventative health care. Eventhough there were men that fitted the stereo-type who avoid doctors, there were usually underlying reasons and barriers accounting for this reluctance. This study suggests that if primary health care services commit to better understanding the barriers, enablers and motivators their cohort of men face, then utilization could be greatly improved.Keywords: Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization

KW - Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Men’s health, Primary health care services, Health service utilization

UR - https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-018-0902-1

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