Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Management & Enterprise

First Advisor

Maurice Murphy


This thesis sets out to examine the area of men’s health and to recommend strategies for mainstream health services to get more men interested in their health. In Ireland, men die, on average, approximately five years younger than women and have higher death rates than women for most of the leading causes of death (Richardson and Carroll, 2008). As Wilkins (2009) points out, identifying the problems with men’s health is not the ultimate challenge, nor is advocating for change at a political or policy level, rather it is identifying what works with men and translating that into workable strategies capable of widespread application that is much more of a challenge. Ten interviews were conducted for the purposes of this research with leading researchers and medical practitioners in the area of men’s health. These were sourced from contacting key people in various male health advocacy groups as well as leading academics in the area in Ireland and abroad. Some of the findings are as follows: It is not helpful to talk about “men’s health” in such general terms as there are many types of men and it is not helpful at a policy level to assume that “men” are neither capable nor interested in changing a health pattern. The starting premise has to be that men are interested in being healthy. Training and upskilling of frontline service providers is essential on how to gender- proof the delivery of services. It is vital that health care professionals are trained to recognise the issues that are specific to men and also trained on how to access men and get them interested in their health. This research found that while so called “traditional men” are often not good at dealing with illness as vulnerability and weakness are often not consistent with what “traditional men” perceive as traditional masculine values, the act of looking after one’s health should be promoted as the strong and powerful thing to do and the norm for men. Outreach services like Men’s Sheds are a successful initiative in which men can engage with health services in a way that makes them feel comfortable. These community based outreach services are provided in a setting which normalises health services for men. Schools and workplaces also represent a key battleground in the normalisation of health care provision for men. To engage men more fully with their health, health services must (1) reduce barriers to accessing health services, (2) reframe accessing healthcare as helping men to live up to masculine roles and (3) change social norms by highlighting that things like visiting a doctor should be normal for men and is good for their health and well-being.

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