Skip to main content
Rural Men’s Health, Health Information Seeking, and Gender Identities: A Conceptual Theoretical Review of the Literature
American Journal of Men’s Health
  • Bradley C Hiebert, Western University
  • Beverly Leipert, Western University
  • Sandra Regan, Western University
  • Jacquelyn A Burkell, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University
Document Type
Publication Date
URL with Digital Object Identifier

Beginning as early as 2009, recent shifts in Canadian health care delivery indicate that access to health information is essential to promote and maintain a healthy population. It is important to understand how and where various populations, such as underresourced rural populations, access health information so that public health agencies can develop and deliver appropriate information with, for, and in these contexts. There is a paucity of research that specifically examines how rural Canadian men seek health information; therefore, this review aimed to conceptualize this process based on three dynamic key constructs: health patterns of rural Canadians, health information–seeking behaviors, and rural gender identities. This conceptual theoretical literature review included 91 articles at the intersection of these three constructs. Discussion focuses on how residing in a rural region influences men’s health and health care access. Health information–seeking behaviors are discussed in terms of social networks and framed with a rural context. Connell’s theory of masculinity provides a useful approach to dissecting how rural men’s gender identities influence their health attitudes, and how such attitudes are embedded in rural social and cultural norms. Each major construct—health in rural Canada, health information seeking, and rural gender identities—is discussed to highlight how specific embodiments of masculinity may promote and inhibit men’s health information–seeking and positive health behaviors.


Article originally published in American Journal of Men’s Health, Vol. 12(4), pp. 863–876.

© 2016 The Author(s)

Citation Information
Bradley C Hiebert, Beverly Leipert, Sandra Regan and Jacquelyn A Burkell. "Rural Men’s Health, Health Information Seeking, and Gender Identities: A Conceptual Theoretical Review of the Literature" American Journal of Men’s Health Vol. 12 Iss. 4 (2016) p. 863 - 876
Available at: