Malignant melanoma: gender patterns in care seeking for suspect marks
2011 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 20, no 17-18, 2676-2684 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aims and objectives. Gender patterns in self-detection of melanoma are not sufficiently highlighted in the literature. The aim of the study was to identify specific patterns in the decision-making process to seek care for suspect melanoma, as narrated by women and men.
Background. Females have a more favourable prognosis than males and also a higher level of perceived susceptibility and a higher level of knowledge about melanoma. Women are, furthermore, more prone to participate in screening.
Method. Thirty patients (15 women and 15 men) with a mean age of 55.5 years and diagnosed with malignant melanoma were interviewed about their decisions to seek care for suspect skin marks. The interviews were transcribed and analysed with qualitative content analysis.
Results. Care-seeking behaviour for suspect melanoma was influenced by gender constructions. Men seldom or never acknowledged interest in attention to bodily changes, but when they became aware of changes, they often took a quick decision and sought an expert's assessment. Men were compliant with wives' and relatives' advice about seeking care. All women reported that they paid attention to bodily changes, but they often delayed care seeking, due to family responsibilities and emotional struggles. The women also attempted self-care remedies, such as applying ointment, before seeking professional care.
Conclusions. There are gender-specific patterns that may influence decision making in the care-seeking process. Such patterns are important to identify, since health care professionals must take these factors into account in communicating with men and women.
Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses and in particular those working in telephone counselling, are often at the frontlines, deciding who can have access to health services. They are ideally placed to tackle the issue of gender constructions in the development of effective health care services.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. Vol. 20, no 17-18, 2676-2684 p.
care seeking, coping, decision making, gender constructions, malignant melanoma
Research subject Caring Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46301DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03788.xISI: 000293748900031PubMedID: 21777314OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-46301DiVA: diva2:437765