Engaging vulnerable men in community based health promotion

Lisa Kirwan

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis


    It is well established that men suffer poorer health and die younger than their female counter parts. The health status of men is closely linked to economic opportunity in society and those in the lowest socio-economic group carry the disproportionate burden of ill health and have traditionally been difficult to engage. The impetus for this study was underpinned by recommendations made by the Irish National Men‟s Health Policy and is particularly relevant in the current economic downturn. The Carlow Men‟s Health Project (CMHP), a community based partnership, also recognised the need to support vulnerable men and thus developed a strategy to improve their health and wellbeing. Using mixed methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups etc), this thesis investigated the specific components of the strategy; the delivery of short programmes (men‟s health programme and physical activity programme) and awareness raising activities conducted by the CMHP over an 18 month period. Specifically, it will examine the individual components of the short programmes that were associated with effective engagement of men, the factors necessary to deliver an effective print media campaign, and the factors that contributed to successful partnerships working. The researcher concludes that the CMHP successfully adopted a community development approach to address the needs of men in Carlow. The short programmes highlighted the need to find an effective “hook” or “incentive” to engage men and also men‟s need for structure and tangible outcomes. The print media campaign found that localisation of stories is necessary to ensure issues alluded to are meaningful to men. It also demonstrated the importance of literacy demand and design in enabling men to interpret health messages. Although the CMHP experienced a number of challenges to partnership working, findings suggest that the REAIM planning tool was seen as a very beneficial to effective planning of interventions. Finally, the dedicated and enthusiastic partners involved with the CMHP was fundamental to their success.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Carroll, Paula, Supervisor
    • Lambe, Barry, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2011


    • Health promotion


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