June 14, 2022

Men’s Health Week

International Men’s Health Week is celebrated every year in the middle of June. It is an important opportunity to highlight the importance of men’s health, and to promote and support the health and wellbeing of men and boys in our communities.

The theme of Men’s Health Week 2022 is Building Healthy Environments for Men and Boys – focusing on creating physically, mentally and emotionally healthy environments in the home, workplace and in social settings.

Northern Health’s dedicated Men’s Health Physiotherapy Clinic opened its doors on Wednesday, 23 February 2022, and has been running out of the Epping, Bundoora and Broadmeadows campuses.

Ryan Hon, Men’s Health Physiotherapist, who sees patients together with Catherine Duffy, Continence and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, explained the service is now up and running with two clinics per week at Northern Hospital Epping. The service is supported by Dennis Gyomber, Divisional Director Surgery and Urologist, as well as his colleagues in Urology.

“The clinic aims to help patients who are on the Urology waiting list. Since the clinic opened, we have seen a steady overall reduction in the numbers of patients on the waiting list, in particular men with scrotal and testicular pain,” he explains.

Some of the most common problems men presented to this clinic with include musculoskeletal and pelvic pain, lower urinary tract symptoms, incontinence or voiding dysfunction and bowel dysfunctions such as urgency. The clinic aims to improve patients’ understanding of their condition, the contributing factors, as well as the self-management options to help improve their quality of life.

Ryan says the team recently received an unexpected referral externally from a GP, and sees potential for program expansion to external referrers, once the current pilot program is evaluated.

“Patients have generally indicated satisfaction with our services, in knowing there are other contributing factors to their problem and what they can do to help themselves. Patients receive an online health survey at the commencement of their treatment and subsequent surveys will be conducted at week six and week 12. Results so far have shown improvement in patient reported outcome measures – we are pleased with these outcomes,” he adds.

Lauren Chandler, Urology Nurse Consultant, says the clinic sees predominantly young men who have been referred to urology services and added to our wait list. Lauren supports Ryan in managing the clinic and works on its integration with the Urology Unit, expanding the offer at Northern Health.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Northern Health to integrate physiotherapy with urology services, in particular addressing men with pelvic pain. We are also actively promoting men to see their GP and speak up about their health and get referred to the service if they need advice,” she said.

Featured image: Lauren Chandler and Ryan Hon.