If you have questions about participation contact Roy Morgan Research on

1800 700 086 or email: tentomen@roymorgan.com

 

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The Study

THE STUDY

Ten to Men is the first national longitudinal study in Australia focussing exclusively on male health and wellbeing. The study will make a significant contribution to improving knowledge about male health and wellbeing across the life course. This improved knowledge will assist the development of health programs and policies that are targeted to the special health needs of men and boys.

STUDY BACKGROUND/RATIONALE
Australian males have poorer health than Australian females. They have shorter life expectancies than females and are more likely to experience health problems such as lung cancer, skin cancer, heart diseases, liver diseases, respiratory diseases and stroke. Males also have higher rates of alcohol use and smoking which increase their risk for health problems and they are less likely than females to visit health professionals. An even greater health gap exists for males in rural and remote as well as for males in indigenous communities.

In 2010, the Australian Government released the National Male Health Policy to address the special health needs of Australian males. As part of that policy the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men) was commissioned. Ten to Men is a new longitudinal study of just under 16,000 Australian men and boys between the ages of 10 to 55 years. It is aimed at identifying the factors that contribute to the poorer health outcomes in Australian males in general, and in particular sub-groups of men and boys. The study aims to generate information that can inform government policy and program development in male health.
STUDY OBJECTIVES

The objectives of Ten to Men are to:

  • Examine male health and its key determinants including social, economic, environmental and behavioural factors that affect the length and quality of life of Australian males.
     
  • Address key research gaps about the health of Australian males such as men’s health and risk behaviour in life, while accounting for social, economic and environmental changes.
     
  • Identify policy opportunities for improving the health and wellbeing of males and providing support for males at key life stages, particularly those at risk of poor health.
SAMPLING AND RECRUITING

Ten to Men has recruited a large group of males aged between the ages of 10 and 55 years. Rural males and young males (aged 10 to 17) were oversampled. The final sample was just under 16,000 male participants (aged 10 to 55 years) of which approximately 2,000 will be adolescents and boys (10 to 17 years). Parents of the 10 to 14 year old boys were also invited to participate.

DATA COLLECTION
There are four different questionnaires: boys (10 to 14 years), parents of boys, adolescents (15 to 17 years), and adult males (18 to 55 years). The youngest age group (boys aged 10 to 14 years) completed a face-to-face interview. All others received a self-complete paper questionnaire.
Participants will be followed up every two to three years. By the third wave of the study, all participants will be aged over 15 and all participants will complete the paper questionnaire.
WAVE 1 STUDY CONTENT
The Ten to Men Wave 1 questionnaires were designed using a social model of health. That model recognises the effect of social, economic, cultural and political factors on health and wellbeing. The social model provides a conceptual framework for improving health outcomes, based on the understanding that preventing and reducing poor health involves working at the community as well as the individual level.

Following this model, the study gathered information on a variety of community-level and individual-level risk and protective factors, as well as on health impacts and outcomes that indicate an individual’s health status.

In the study questionnaires, questions about risk and protective factors cover a range of social and environmental determinants of male health (for example, demographic characteristics, social and gender roles, occupational roles, socio-economic status, physical environments and so on) and a range of individual level health behaviours (for example, diet, exercise, smoking, consumption of alcohol and other drugs). Questions about health service use consider participants' use of different kinds of services, barriers and enablers to use of these services, and the extent to which these services meet their needs. Questions about health literacy consider participants awareness of how and where to find health information and their general attitudes towards health checks and proactive health care.

For the most part, the questionnaires seek the same information from all age groups, with modifications to ensure that participants of all ages have the same understanding of what is being asked. This overlap between questionnaires is important for tracking the emergence of health problems and risk and protective behaviours over time in successive waves of the study.

Additional information on health history and service use was collected through linking to a variety of health related databases, including Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In the future, neighbourhood level will be included through geospatial information system mapping to explore the role of community and environmental characteristics in male health and wellbeing.

FUTURE ADD-ON AND SUB-STUDIES

Ten to Men aims to improve the understanding of the health status and needs of Australian males as a whole and of some priority groups in particular (for example, young males and males living in regional Australia). However, there are many other groups of males for whom the study will not, in the first instance, be able to provide in-depth information. Sub-studies or add-on studies would provide an avenue to include those groups.
 

Such groups might include: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males; males from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds; males with a mental disability; males from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or first generation migrants; males who are gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex; veterans; socially isolated males; and males in the criminal justice system.
 

As funding becomes available, add-on studies with purpose-designed recruitment strategies and research questions can be developed. Like the main study, such add-on studies would ideally be longitudinal in design and designed to strengthen and broaden the main study. Examples might include:
 

  • Add-on studies which recruit males from alternative settings, in order to access sufficient numbers of males from particular groups (for example, veterans or males in the criminal justice system);
     
  • Add-on studies that involve innovative approaches to include males from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
     

Sub-studies would recruit sub-groups of males from within the main study group to investigate particular research questions in more depth. Examples might include:
 

  • A family sub-study: recruiting the families of study males in order to explore familial aspects of health which typically receive less attention;
     
  • A sub-study incorporating objective measures of physical activity (using accelerometers) and its location (using GIS software), to explore the relationship between the built environment and physical activity in males, and examine the impact of both of these factors on subsequent health outcomes.

