Men in Australia Telephone Survey (MATeS): predictors of men's help-seeking behaviour for reproductive health disorders

Med J Aust. 2006 Oct 16;185(8):418-22. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00637.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Diseases / blood
  • Prostatic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen