Men’s sheds and other gendered interventions for older men: Improving health and wellbeing. A systematic review and scoping of the evidence base. Report for the Liverpool-Lancaster Collaborative (LiLaC) and Age UK.


Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Dowrick C, Hanratty B, Irwin P, Milligan C, Neary D, Payne S, Richardson D

Year of Publication:
2013

Publisher(s):
Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research

Publication Type:
Report

Abstract:

A systematic review was undertaken, to examine the effects of Men’s Sheds and other gendered interventions on older men’s physical and mental health and social wellbeing.

The aims of this study were to summarise evidence for the effectiveness of Sheds and other gendered social activity interventions for older men at influencing health and wellbeing; identify effective components of a Shed and other gendered interventions; synthesise theory on the likely process of change; and review outcome measures used in studies to assess health and wellbeing.

Twenty five studies met the inclusion criteria, 15 for Men in Sheds and 11 for other gendered interventions. There was considerable heterogeneity in the outcome measures used across these studies. Most studies were qualitative and/or had small sample sizes.

These studies provided limited evidence that involvement in Men’s Sheds or other gendered interventions has a significant effect on the physical health of older men. There was some evidence on a positive effect on the mental health of older men, although this was largely based on self-report from participants. There was also some evidence of the beneficial effects of interventions on older men’s social wellbeing, although this is limited by conceptual imprecision. Finally, there was limited evidence about the acceptability, accessibility and effectiveness of Men in Sheds or other gendered interventions for older men from differing backgrounds, or with specific health conditions.

The interpretive data synthesis indicated that the beneficial effects of Men in Sheds are likely to be mediated through reductions in social inclusion and isolation, with voluntary participation leading to the building of friendships, strengthening of social networks and providing a sense of purpose and identity.

Links between social activity, health and wellbeing exist, but directions of causality are not established. However, qualitative research provides insights into the workings of social capital, including the re-creation of masculinity post-retirement. Men’s Sheds and other gendered interventions may play a vital and valued part in the lives of some older men, including promoting ‘health by stealth’. However there is an urgent need for high quality research to provide evidence for potential funders and guidance for good practice.



Evidence Type: Systematic Review

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Older Adults

Art Forms: Crafts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Milligan, C., Dowrick, C., Payne, S., Hanratty, B., Irwin, P., Neary, D., & Richardson, D. (2013). Men’s sheds and other gendered interventions for older men: Improving health and wellbeing. A systematic review and scoping of the evidence base. Report for the Liverpool-Lancaster Collaborative (LiLaC) and Age UK. Lancaster University: Centre for Ageing Research