Health and help-seeking behavior among Chinese men in Hong Kong: The influence of culture.

Much of the literature on masculinity centers on white heteronormative ideologies of masculinity, with little attention paid to cultural variations. The present study uses a qualitative approach to examine the health and help-seeking behavior of Chinese men in Hong Kong and the influence of cultural values. Focus group discussions were conducted with 27 men divided into groups based on age. A total of five focus groups were conducted with men aged 24 to 81 years. The article presents discussions and experiences of health and help-seeking behavior among Chinese men. The following four subthemes were identified and analyzed in greater detail: (a) symptom visibility versus pain, (b) health care prompting and illness behavior, (c) motivations for good health, and (d) disclosure/nondisclosure of illness. Although men were reluctant to consult a doctor, they were proactive in seeking help for illness using different pathways, for example, with use of over-the-counter medication and/or consumption of Chinese herbal teas being common. Help-seeking was embraced as a means to look after one’s health. Family was identified as an important source of support when it comes to men’s health, and the men talked about the role of family in prompting them to seek help for symptoms of ill health they may not otherwise seek help for. Family, wives and partners in particular, was perceived as an important source of emotional support in times of ill health for men in the present study. Findings further discuss men’s health behavior through a Chinese cultural lens. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)