Services just for men? Insights from a national study of the well men services pilots
An important consideration that needs adding to discussions of patient choice and whether or not men are reluctant to use primary care services is that many frequent attenders are male. The aim of this article is to explore how male frequent attenders construct decisions to use or not use health-care services. This is achieved through secondary analysis of baseline interviews with male frequent attenders from the Self Care in Primary Care study. As this was a complex study, a three-step analytic process was employed to incorporate the involvement of multiple researchers working together over a number of years. First, the interviewer summarised each interview and second, the summaries were read as a group to find themes across them. Subsequently, we returned to the interviews to add detail that would further illustrate or challenge the analysis. Participants talked of 'engaging health and avoiding ill-health', constructing themselves as embodied, health conscious and rational in a similar vein to constructions of feminine interactions with health. While participants talked of 'choosing health services' as if they were drawing upon a range of choices, the dominance of the image of the GP was such that seeing a GP was the only legitimate health choice.