Social and Cultural Factors Influence African American Men's Medical Help Seeking
Griffith, D. M.
Ober Allen, J.
Griffith, D. M. and Ober Allen, J. and Gunter, K. (2011) Social and Cultural Factors Influence African American Men's Medical Help Seeking. Research on Social Work Practice, 21 (3). pp. 337-347.
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Objective: To examine the factors that influenced African American men’s medical help seeking. Method: Thematic analysis of 14 focus groups with 105 older, urban African American men. Results: African American men described normative expectations that they did not go to the doctor and that they were afraid to go, with little explanation. When they did go, men reported that they were particularly uncomfortable with the tone physicians used when talking to them. Providers often made recommendations but offered the men little useful information on how to make lifestyle and behavior changes. Following receipt of care, spouses, medical test results, and men’s desire to fulfill social roles were key motivating and instrumental factors in following medical advice. Conclusions: African American men’s medical help seeking seemed to be negatively influenced by social norms and patient-provider interactions but positively influenced by spouses and the desire to fulfill social roles.