Barriers in diagnosing and treating men with depression: a focus group report

Am J Mens Health. 2010 Jun;4(2):167-75. doi: 10.1177/1557988309335823. Epub 2009 May 11.


This study reports on the experiences of 45 male focus group participants with a history of depression. Men responded to questions addressing the interaction between the male role, masculinity, depression, and experiences with treatment for depression. Using a qualitative, thematic-based coding strategy, three primary themes emerged. First, participants described aspects of the male gender as being in conflict or incongruent with their experiences of depression and beliefs about appropriate help-seeking behaviors. Second, men outlined alternative symptom profiles that could interfere with the recognition of depression and willingness to seek help. Finally, men expressed a range of positive and negative reactions toward depression treatment and treatment providers. Implications for health care providers are provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masculinity*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires