Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Background: Men can be hard to reach with face-to-face health-related information, while increasingly, research shows that they are seeking health information from online sources. Recognizing this trend, there is merit in developing innovative online knowledge translation (KT) strategies capable of translating research on men’s health into engaging health promotion materials. While the concept of KT has become a new mantra for researchers wishing to bridge the gap between research evidence and improved health outcomes, little is written about the process, necessary skills, and best practices by which researchers can develop online knowledge translation. Objective: Our aim was to illustrate some of the processes and challenges involved in, and potential value of, developing research knowledge online to promote men’s health. Methods: We present experiences of KT across two case studies of men’s health. First, we describe a study that uses interactive Web apps to translate knowledge relating to Canadian men’s depression. Through a range of mechanisms, study findings were repackaged with the explicit aim of raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with men’s depression and/or help-seeking. Second, we describe an educational resource for teenage men about unintended pregnancy, developed for delivery in the formal Relationship and Sexuality Education school curricula of Ireland, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), and South Australia. The intervention is based around a Web-based interactive film drama entitled “If I Were Jack”. Results: For each case study, we describe the KT process and strategies that aided development of credible and well-received online content focused on men’s health promotion. In both case studies, the original research generated the inspiration for the interactive online content and the core development strategy was working with a multidisciplinary team to develop this material through arts-based approaches. In both cases also, there is an acknowledgment of the need for gender and culturally sensitive information. Both aimed to engage men by disrupting stereotypes about men, while simultaneously addressing men through authentic voices and faces. Finally, in both case studies we draw attention to the need to think beyond placement of content online to delivery to target audiences from the outset. Conclusions: The case studies highlight some of the new skills required by academics in the emerging paradigm of translational research and contribute to the nascent literature on KT. Our approach to online KT was to go beyond dissemination and diffusion to actively repackage research knowledge through arts-based approaches (videos and film scripts) as health promotion tools, with optimal appeal, to target male audiences. Our findings highlight the importance of developing a multidisciplinary team to inform the design of content, the importance of adaptation to context, both in terms of the national implementation context and consideration of gender-specific needs, and an integrated implementation and evaluation framework in all KT work.

Document Type

Journal Article

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