It is commonly held that men delay help seeking because they are ignorant about and uninterested in their health. However, this discussion has not been informed by men's lay perspectives, which have remained almost entirely absent from scholarship relating to men's help seeking practices.
This paper draws on semi-structured interviews with 36 South Australian men to examine their understandings of help seeking and health service use. It uses participants' talk about self-monitoring to challenge the assumption that men are uninterested in their health, arguing instead that the men in the study monitored their health status and made conscious decisions about when and how to seek help. Using an inductive approach during the thematic analysis the authors were able to identify four key factors that influenced how men monitored their health and explain how these intersect with the way men sought help and used health services. These findings offer an alternative approach for understanding how we can promote men's interaction with health services.