 

THE STUDY TEAM

Ten To Men was designed by experts in health, research and policy in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Health. The Ten to Men Study team at the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne are responsible for day to day operations.

THE STUDY TEAM

Co-Chief Investigator: PROFESSOR JANE PIRKIS
Director, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Jane currently holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship and has extensive experience in the mental health arena. She has published extensively on the epidemiology of mental health problems and suicide, and has conducted numerous evaluations of large- scale mental health programs and suicide prevention initiatives including, the Access to Allied Psychological Services program, the Better Access program, beyondblue, the National Mental Health Strategy, the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, and the Queensland Government Suicide Prevention Strategy.


Co-Chief Investigator: PROFESSOR DALLAS ENGLISH
Deputy Head of School, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Dallas is a cancer epidemiologist and has published extensively on the links between cancer and lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity. He is Co-Investigator on the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. His research on the links between obesity and cancer in that study led to the Cancer Council initiating a major public health campaign on obesity. He is involved in a number of trials evaluating public health interventions, including cervical cancer screening, shade provision in parks and vitamin D supplementation. His other main research interest is in evaluating cancer-screening programs.

Study Coordinator: DR DIANNE CURRIER
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Dianne has a multi-disciplinary background in cultural studies and public health. Before joining Ten to Men she spent over 8 years as a Research Officer at Columbia University in New York, investigating and publishing on the biological, social and behavioural causes of suicidal behaviour.

Study Statistician: ASSOCIAT PROFESSOR MATTHEW SPITTAL
Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Matthew’s research focuses on three broad areas; 1) the relationship between quality of care and medico-legal risk; and 2) statistical methods for predicting events where the underlying risk is changing over time; and 3)the epidemiology of suicide: describing trends over time in the lethality of the major suicide methods; geographic and temporal variation in suicide rates; interventions to reduce suicide and media reporting of suicide.

Cohort Manager: ROBERT LUKINS
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Data Manager: SASHANE SAHABANDU
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Administration and Communications: WAYNE DAVIDSON
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

STUDY COMMITTEES
STEERING COMMITTEE
This group of researchers meets regularly and are heavily involved in questionnaire development, providing support in research ethics matters and advising on recruitment, data collection and cohort retention.

Current membership:

    • Dallas English (Co-chair)
    • Jane Pirkis (Co-chair)
    • Anne Kavanagh
    • Billie Giles-Corti
    • David Studdert
    • George Patton
    • Jane Hocking
    • Joanne Williams
    • John Carlin
    • John Hopper
    • Lena Sanci
    • Louisa Degenhardt
    • Matthew Spittal
    • Shyamali Dharmage
    • Marisa Schlichthorst


 

TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP
The Technical Advisory Group was actively involved during the initial study design phase, and meets as required to provide expertise on technical design and analysis issues. This group is co-chaired by Dallas English and Jane Pirkis, and includes all members of the Steering Committee, as well as:

    • Christopher Fairley
    • David Ames
    • Margaret Kelleher
    • Noel Faux
    • Robin Room
    • Tony Scott
    • Tony La Montagne


 

EXTERNAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY GROUP
The purpose of the External Scientific Advisory Group is to ensure that Ten to Men meets expected scientific quality standards and to provide advice on design and analysis matters. Membership of the External Scientific Advisory Group includes representatives from existing population health studies, including the Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health, The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, 45 and UP, as well as representatives from the male health community.

Current Membership:

    • Emily Banks (Chair)  - 45 & Up
    • Annette Dobson - Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health
    • Ben Edwards - Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
    • John Glover - Public Health Information Development Unit, University of Adelaide
    • John McDonald - Men's Health Information & Resource Centre, University of Western Sydney
    • Melissa Wake - Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
    • Osvaldo Almeida - University of Western Australia, Western Australian Centre for Health & Ageing
    • Alan Philp - Department of Health


 

DATA LINKAGE STEERING COMMITTEE

The Data Linkage Steering Committee was convened to develop the protocols and guidelines for linkage of Ten to Men data and other health related information held by Commonwealth and State sources.

Current membership:

    • Louisa Jorm (Chair) - University of Western Sydney
    • Dallas English - University of Melbourne
    • Di Rosman - Department of Health, WA
    • Ian McLean - Department of Health
    • Jane Pirkis - University of Melbourne
    • Martin Butler - Department of Health
    • Phil Anderson - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare


 

COMMUNITY REFERENCE GROUP
The purpose of the Community Reference Group is to facilitate the development of partnerships between consumers, community members and researchers to work together to develop research priorities and goals and disseminate results.

Current Membership:

    • Tass Mousaferiadis (Co-Chair) - Men’s Health Consultant
    • Greg Millan (Co-Chair) - President, Men’s Health Forum NSW Inc.
    • Peter Kelly - Health promotion Unit, Barwon Health
    • Gary Misan - National Rural Health Alliance
    • Gary Green - Community Engagement Manager, Australian Men’s Shed Association
    • Jonathan Bedloe - Australian Men’s Health Forum / Chair, Men’s Resources Tasmania
    • Greg Adkins - Anti-Violence Project of Victoria
    • Julian Krieg - President, Australian Men’s Health Forum

 

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