Investigating the impact of creative activities in the context of men’s sexual and urological health

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About the project

The arts are recognised as improving the sense of mental, psychological, social and physical wellbeing, and promoting social engagement. The more cultural activities participants attend, the better their self-rated health.

This research considers the impact of creative activities in the context of men’s sexual and urological health, how such activities support them and the effect upon outcomes. There is plentiful evidence in the field of healthcare to suggest that creative activities may be of relevance to men's health. The research will explore the views of men experiencing urological difficulties in the context of the arts, in order to gain insights for the future development of a creative activities intervention. The research is broad and will be addressed using various qualitative approaches with participants from a prostate cancer support group.

Research aims

  • To understand the views of men currently living with a prostate cancer diagnosis about the concept of arts interventions for the improvement of their wellbeing, including their views on priorities for intervention (pre-diagnosis, during treatment etc.) and the nature of intervention.
  • To engage with clinicians and artists to construct a set of design features/priorities for an arts intervention which could be implemented and evaluated in future research.

Examples of successful interventions in the field of men’s urological and sexual health include recent work with young people using theatre-based interventions. These have proven particularly successful in relation to adolescent sexual health. Theatre has also been utilised as a creative way of uncovering the challenges faced by men with erectile dysfunction and their partners. The play explored the emotional journey taken by a couple experiencing difficulties with their sexual relationship. The main purpose of the performance was to help professionals communicate erectile dysfunction issues to patients. An alternative channel for narratives around sexual health is humour. Provided it is appropriately framed, this provides a useful platform for engagement, as laughter about fears and taboos offers a stage for exploring concerns.

This project is a collaboration with Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust. To meet the research team, see below.


Research team