As self-management programs for chronic illness increasingly become the domain of primary health care providers, it is important to consider gender inequities in access to these services and gender differences in patterns of use to inform the development and delivery of services. This study explores gender differences in levels and patterns of access to arthritis elf-management services by analyzing data collected from the Telephone Information Service of Arthritis Victoria, Contingency tables were analyzed and odds-ratios calculated to confirm gender differences in levels and patterns of service utilisation. Men were found to be significantly under-represented as users of the service, even after taking into account gender differences in prevalence of arthritis in the population. Women were more likely than men to contact the service on their own behalf. Men were more likely to have a family member or friend contact the services for them. Women showed more interest in learning about their condition while men focused more on symptom management. These gender differences in rates and patterns of services use indicate that services providers of self-management services for conditions such as arthritis need to take into account the interaction between gender and service utilisation.
Field of Research
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified