Barriers to adolescent and young men's access of reproductive health care

Jennifer S Provencher, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify the health needs and barriers that young men face in accessing health care and family planning services and to identify what health centers can do to attract young men to the clinic. A focus group format was used to elicit ideas from participants. Methods. Forty-eight young men participated in nine focus groups. The young men were asked about the health issues they have, the barriers they face in accessing reproductive health care, and what clinics can do to attract young men to the clinic. Thematic analysis principles were used to identify the main themes that emerged in the focus groups. Results. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), mental health problems, and drug use were the major health issues that were mentioned in the majority of the focus groups. The main barriers discussed in the focus groups were attitudinal factors such as young men thinking it is unmanly to seek help, emotional factors such as young men not seeking help because of their ego or pride, and institutional factors such as the location of the clinic. The main suggestions for improvements in the health clinic included decreasing waiting times, emphasizing the fact that the clinics are free for males, having more female nurses, and encouraging clinic staff to treat the young men with respect. Young men suggested advertising and promoting the clinic in schools, in the community, and through the media. Focus group participants also provided their input about the design and format of the clinic flyer. Conclusions. Many studies focus on the reproductive health care needs of adolescent and young females. This study has helped to show that young men also have health care needs and face barriers to accessing reproductive health care services.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Provencher, Jennifer S, "Barriers to adolescent and young men's access of reproductive health care" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1444707.