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Integrative review of literature on masculinity, health service utilization and health outcomes.

Idris, D R; Forrest, S; Brown, S


D R Idris

S Forrest

S Brown


Purpose and aim of review: To explore and analyze the academic literature on how being an Asian male of specific ethnic group intersects with other psychosocial parameters in informing their health seeking behavior. To fulfill this aim, factors affecting health seeking behavior and health service utilization of men from various ethnic backgrounds has been reviewed.
Methods: Whittemore & Knafl’s framework (2005), was utilised in drawing out empirical studies focusing on patterns of health help seeking among Asian men and what informed and influenced their health help seeking behaviour. The STARLITE framework was used to assist further in the systematic reporting of the literature search.
Main findings:
After thorough assessment, 12 papers met criteria for inclusion in the review. Three themes were identified, namely: the importance of being healthy to conform with masculine cultural norms and responsibilities; the intersect of age masculinity and their influence on patterns of health help seeking; and finally, reasons for accessing healthcare services including the role played by the level of understanding of symptoms and perceived level of severity and the stigma attached to health problems in deterring or promoting health help seeking.

It can be concluded that with ethnicities, comes culture. Culture influences men’s views about their role what is regarded as important attributes of being a man, the context in which men view masculinity, their degree of comfort and sensitivity in talking to friends or a GP regarding an existing medical and their prospective concerns on what they might have or psychological problem and the appropriateness of help seeking.

It was also found that the influence of masculinity is mediated by other social and psychological factors. Age, level of knowledge, cultural ideals and adherence to masculinity are factors that men take into account in making decision to access health care. Furthermore, the idea of how men seek health help and use healthcare services are highly context dependent. Results vary across different time, context and settings.


Idris, D. R., Forrest, S., & Brown, S. (2017). Integrative review of literature on masculinity, health service utilization and health outcomes. Brunei Darussalem Journal of Health, 7(1), 26-42

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 30, 2017
Publication Date Mar 30, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 24, 2016
Journal Brunei Darussalem Journal of Health
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 26-42
Keywords Male health, masculinity, cultural attitudes,
Public URL


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