Can lifestyle interventions improve Canadian men's mental health? Outcomes from the HAT TRICK programme



Sharp P, Stolp S, Bottorff JL, Oliffe JL, Hunt K & Caperchione CM (2021) Can lifestyle interventions improve Canadian men's mental health? Outcomes from the HAT TRICK programme. Health Promotion International, 36 (4), pp. 943-951.

Engaging men in mental health promotion can be difficult because of reticence about help-seeking, especially for gender neutral programmes. Developments in men’s health research has pointed to the success of gender-sensitized programmes to increase men’s engagement in healthy lifestyle interventions targeting physical activity and healthy eating; however, less is known about the impact of these interventions on men’s mental health. This study explored changes to men’s depression risk and health-related quality of life at post-intervention (12 weeks) and 9-month follow-up, after participating in HAT TRICK, a gender-sensitized lifestyle intervention for overweight men. Participants completed validated self-report measures of mental health at baseline, post-intervention (12 weeks) and 9-month follow-up. Men’s scores on the Male Depression Risk Scale (MDRS) and the SF-12 questionnaire, including physical health (PH12) and mental health (MH12) composite scores, were analyzed using mixed linear models to assess linear trends. At baseline, men (N = 62) had a mean age of 50.98 (SD = 10.09) years and BMI of 35.87 (SD = 5.51) kg/m2. Results show that both the MDRS and the MH12 showed improvements in participants’ mental health, with significant linear trends (p = 0.003; p = 0.003) qualified with significant quadratic trends over time (p = 0.02; p = 0.03). There were no significant changes in the PH12 over time. Gender-sensitized programmes for overweight men, such as HAT TRICK, are a promising approach to positively influence components of men’s mental health, with the potential for sustained improvements over the long term.

men; lifestyle intervention; depression risk; quality of life; physical activity

Health Promotion International: Volume 36, Issue 4

Publication date31/08/2021
Publication date online27/11/2020
Date accepted by journal28/09/2020

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Professor Kate Hunt

Professor Kate Hunt

Professor, Institute for Social Marketing