“We are excited to report that a simple, low-cost intervention can positively [affect] young men’s willingness to engage with their health," says Wade Gutierrez.
Investigators developed a short presentation on men’s health topics that was found to positively affect fraternity members’ willingness to seek help for men’s health conditions.1
The findings were published in Urology.
“In a study of nearly 200 college-aged fraternity men, we found that a 45-minute presentation about male-specific health concerns effectively increased participants’ men's health knowledge, their confidence in understanding men's health concerns, and their likelihood of seeking help for these concerns,” said Wade Gutierrez, a medical student at the University of Iowa, in correspondence with Urology Times®.
Investigators in the study presented on common men’s health conditions, specifically those likely to affect college-aged men, during regularly scheduled chapter meetings for 6 undergraduate fraternities. Participants in the study were given surveys to complete before and after the presentation. In total, 189 fraternity members completed at least 1 of the surveys, and 105 completed the before survey and part of the after survey.
Data showed that knowledge of men’s health topics increased after the presentation, with 57.7% of questions answered correctly before the presentation, compared with 88.7% after the presentation (P < .001).
Members’ confidence in both their understanding of men’s health topics and knowledge of when and where to seek help also increased from 2.99 before the presentation to 4.05 after the presentation, based on a 5-point Likert scale (P < .001). No association was found between men’s knowledge and their confidence in understanding either before or after the presentation.
Further, the number of participants who indicated that they would seek help for men’s health concerns increased from 3.70 to 4.14 following the presentation. Specifically, an increase of 28.8% was seen in the number of participants likely to seek help for urine stream (P < .001), 23.4% for erectile dysfunction (P < .001), 25.8% for low testosterone (P < .001), and 12.9% for sexually transmitted infection (P = .017). There was no difference found in participants’ likelihood to seek help for sexually transmitted infection symptoms before and after the presentation.
There was no association found between knowledge of men’s health topics and willingness to seek help, but a positive correlation was found between confidence in understanding and willingness to seek help both before and after the presentation. The strength of the correlation increased from .450 before the presentation to .796 after the presentation (P < .001).
Gutierrez added, “We are excited to report that a simple, low-cost intervention can positively [affect] young men’s willingness to engage with their health. We initially thought that improving health knowledge would be the key to increasing willingness to seek help for men’s health concerns. We were surprised to find that participants’ confidence in their understanding, rather than their objective knowledge, was most strongly associated with their willingness to seek help.”
He proposed possible explanations for these findings, stating, “It might be that confidence in understanding is a critical component in individuals’ willingness to seek help for a variety of health concerns. It is also possible that confidence may play a role in patient compliance and follow-up. Further studies are needed to better understand the extent of the [effect] that confidence has on health care decision making as well as what factors most directly influence patient confidence levels.”
1. Gutierrez WR, Gannon M, Scherer AM, Pearlman A. Novel Men’s Health Curriculum Increases Fraternity Members’ Knowledge, Confidence, and Willingness to Seek Help for Health Concerns. Urology. Published online June 2, 2023. Accessed June 7, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2023.05.024