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Currently, in Australia, male health outcomes are poorer than that of females, with males experiencing a lower life expectancy, accounting for 62% of the premature deaths. Exploring male-specific health promotional material in health facility waiting rooms provides an opportunity to examine available health information. There are few studies on health-related education for patients, families and carers in general practitioner (GP) waiting rooms, and no studies on male-specific health material content in waiting rooms.
This prospective observational study audited all printed health promotional materials in all health facility waiting rooms within a single local government area. A total of 24 sites were surveyed, which included general practice centres, community health centres and hospitals. The surveyed health literature included posters, brochures and booklets.
There were 1143 health materials audited across the sites. Of these, 3.15% (n = 36) were male-specific literature, 15.31% (n = 175) were female-specific health literature and 81.54% (n = 932) were neutral/others. Overwhelmingly, the audited health literature evidenced a 5:1 ratio favouring female-specific literature versus male-specific literature.
This research highlighted that despite the known outcomes of lower male life expectancy and higher burden of disease, male-specific literature was observed to be significantly under-represented within the audited health facility waiting room spaces. There remains potential for health clinicians to provide targeted male health education and thereby improve male health literacy.
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