BRITISH MEN SLOW TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP
WHITE British men may be much slower to seek medical help for
chest pain than South Asian men because of fears they would be seen
as 'wimps'. The research findings 'If I'm poorly, I go to
the doctor, simple as that' were presented at The Royal College
of Nursing Research Conference in York on Thursday 23 March 2006.
The study by Paul Galdas, Lecturer at University of Sheffield,
interviewed white men and 1st generation South Asian men (Indian,
Pakistani and Bangladeshi) who had been admitted to 2 hospitals in
the North of England with acute chest pain. It found a
majority of white men thought visiting their GP or calling 999 when
suffering from chest pains was a threat to their masculinity. They
feared they would be seen as a 'wimp' by their families,
friends and work colleagues. As a result, they kept their symptoms
to themselves and had to endure the pain, sometimes for days.
South Asian men on the other hand, who had been brought up in the
Indian sub-continent and moved to the UK in the last 20 years, had
distinctly different perceptions of how visiting a doctor impinged
on their masculine identity. They confided in their friends and
families when they experienced chest pains, and were more willing to
visit their GP. They did not feel that seeking medical help would
threaten their masculinity.
Mr Galdas said:- "Some men's desire to 'live up' to a macho
image has a real influence on their decision to delay calling a
doctor when experiencing chest pains. But not all men in the UK
behave in the same way, as some South Asian men appear to have no
problem in contacting a doctor when they experience chest pain. The
study has shown a real need to take these cultural differences into
account when planning and delivering healthcare services aimed at
men at risk of heart disease".
Comments from study participants:-
A 49 year old white man told an ambulance worker:- "I kept on
going to work despite having chest pains, I am not a softy".
A 41 year old Pakistani Muslim man said:- "I've always gone to
the doctors straight away when I think something is wrong. There is
nothing embarrassing about it. If I am poorly, I go to the doctor,
simple as that".
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of premature death for
men in the UK. The death rate is almost twice as high for South
Asian men, so prompt diagnosis and treatment is needed and men
delaying treatment are putting themselves at risk.
Mr Galdas said:- "The study also suggested that some South
Asian men who have been brought up in the UK may abandon South Asian
cultural notions of masculinity in favour of a western 'macho
identity', which may have a detrimental impact of their health.
was highlighted by one South Asian man in the study who had been
educated in the UK and had similar views as the white British men.
He delayed calling a doctor for over 8 hours because he feared his
colleagues would see him as having a low threshold for pain and that
he would be labelled a 'wimp'".
Dispatches programme seeks transport horror stories
CHANNEL 4 has commissioned SMG TV Productions, in association
with Vivum Intelligent Media, to make a film examining Britain's
creaking transport system, and the productions team is looking for
your transport horror stories. Presented by Bob Kiley, the
controversial New Yorker who recently resigned as London's Transport
Commissioner, this one-hour Dispatches film will examine road, rail
and bus networks, focusing on the problems we face in our daily
commute. The production team is looking for members of the
public to send footage taken with cell-phone cameras or home videos
of nightmare journeys and transport horror stories by bus, car or
rail to inform their research.
Kiley, who revolutionised New York's commuter system before coming
to London to work for Mayor Ken Livingstone, will investigate why
the UK's transport system provides such a poor service. He will
attempt to travel the length and breadth of Britain using public
transport, to gain an understanding of the fundamental errors in the
Jim Manson, Executive Producer for SMG TV Productions said:-
“This programme presents a case for a major overhaul of the way our
transport system operates but in order to offer solutions, we need
input from the public. Millions commute every day and we want to
hear all about their experiences.”
The production team includes producer Nick Rosen and
producer/director Rosalind Bain from Vivum Intelligent Media Ltd and
executive producer Jim Manson from SMG TV Productions.
Please send any footage to
Members of the public can contact the production team directly on
FRAKTURED SOUND IN LIVERPOOL
IMPROVISED classical musical group, Frakture, are holding
another of their popular gigs with guest stars. Emily Hay and
Chao-Ming Tung are playing alongside Russell and Webster at St
Bride's Church, Catharine Street, Liverpool on Friday 24 March 2006 at
Frakture have held concerts in Liverpool tunnels and under the
city's domes in the past and now hold a series of improvisational
music workshops for all ages and abilities. The organisation is
supported by the Liverpool Culture Company.
RIVER TO DRY LAND
ARTISTS and writers who range from schoolchildren to former
homeless people are launching an exhibition about their Mersey
memories. Undercurrents - Tales of River City People
involves Liverpool citizens of all ages who travelled on the ferry
across the Mersey. While aboard, visual artists and writers told
tall ship tales and wove fishermen's yarns. Participants then
recorded their impressions of the river through a variety of media;
digital photography, writing and drawing.
Squash is organising the project in conjunction with Windows Poetry
project with support from the Liverpool Culture Company. Clare Owens
from Squash said:- "We are really looking forward to
celebrating what has been an incredible project. We have been
privileged to hear people's memories and stories of the Mersey, some
of which were hilarious and others very touching. The resulting
works produced by Liverpudlians from all walks of life all share the
spirit of the Mersey and demonstrate the poetry of its wonderful
The Squash artists on the Undercurrents project are Clare Owens and
Becky Vipond and both are available for interview.