Men often get a bad rap for not going to the doctors, but a new study has found that is in fact wrong. New research by the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing (FCMHW) and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (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.
“Our findings show men regularly visit their GP and are conscientious about their health,” FCMHW Director, Professor Gary Wittert who led the study 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. They found men who fit into that category went to the doctor more than 10 times per year.
“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,” 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.”
These findings are a stark contrast to alarming research released earlier this year that found nearly a quarter of Australians (24 per cent) avoid visiting their doctor even when they suspect they should, with cost and lack of service the key reasons.
The report — Coordination of health care: experiences of barriers to accessing health services among patients aged 45 and over — found one in eight (13 per cent) patients did not see a specialist when they felt they needed to. The report, which was released in March by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), also revealed 50 per cent Aussies who didn’t see a GP said they couldn’t get an appointment, while 45 per cent said it came down to cost.
Meanwhile, Australians with high health needs were three times more likely to report not seeing a GP or specialist when needed compared to those with low health needs. Those living in rural areas were eight times more likely to not pay their GP a visit and 24 times more likely to not see a specialist when needed due to lack of services.
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