Objective: To identify sociodemographic factors associated with help-seeking behaviour for reproductive health disorders in middle-aged and older Australian men.
Design: A cross-sectional, population-based, computer-assisted telephone interview exploring sociodemographic factors and general and reproductive health.
Participants and setting: Analysis of data from the Men in Australia Telephone Survey (MATeS) of 5990 Australian men aged 40 years and older interviewed between September and December 2003.
Main outcome measures: Self-reported diagnosis of prostate disease and erectile dysfunction (ED), help-seeking behaviour (including visiting a doctor, prostate-specific antigen testing, treatment of prostate disease, speaking to a health professional about ED and treatment of ED).
Results: Age was a significant predictor of all help-seeking behaviour studied, other than treatment for ED. Controlling for all predictor variables, never-married status predicted a lower likelihood of visiting a doctor (odds ratio [OR], 0.68 [95% CI, 0.48-0.97]) or speaking to a health professional about ED (OR, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.21-0.93]), while divorced/separated status predicted lower likelihood of having a prostate-specific antigen test (OR, 0.63 [95% CI, 0.50-0.79]). Living in a regional or remote area or being from a non-English-speaking background predicted lower likelihood of receiving treatment for ED (ORs, 0.62 [95% CI, 0.42-0.92] and 0.41 [95% CI, 0.24-0.72], respectively), but did not influence screening for prostate disease.
Conclusion: Seeking advice or treatment for male reproductive health disorders is predicted by sociodemographic factors specific to different reproductive health problems. As middle-aged and older men do attend doctors, opportunities exist for health professionals to optimise their consultations by routinely discussing reproductive health with all men, to identify under-reported male reproductive health disorders.