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Can a documentary increase help-seeking intentions in men? A randomised controlled trial
  1. Kylie Elizabeth King1,
  2. Marisa Schlichthorst1,
  3. Matthew J Spittal1,
  4. Andrea Phelps2,
  5. Jane Pirkis1
  1. 1 Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia
  2. 2 Phoenix Australia, Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kylie Elizabeth King, Centre for Mental Health, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia; k.king{at}unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Background We investigated whether a public health intervention—a three-part documentary called Man Up which explored the relationship between masculinity and mental health, well-being and suicidality—could increase men’s intentions to seek help for personal and emotional problems.

Methods We recruited men aged 18 years or over who were not at risk of suicide to participate in a double-blind randomised controlled trial. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) via computer randomisation to view Man Up (the intervention) or a control documentary. We hypothesised that 4 weeks after viewing Man Up participants would report higher levels of intention to seek help than those who viewed the control documentary. Our primary outcome was assessed using the General Help Seeking Questionnaire, and was analysed for all participants. The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12616001169437, Universal Trial Number: U1111-1186-1459) and was funded by the Movember Foundation.

Results Three hundred and fifty-four men were assessed for eligibility for the trial and randomised to view Man Up or the control documentary. Of these, 337 completed all stages (nine participants were lost to follow-up in the intervention group and eight in the control group). Linear regression analysis showed a significant increase in intentions to seek help in the intervention group, but not in the control group (coef.=2.06, 95% CI 0.48 to 3.63, P=0.01).

Conclusions Our trial demonstrates the potential for men’s health outcomes to be positively impacted by novel, media-based public health interventions that focus on traditional masculinity.

Trial registration number ACTRN12616001169437, Results.

  • mental health
  • randomised trials
  • public health

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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Footnotes

  • Contributors KK was responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the randomised controlled trial (RCT) and had input into each stage of study design, evaluation and interpretation. She was mostly responsible for writing the paper. MS also was responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the RCT and supported the study design, data interpretation and manuscript preparation. MJS had input into study design, data analysis and manuscript preparation. AP had input into study design, data interpretation and manuscript preparation. JP oversaw the Man Up project and had input into each stage of study design and data evaluation, data interpretation and manuscript preparation.

  • Funding Funding for Man Up was provided by the Movember Foundation. Funds supported the development of the documentary and associated social media campaign, as well as their evaluation. The Movember Foundation had no role in the design or conduct of the randomised controlled trial reported here, or in the collection, management and analysis of the data, or in preparation of this manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The trial was approved by the Health Science Human Ethics Subcommittee at the University of Melbourne. It was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12616001169437, Universal Trial Number: U1111-1186-1459).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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