Institute for Health & Ageing

Your Health Your Life

Your health, your life: A program for men at mid-life

6315CR_196

Prevention programs are fundamental to facilitate positive health behaviours, such as eating a healthy diet, increasing levels of exercise, as well as reducing stress and stress-related unhealthy behaviours, such as substance use. However, there have been very few programs aimed specifically at men at midlife, and a major limitation of past programs is that they have focused solely on providing information rather than facilitating behaviour change.

The program Your Health, Your Life utilises Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy skills to assist men in identifying an area of health they wish to improve, such as diet, exercise, or a reduction in stress or substance use. The program communicates skills essential to successful goal setting, identification of barriers, increases health knowledge, and improves self-efficacy to promote positive health behaviours. The importance of diet and exercised are discussed throughout the 4 week program, as well as mental health, stress and coping, and the impact of stress and work on health-related goals. At the end of the 4 weeks, participants have an understanding of their strengths and barriers to health as well as stress management, and will have implemented numerous steps to achieve positive health behaviours.

The program is currently being evaluated, but preliminary results suggest the program has been successful in numerous behaviour change measures. The success of the pilot program is particularly salient given the need for positive health behaviours as a means of reducing preventable health conditions in the ageing population.