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Health Psychol Rev. 2015;9(2):264-76. doi: 10.1080/17437199.2013.840954. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

A systematic review of the factors associated with delays in medical and psychological help-seeking among men.

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a Department of Psychology , Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London , Guy's Campus, London SE19RT , UK.


Despite a growing literature on the factors associated with men's low rates of medical and psychological help-seeking, a systematic review of these is missing. Such an overview can help to inform health psychologists of the barriers to the performance of adaptive health behaviours, such as prompt help-seeking, and could inform theoretical advancements and the development of targeted interventions to facilitate prompt help-seeking among men. We systematically reviewed quantitative and qualitative empirical papers on factors associated with delays in men's medical and psychological help-seeking. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed, and we used the databases PsycINFO, Medline, Embase and PsycARTICLES (with keywords: men/male*/gender*, help*/seek* and health*/service*/utili*[sation]) for papers in English. 41 citations (amounting to 21,787 participants aged 15-80 + ) met the inclusion criteria. Approximately half of these used qualitative methodologies (i.e., semi-structured interviews and focus groups), while half used quantitative methodologies (i.e., questionnaires). We identify a number of recurring cognitive, emotional, health-service related and socio-demographic help-seeking factors/predictors from the 41 papers. Of these, the most prominent barriers to help-seeking were disinclination to express emotions/concerns about health, embarrassment, anxiety and fear, and poor communication with health-care professionals.


barriers; delay; help-seeking; men; service utilisation; systematic review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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