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The Concept of Health Seeking in Men

This article was published in July 2016 in the Urologic nursing journal.

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  • Authors: Gwendolyn L. Hooper and Susanne A. Quallich
  • The concept selected is health seeking in men.
  • I chose this concept because men are likely to manage the pain without using healthcare services while women go to the doctor once they have even minor issue. Furthermore, men tend to be exposed to far more disorders and prefer to believe they will disappear on their own.
  • The authors chose this concept because men have shorter lifespan and resort to medical facilities less frequently than women. Thematic and concept analyses were implemented for the research.
  • The concept analysis aims to provide conceptual clarity to develop a framework that would be useful for urology services providers.

Concept Analysis Method

The concept of health-seeking in men was analysed using Walker and Avant’s method and was viewed as the combination of health and masculinity concepts. McEwen and Wills (2014), considered this method to be fundamental in increasing utility of this concept.

Literature Review: All Uses of the Concept

The authors conducted a search of nursing literature from 1990 to 2015 using search words men’s health, urology nursing, masculinity, gender norms, health seeking. All the full-text articles were published in English within this period. Moreover, they utilized several databases including Google Scholar, CINAHL, PubMed, and MEDLINE.

Defining the Concept

According to Hooper and Quallich (2016), “‘health-seeking’ represents social, cultural, and intellectual influences that impact the individual as he or she avoids illness and pursues treatment if unwell” (p. 164). The concept includes such characteristics as the inability to manage health conditions, improving lack of information concerning well-being, insufficient health-seeking conduct, lack of different resources, and alleged impairment of support systems.

Cases or Examples

  • Model case: in this case, a 49-year-old man named Sam neglects his health problems, smokes and drinks heavily, and despises social conduct norms. He was referred to the oncologist after an accident; however, he refused to wait and left without chucking up. Sam believed his cancer would vanish on its own.
  • Borderline case: a 64-year-old businessman Mike works hard to occupy a leading position in his company. He consumes a cocktail with dinner every evening and uses the treadmill. Once he encountered rectal bleeding, he postponed his visit to the doctor, and the doctor scheduled him in six months. He is worried since he believes he has got cancer.
  • Related case: 34-year-old Matthew spent much time at hospitals due to having spina bifida. He was recommended to catheterize for times a day, yet he found it inconvenient during work and catheterized only twice.
  • Contrary case: 50-year-old Adam does not have any addictive habits; he attends annual health checkups, jogs every day, and remains good. He receives high-quality care from his provider and educates himself.


The antecedents are perception of masculinity, masculine “self-schema”, masculine socialization, men’s vulnerability.


The consequences are reliance on women’s support, poor mental and physical health, suffering from preventable diseases, low quality of life, increased level of morbidity, lack of knowledge, underutilization of health care services. As a result, the negative consequences suggest that men tend to be anxious and depressed, stressed; they lead an unhealthy lifestyle, and have low coping abilities (Nikoloudakis et al., 2018). Encouragement to use health care services and increased male life expectancy is among the concept’s positive outcomes.

Empirical Referents

According to the concept method, only a few instruments are accessible to appraise the concept of health-seeking among males. However, it can be assessed with the same tools for gender, social, psychological, and health-seeking behavioral patterns. Community-based, citywide, or countrywide measurements can be used as well. The Barriers of Help-Seeking scale may be implemented to observe reasons for health-seeking. It “consists of seven subscales, including the need for control, self-reliance, minimizing problem and resignation, concrete barriers, distrust of caregivers, privacy, and emotional control” (Hooper & Quallich, 2016, p. 169). The Gender Role Conflict Scale had 37 paraments to identify males’ psychological state (Hooper & Quallich, 2016). The Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale should be utilized to evaluate attitudes towards seeking healthcare help (Hooper & Quallich, 2016).

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Lessons Learned

  • The purpose of this concept analysis was to clarify that behavioral patterns and beliefs influence men who use the health-seeking concept. The new definition can become the basis of future nursing theories and nursing interventions.
  • Nurses may lack knowledge of how males express their intention to seek help. Nonetheless, they may become a vital figure in promoting men’s well-being; therefore, they need to incorporate the social context and the person into the process of care. Moreover, men are likely to be more expressive to women rather than to men.
  • The implications of the research may include the promotion of men’s health at a broader scope. One’s individual experience with health care system navigation may impact future attitude towards solving health-related issues. Besides, the new definition is likely to promote treatment compliances and annual screenings.
  • The new concept can be applied to practice in multiple ways. For instance, if a man suffering from choking resorts to the hospital because his wife insisted on it, he will realize that the help is indeed needed.


Hooper, G., & Quallich, S. (2016). Health seeking in men. Urologic Nursing, 36(4), 163-172. Web.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Lappincott Williams & Wilkins.

Nikoloudakis, I. A., Vandelanotte, C., Rebar, A. L., Schoeppe, S., Alley, S., Duncan, M. J., & Short, C. E. (2018). Examining the correlates of online health information–seeking behavior among men compared with women. American Journal of Men’s Health, 1358–1367.

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