Robinson, M., Robertson, S., McCullagh, J. and Hacking, Suzanne
Working towards men's health: Findings from the Sefton men's health project.
Health Education Journal, 69
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0017896910363151
Objective: To evaluate a health improvement initiative aimed at enhancing the health of men in deprived areas.
Design: A healthy lifestyle programme was undertaken with men to increase their health knowledge, and encourage behaviour modification and access to health improvement services. A peer mentoring programme was implemented and a training programme delivered to community and public sector staff.
Setting: The programme was delivered in the most deprived wards in Sefton (Liverpool, UK).
Method: Qualitative interviews were conducted with men in the lifestyle and peer mentoring programme five months into the programme (n = 6). Further telephone interviews with men took place towards the project’s end (n = 14). Interviews with community staff and health professionals who attended the training were completed (n = 5), fully transcribed and analysed thematically to meet the evaluation aims.
Results: The key themes emerging were issues related to influences on participation (including settings and social networks), experiences of participation (including, for men, issues around control and physical activity) and for staff, the opportunity for reflection. Outcomes for men included: changed bio-medical body condition; increased functional capacity; and improved emotional and experiential well-being. Outcomes for staff included: planned change around individual practice; and networking and organizational change.
Conclusion: Men liked the convenient settings for the healthy lifestyle programme and its activities, although peer mentoring involves challenges over recruitment and support, and staff also benefited. Men made recommendations for acceptable locations, support for marginalized men, and appropriate incentives.
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