Health is Not All about Salads: An ethnographic study on health perceptions and health behavior among socially marginalized Danish men

Annette Pedersen, Helle Haslund Thomsen, Tine Curtis, Mette Grønkjær

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The effects of social marginalization and health are well-documented, revealing a complex association between health perceptions and health behavior. This is especially evident among socially marginalized men. Objective: This study aims to explore health perceptions and health behaviors influencing overall health among socially marginalized men who seem to not benefit from existing municipal health care in a large Danish municipality. These men have varying health challenges and engage in risky health behaviors, such as alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, and lack of physical activity. Design and sample: This was an ethnographic study including 200 hr of participant observations and 25 interviews with socially marginalized men aged 45–65. Results: Health was perceived as related to the ability to participate in daily life activities, such as getting around effortlessly and the ability to work. Alcohol drinking appeared to be part of a complex approach in managing everyday life, including various personal physical and mental health challenges and admission to social networks. Conclusion: Overall, the results provide important insight into how health perceptions and health behaviors are embedded in the men's everyday lives. This knowledge may be used by public health nurses and other health professionals in providing and developing health services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Volume37
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)487-493
Number of pages7
ISSN0737-1209
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • health, nutrition and quality of life

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