Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

A participatory action research process with a rural Indigenous men's group: monitoring and reinforcing change

Komla Tsey, Mark Wenitong, Janya McCalman, Mary Whiteside, Leslie Baird, David Patterson, Bradley Baird, Ruth Fagan, Yvonne Cadet-James and Andrew Wilson

Australian Journal of Primary Health 10(3) 130 - 136
Published: 2004

Abstract

Since 2001 a team of academic researchers and medical practitioners have been collaborating with Yarrabah Men?s Health Group leaders to implement a participatory action research (PAR) process designed to support the men to (in their own words) ?take their rightful place? in contemporary Australian society. The formative stages of the PAR process and progress over the first 12 months have been documented in previous papers in order to provide much needed direction for others interested in undertaking similar community action-oriented research (Tsey, Patterson, Whiteside, Baird, & Baird, 2002; Tsey et al., 2004). The present paper addresses the need for innovative evaluation methodologies to enable participants in the PAR process to monitor and reinforce the small improvement they are making towards achieving their goals, and to maintain their vision for the future. Participation in men?s group activities resulted in modest but significant change in the men?s personal development and growth and in their response to family responsibilities. Men had the opportunity to dialogue and reflect on their gender responsibilities such as housework, which constitutes a major source of conflict in the family. Several men also gained the confidence and motivation to stand for local government. The study highlights the value of demystifying and making research more relevant to people?s day-to-day living experiences.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY04057

© La Trobe University 2004


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