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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 20(1)

Evaluation of the pilot phase of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Module

Komla Tsey A F , Philemon Chigeza A , Carol A. Holden B , Jack Bulman C , Hilton Gruis D and Mark Wenitong E

A School of Education and The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.
B Andrology Australia, c/o Monash Institute of Medical Research, 27–31 Wright Street, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3168, Australia.
C Mibbinbah Limited, Burleigh BC, Burleigh Waters, Qld 4220, Australia.
D Department of Rural and Indigenous Health, Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, PO Box 963, Moe, Vic. 3825, Australia.
E Apunipima Cape York Council, 186 McCoombe Street, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.
F Corresponding author. Email: komla.tsey@jcu.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 20(1) 56-61 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY12033
Submitted: 25 March 2012  Accepted: 19 September 2012   Published: 24 October 2012


 
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Abstract

This article evaluates the pilot phase of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Module. Although men experience higher levels of illness and die younger than women, educational programs to support health workers utilise a gender-based approach to increase participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in health care are rare and lack appropriate content. Recognising this gap in service provision, and under the guidance of a Reference Group comprising community leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait male health, a comprehensive and culturally appropriate Male Health Module has been developed to enhance the capacity of health workers to improve access to services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males. Methods used were: in-depth interviews with Module developers, pilot workshops for trainers and health workers, questionnaires and focus group discussions with workshop participants, and participant observations. As well as enhancing capacity to facilitate access to health services for men, the Module was deemed relevant because of its potential to promote health worker empowerment and wellbeing. Findings revealed that improving access to services for men required male and female health workers working in partnership. Despite overall enthusiasm for the Module, the findings also revealed deep fear that it would end up ‘collecting dust on shelves’. Strategies to improve the Module quality and accessibility are highlighted.



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