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Cancer incidence and mortality is higher among men than women in Ireland. Gender-specific cancer prevention programmes by the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) have sought to address this. While successful, these programmes more often reach the worried well than those in lower socioeconomic groups and/or with lower Health Literacy (HL).
The objective is to identify the facilitators and barriers which impact on men with low HL, in seeking, understanding and acting upon ICS cancer prevention information. Health promotion strategies focus increasingly on a socioecological approach. Therefore, the socioecological model (SEM)1 which describes the impact of five levels of influence (i.e. Individual, Interpersonal, Organisational, Community and Policy) on health behaviours will be used to underpin this study.
Researchers will undertake a sequential, mixed methods explanatory study.
Men, aged ≥40 years, from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, will be invited to participate in focus groups or individual interviews, through two organisations; Men’s Health Forum in Ireland, Men’s Groups of Ireland and community groups. Focus groups/interviews will be conducted using a topic guide and framework analysis to investigate men’s:
Researchers will assess comprehension of spoken, visual and written ICS cancer prevention campaigns using adapted versions of the Cancer Message Literacy Test-Listening’ and ‘Test-Reading’ instruments3 (phase 1). Based on findings and literature review, a survey will be developed and disseminated to 400 men nationally to gain a generalizable perspective (phase 2).
Health literacy is defined as “the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information.” It has been identified that there are high levels of poor health literacy in Ireland and those with poor health literacy are less likely to:
In 2013, the Irish Cancer Society commissioned a report looking at cancer incidence and death from a gender perspective in Ireland. The report noted that a significant difference exists in death and survival outcomes between men and women and that there is a need for more specific and effective targeting of men.
This research will inform the Society how they can adapt and better deliver cancer prevention information to men over 40 years of age, from lower socioeconomic groups, taking into account any potential health literacy and numeracy barriers.
Irish Cancer Society, 43/45 Northumberland Road, Dublin, D04 VX65, IrelandTel +353 (0)1 2310 500 | email@example.comCRO 20868; CHY 5863; CRA 20009502
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