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Research Case studies

The Pioneering Research of the World's First Professor of Men's Health

The Centre for Men’s Health at Leeds Beckett works hard to keep its research portfolio eclectic, believing that to fully address men’s health issues a holistic approach much be taken, engaging with social, psychological and physical influences on men’s health outcomes and practices.

The Centre’s work focuses on three key areas of research; gendered epidemiology, men’s experience of ill-health and men and health promotion and improvement.

Gendered Epidemiology

The gendered epidemiology research focuses on exploring sex differences in mortality and morbidity. Early work includes the Report on the State of Men’s Health across 17 European Countries, which was commissioned by the European Men’s Health Forum.

In a collaboration with The National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK, the Centre considered the Excess burden of cancer in men. This significant work clearly demonstrates that men are at greater risk of developing and dying from those cancers that should affect men and women equally.

From 2010 the Centre has been leading a European Union-wide project which aims to provide a clear picture of men’s health in the region. The work will provide information for evidence-based development, implementation and evaluation of action for men’s health in the EU.

Men’s Experience of Ill-Health

The first focus of this programme has included studies exploring men’s experience of cardiac pain and how this relates to delay in accessing health care along with studies of masculine identity in the context of cardiac rehabilitation.

The research on male specific cancers includes work in the challenging area of men’s decision making following prostate cancer diagnosis and experiences of urination after penectomy as a result of penile cancer. Currently, research on male incontinence is limited. This work provides an opportunity to extend the field, linking into healthtalkonline.org where patients can share experiences and offers information about conditions, treatment choices and support.

Men and Health Promotion and Improvement

Trying to understand the complexities and difficulties of engaging men in health improvement programmes forms the basis of the Centre’s innovative Tackling Men’s Health initiative.

The group used the Leeds Rhinos Rugby Team ‘brand’ and their ground at Headingley Stadium to help market health information, health messages and physical ‘MOTs’ to male supporters on match days. Researchers have also evaluated men’s health improvement initiatives in the Bradford and Sefton areas to distil elements of ‘best practice’.

The Centre is currently working with colleagues in Sport and Physical Activity at Leeds Beckett to evaluate a ‘Premier League Health’ initiative that promotes men’s health through 16 top flight football clubs.

Research funded by the Department of Health and National Institute for Mental Health is being carried out to explore how different Black and Minority Ethnic men conceptualise mental health and wellbeing. The study aims to help practitioners understand the specific issues and concerns expressed by these groups and how they may best be addressed.

Impact on learning

As well as fostering close working partnerships with a broad array of health professionals, health services including the NHS, patient groups, policy makers, charities and social enterprises, the work of the Centre for Men’s Health also informs learning within our University.

As part of its commitment to research-led education and practice, staff from the Centre also deliver lectures on men’s health at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as providing research supervision for Masters and Doctoral students. Staff are also regularly invited to speak act as external speakers.

A student nurse in training

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