WHAT IS MEN’S HEALTH? A DEFINITION

Main Article Content

Doris Bardehle
Martin Dinges
Alan White

Keywords

Men’s Health

Abstract

Target of the study


Men´s Health is increasingly coming into force within health research, epidemiology, health care organisation, and health policy. Over the past 10-15 years the EU Men´s Health Report and reports within some countries have publicised problems of health in men. A starting point for the study of men´s health is the definition of “Men´s Health”. A group of German experts in the field of men´s health has taken on this task.


Methodology


A literature review in international and national databases was performed for the years 1990-2014 by selected MeSH terms and for “experts in men´s health”. Further research concerned “grey literature” in Germany, especially health reports and web pages. This was followed by a conference of experts to define “Men´s Health” using a modified Delphi method according to W. Zinn. From the expert group, minimum criteria for a definition of “Men´s Health”, which must comply with the new definition of men´s health, were created and discussed. The final definition was created in the third round of the Delphi method.


Results


The international literature review yielded seven definitions of “Men´s Health” in the English literature and five definitions in the German literature including within the “grey” literature. The expert group identified seven minimum criteria and fifteen relevant topics that were needed for a strong definition, of which, by weighting, eight criteria were considered relevant for a new definition. None of the existing definitions could fulfil these eight criteria. Therefore, in the next step of the expert group a new definition “Men´s Health” was elaborated. The definition has reference to the WHO concept of “health” and includes dimensions of health and disease, risk and protective factors that require special prevention and care services for all phases of life. All participants in the expert group agreed on the definition developed.


Conclusions


The definition of Men´s Health is a basis for further research and practice to improve men´s health in Germany and other countries.

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