Men’s health remains a relatively recent area of study compared to women’s health in the United States and internationally. On average the health of women is better than their male counterparts but the health of racial and ethnic minority men lags behind their White male counterparts. However self-management can mitigate poor health outcomes experienced by men, particularly racial and ethnic minority men. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between health information seeking and confidence in managing health and health care interactions among men.
Dr. Keith Elder and his colleagues found health information seeking was not associated with confidence to manage health. However, Hispanic men had were less likely to agree to have confidence to know when to seek medical care, mention concerns to doctors, and follow through on medical treatments needed at home compared to White men. African American men were more likely to agree to have confidence to know how to prevent symptoms and tell doctors concerns compared to White men. The researchers believe providers should make certain racial and ethnic minority men understand clearly what it means to manage their health. Even though African American men report confidence to manage health, their poor health outcomes do not align with the findings.
Their study was published in International Journal of Men’s Health in January, 2014.