Identifying behavioural barriers and facilitators to engaging men in a community-based lifestyle intervention to improve physical and mental health and well-being

Oliver J. Bell, Darren Flynn, Tom Clifford, Daniel J. West, Emma Stevenson, Leah Avery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: There are few community-based lifestyle interventions designed to target physical and mental health of men. We conducted a qualitative focus group study with men to explore their perceived barriers and facilitators to uptake and engagement with interventions designed to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Methods: A volunteer sampling approach (advertisements posted on a premier league football club’s social media) was used to recruit men aged 28 to 65 years who were interested in improving their physical and/or mental health and wellbeing. Focus group discussions were conducted at a local premier league football club to 1) explore men’s perceived barriers and facilitators to uptake of community-based interventions; 2) identify health issues considered important to address; 3) obtain participant views on how to best engage men in community-based interventions; and 4) use the findings to inform the development of a multibehavioural complex community-based intervention (called ‘The 12th Man’). Results: Six focus group discussions were conducted (duration 27 to 57 min) involving 25 participants (median age 41 years, IQR = 21 years). Thematic analyses generated seven themes: ‘Lifestyle behaviours for both mental health and physical health’; ‘work pressures are barriers to engaging with lifestyle behaviour change’; previous injuries are barriers to engagement in physical activity and exercise’; personal and peer group relationships impact on lifestyle behaviour change’; relationships between body image and self-confidence on mastery of skills for physical activity and exercise’; building motivation and personalised goal setting’; and ‘credible individuals increase uptake and continued engagement with lifestyle behaviour change’. Conclusions: Findings suggest that a multibehavioural community-based lifestyle intervention designed for men should promote parity of esteem between physical and mental health. It should also acknowledge individual needs and preferences, emotions in the context of goal setting and planning, and be delivered by a knowledgeable and credible professional. The findings will inform the development of a multibehavioural complex community-based intervention (‘The 12th Man’).
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2023

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