What influences the health and medical care-seeking decisions people make?

When people experience a troubling physical symptom they may or may not decide to seek care to deal with it. They may decide to ignore it until it passes, look after it themselves (self-care), or to seek care to deal with it. And if they decide to seek care who do they turn to? Their family doctor, a complementary/alternative medicine provider, or both? Understanding the health care-seeking decisions that people make and the factors that influence these decisions is one of the areas of research in our lab.

Medical-care seeking can be conceptualized as self-regulatory response to troubling symptoms (Leventhal et al., 2003). This research stream takes a biopsychosocial approach to examining the factors involved in medical care-seeking and treatment outcomes, and specifically as this relates to the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Increasingly, people are turning to complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) as a means for dealing with their health issues and for maintaining health, with many integrating CAM within their existing health-care repertoire. Understanding the motivations and outcomes associated with CAM use is a key focus of Dr. Sirois' research. Please visit the CAM use pages for more information about this research stream.


Health Care-seeking Papers and Publications From the Lab

Wilson, K. ,& Sirois, F. M. (2010). Birth attendant choice and satisfaction with antenatal care: The role of birth philosophy, relational style, and health self-efficacy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 28, 69-83. abstract.

Gick, M., Sirois, F. M., Matheson, K., & Anisman, H. (2009, June). Attachment, health, and care seeking in students. Paper presented at the 70th Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Montreal, Que.

Gick, M. L. & Sirois, F. M. (2005, June). Personality and treatment seeking for medical problems. Paper presented at the 65th Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Montreal, Quebec. Abstract published in Canadian Psychology, 46 (2a).

Sirois, F. M. & Gick, M. L.(2004, June). Psychological factors in medical care-seeking. Paper presented at the 66th Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, St. Johnís, Newfoundland. Abstract published in Canadian Psychology, 45 (2a).