Gender is an important determinant of health. This descriptive and exploratory work investigated the perception of elderly men in relation to personal health care and to the aspects that influence men preventive and health promoter behaviors in this age range. Ten participants with a mean age of 67.4 years were interviewed and the analysis of their responses allowed the identification of thirteen categories on three themes: determinants of personal health, self-care behaviors and barriers to self-care. A positive evaluation of their own health prevailed and there were reports of various preventive behaviors. Economic, health system, intrapersonal and sociocultural barriers were cited as compromising to the health care among men, while social support was considered an important facilitator. Negligence, behavioral deficits and excesses are recorded as male patterns of health care. This study highlights the need for educational strategies aimed at the adoption of healthier daily practices on the part of men.
Elderly; Aging; Developmet states; Gender; Health psychology