Better Doctor-Patient Relationships Are Associated with Men Choosing More Active Depression Treatment

J Am Board Fam Med. 2019 Jan-Feb;32(1):13-19. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2019.01.170430.


Background: Men tend to have low rates of treatment uptake for depression. The quality of the relationship with their family physician may be a factor influencing attitudes toward treatment. The present study was developed to explore this issue in a nationally representative sample of Canadian men.

Methods: An online survey of 1000 Canadian men was conducted to inquire about men's relationship with their family physician and hypothetical treatment choices for depression. Main analyses were conducted among 819 men who indicated having a regular primary care physician.

Results: Two thirds of men with a family physician (n = 534; 65%) indicated they would pursue treatment if they were suffering from depression. Multinomial logistic regression, controlling for age, employment, education level, and current depressive symptoms indicated that positive perceptions of the patient-doctor relationship were associated with men being more likely to opt for pharmacotherapy (n = 183; odds ratio [OR], 1.06; P < .001), and individual psychotherapy (n = 277; OR, 1.04; P < .001), compared with a wait-and-see/no treatment approach (n = 285).

Conclusion: The quality of the doctor-patient relationship is an important element in helping men choose active treatment for depression.

Keywords: Canada; Depression; Doctor-Patient Relations; Family Physicians; Psychotherapy; Surveys and Questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Canada
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotherapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data


  • Antidepressive Agents