Best practice: Health information for men

The Men's Health Forum commissioned research on health information resources meeting men's needs.

This consisted of two main phases: An initial scoping study of academic and "grey" literature to understand better the current provision of health information aimed specifically at men across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. A second stage of research amongst health professionals and men themselves to explore what works in terms of content, format and delivery mechanisms.


The effectiveness of different components of health information interventions needs to be seen in the context of the campaigns within which they were embedded, and the targeted "segments" or groups of men.

Effective interventions:

  • Targeting specific social groups of men 
  • Personalised tailoring 
  • Message levels and health literacy 
  • Appropriate message tone 
  • Effects on men‟s self-efficacy and pro-activity 
  • Using positive masculine imagery and narratives 
  • Champions and advocates 
  • Combining media in complex interventions 

There is also evidence of a need for further targeting of health information materials to more fine-grained segments  of men within the age-groups. 

This would take account of regional environmental factors and men's preferences for place. At the least, this could involve local visual detail and referencing and role models alongside national content in resources. It would also take account of finer-grained aspects of men's lifecycles and lifestyles such as whether they identify with 'mainstream masculinity' or alternative images and roles in messages including sexuality, and, for example, health information for gay men.

The project's report contains tips and recommendations on improving health information for men.

Health information for men 2010 (PDF, 593kb)