The MHF can provide a complete men's health focus group service - organising, hosting, running and reporting - for any body in any sector interested in developing their work in this area.
'Focus groups are one of the best ways to really get under the skin of men and so to better understand masculinities and men's health seeking behaviour,' said the MHF's Matthew Maycock.
The MHF has a long track record of conducting and reporting on focus groups in a range of settings including commercial, public sector and third sector and with health professionals with a broad range of men and boys. This can yield important insights into local or company-wide health seeing behaviours leading to more informed decision making and therefore more effective health promotion activities. Focus groups call also be used in order to shape media campaigns. For example focus groups have been an important part of the production of the Yorkshire Man Mini Manual, in the BME Men Mental Health project and many other of the MHFs projects. Please get in touch if you would like more information on any of these focus groups.
As well as focus groups with groups of male employees or men of a specific background, the MHF also has a track record of undertaking focus groups with professionals. For example, as part of the Men and Pharmacy project a number of focus groups were undertaken with Pharmacists which lead to important improvements to the project.
Following a commission, the MHF arranges for an experienced focus group convener to conduct a group which normally lasts for two hours. This can be undertaken at a time and place suitable for the participants. Each focus group normally has around 8 participants and the convener present. The aim is to create a comfortable, informal and mutually supportive environment in which participants can share their genuine beliefs, behaviours and feelings sometimes built around stimulus material mediated through the convenor.
Conducting focus groups in this way has several benefits, not least that the MHF is independent so focus group participants can feel comfortable in discussing their health as well as (should it be relevant) specific health promotion campaigns and occupational health services.
A detailed report is produced for the commissioning body outlining the discussion and making a number of recommendations building on the group's outcomes.
"In our experience there are many uses of focus groups,' says Matt. 'They can be integrated into the production of a tailor made mini manual to better inform its content. Additionally, a focus group could be used to independently evaluate a range of health promotion interventions and campaigns or can provide new information or perspectives on health to inform a media campaign and generate media coverage of various types.'
Page created on July 15th, 2010
Page updated on September 17th, 2010