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Health literacy in male-dominated occupations

journal contribution
posted on 03.12.2020, 22:28 authored by A Milner, M Shields, AJ Scovelle, Georgina Sutherland, TL King
© The Author(s) 2020. Low levels of health literacy are associated with poorer health outcomes. Both individual- and social-level factors have been identified as predictors of low health literacy, and men are known to have lower health literacy than women. Previous research has reported that men working in male-dominated occupations are at higher risk of accidents, injury, and suicide than other population groups, yet no study to date has examined the effect of gendered occupational contexts on men’s health literacy. The current article examined the association between occupational gender ratio and health literacy among Australian males. The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men) was used to examine associations between occupational gender ratio (measured in Wave 1) and health literacy (measured in Wave 2) across three subscales of the Health Literacy Questionnaire. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used and showed that the more male dominated an occupational group became, the lower the scores of health literacy were. Results for the different subscales of health literacy for the most male-dominated occupational group, compared to the non-male-dominated group were: ability to find good health information, (Coef. −0.80, 95% CI [−1.05, −0.54], p <.001); ability to actively engage with health-care providers, (Coef. −0.35, 95% CI [−0.62, −0.07], p =.013); and feeling understood and supported by health-care providers, (Coef. −0.48, 95% CI [−0.71, −0.26],p = <.001). The results suggest the need for workplace interventions to address occupation-level factors as an influence on health literacy among Australian men, particularly among the most male-dominated occupational groups.


The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by funding provided by a Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowship (AM), a National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership Project Grant APP1134499 (MS, AS), and an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award DE200100607 (TK).


Publication Date



American Journal of Men's Health






9p. (p. 1-9)





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