UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Men's and women's experiences of receiving primary care delivered in the group medical visit model Piper, Sandra Harriet


The experiences of men and women receiving primary care by attending Group Medical Visits are poorly understood. The purpose of this secondary analysis of nine in-depth interviews was to seek understanding of their experiences. The men and women in this analysis sought treatment for their chronic conditions by attending heterogeneous Group Medical Visits. A gender lens provided the necessary framework to move forward in seeking further understanding of why the men and women's experiences in this study were similar, rather than different. This study revealed six themes common to both the men and women: overcoming vulnerability and emotional isolation, connecting and creating community, reciprocal learning, increased feelings of safety, building relationship with the physician, and efficiency of time. It appears irrelevant that the audience was of mixed sex; what seemed to matter was the common link of living with a chronic condition and having someone truly understand the experience. Gender does not seem to make a distinction regarding the basic experiences shared by men and women of this age group, living with chronic conditions: the need to tell their story, and the satisfaction in and support received from telling one's illness story. A second finding was the leveling of the power structure between patients and providers, which is often inherent in traditional one-on-one physician-office appointments. The leveling of power created an increased trust between the client and physician leading to improved relationships and the creation of a safe environment to receive primary care. The men and women found the ability to express their illness story, especially to their physician and to an understanding audience of like individuals, to be very beneficial.

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