Qualities men value when communicating with general practitioners: implications for primary care settings

Med J Aust. 2008 Dec;189(11-12):618-21. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb02214.x.


Objective: To determine the core qualities that men value when communicating with general practitioners in primary care settings.

Design, setting and participants: In a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews in non-clinical environments, 36 white Australian men drawn from the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study, stratified by age and marital status, discussed their help-seeking behaviour and health service use. Participants were from the North West Adelaide region. Interviews were conducted between January and November 2005.

Results: The core qualities men value when communicating with GPs in primary care settings include the adoption of a "frank approach", demonstrable competence, thoughtful use of humour, empathy, and prompt resolution of health issues.

Conclusions: The core qualities men value when communicating with GPs are concordant with most key dimensions of a patient-centred approach, but not necessarily all. Adopting these qualities has the potential to enhance communication with and care of men in primary care settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Communication*
  • Empathy
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Men / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Wit and Humor as Topic