AIFS stacked 186x184 

The Study

Ten to Men is the first national longitudinal study in Australia focusing 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.
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 gathers 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 is 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 is being conducted by the Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies team at the Australian Institute of Family Studies on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health (DoH). The inception of the study and the first two waves were conducted by the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.

THE STUDY TEAM

Researchers

AIFS’ Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies team has extensive experience in conducting and managing longitudinal studies of national and international significance.

DR GALINA DARAGANOVA
Study Director, Executive Manager 

Galina is a recognised expert in longitudinal and large-scale studies and is responsible for managing nationally significant studies at AIFS, including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, Building a New Life in Australia, and the Transition Wellbeing Research Programme: Family Wellbeing Study. She has produced a number of technical reports working through complex methodological issues and has been published in a number of journals, methods books, research and technical papers and statistical reports, covering a range of topics from sample selectivity and measure validation to complex longitudinal data analysis.

DR KARENA JESSUP
Study Survey Methodologist, Senior Manager 

Karena has extensive experience in the design and implementation of longitudinal studies and is responsible for the survey research of several nationally significant longitudinal studies, including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Much of Karena’s career has focused on the design and management of longitudinal research. Her major area of interest is survey methodology, particularly in relation to longitudinal survey design and implementation.

DR LIBBY HUGHES
Study Coordinator, Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies 

Libby has over 15 years’ experience in the management of community-based and clinical research studies. She has successfully coordinated several large research projects, primarily in the areas of health and family functioning. She has extensive experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of survey instruments, with a particular interest in the assessment of psychological health and wellbeing.

DINUSHA BANDARA
Study Data Manager, Data Management & Analytics 

Dinusha manages data and analytics for numerous longitudinal studies at AIFS, including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. She has over 14 years’ experience in data analytics and has gained extensive experience in statistical consulting, data management, data governance and analytical project management. Her research interests include exploration of the complexity of longitudinal studies, development of novel ways to report complex data, linkage of complex datasets and harmonisation of international datasets for comparative analyses.

TENNIEL GUIVER
Study Data Linkage Manager, Data Linkage and Integrating Authority 

Tenniel has extensive experience in survey sample design, processing, estimation and analysis. Tenniel’s expertise encompasses sample-based surveys and censuses, including a wide range of design, estimation and analysis techniques. Tenniel has had over 10 years’ experience in data linkage, including data linkage operations, developing methodological and process improvements, liaising with data linkage units and data custodians, quality assessment of linked data and analysis of linked data.

STUDY COMMITTEES

Study committees guide various aspects of the study with members, providing advice on questionnaire development, ethics matters, cohort retention, data collection, scientific quality standards and partnerships with consumers and community members. Members can be researchers, advocates or community members.

For enquiries about Ten to Men study committees, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

MEDIA

Information for enquiries and examples of Ten to Men media.

MEDIA CONTACT

For all media enquiries, please call Ten to Men on 1800 019 606 or please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MULTIMEDIA
VIDEO

Ten to Men: What we've learned






RECENT MEDIA

July 18, 2017 - Herald Sun
Tradesmen and men working ‘masculine’ jobs at highest risk of suicide
(paywall link)

April 20, 2017 - MEL Magazine

Making Sense of Why Western Men Are So Much More Likely to Kill Themselves

March 21, 2017 - Pursuit

Men’s Self-Reliance Linked To Risk Of Self-Harm

December 2016 - The Healthy Male (Andrology Australia)
Ten to Men: the Australian longitudinal study on male health (page 5)

November 25, 2016 - Mumbrella
More men likely to seek help after seeing ABC’s ‘Man Up’ series, research finds

November 1, 2016 - Western Alliance
Western Alliance In Brief – Men’s Health

October 8, 2016 - Sydney Morning Herald
'Self-reliant' men more likely to have suicidal thoughts, researchers find

April 2016 - Partyline - Issue #55 (Magazine of the National Rural Health Alliance)
Investigating male health in regional and rural Australia (pages 54 -55)

2016 - Mengage
The University of Melbourne: Ten to Men The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health


 

Man offering Ten to Men survey