Gender awareness, symptom expressions and Irish mental health-care provision

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Irish mental health policy and care provision is criticised for being gender-neutral despite gender being present in almost every aspect of illness; from risk to protection; symptom interpretation; diagnosing, ideology and knowledge of illnesses. The aim of this paper was to present the views of Irish service users and providers in relation to symptom expressions, gender awareness and care provision. A qualitative social realist design was used using Layder's (1998) adaptive theory and social domains theory. In-depth interviews (n = 54) with 26 service users and 28 service providers were conducted within one mental health service in Ireland. Dominant societal expectations for men and women are described in response to symptom expressions that reflect ‘categorical’ and ‘performative’ understandings of gender. A return of interest to symptoms-based research and practice from a gendered perspective is argued for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-154
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 03 Mar 2016


  • Ireland
  • femininities
  • masculinities
  • mental health care
  • symptoms


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