The DUDES Club

The DUDES Club is a community-based health promotion program largely for indigenous men in established in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC, in 2010. This example is relevant for countries working with Indigenous populations and interested in improving health literacy among vulnerable communities.


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The DUDES Club is a community-based health promotion program largely for indigenous men in established in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC, in 2010. The Club aims to build solidarity and brotherhood among vulnerable men; to promote health through education, dialogue, and health screening clinics; and to help men regain a sense of pride and fulfilment in theirlives. Three pilot sites were also established in northern British Columbia.

Biweekly drop-in meetings are a safe place for men to lose their defences, be vulnerable, and open up to one another, as well as to socialize and to improve their health literacy and peer support skills.The men socialize and participate in various casual activities, followed by a hot meal. An interactive health discussion is then facilitated by a health care worker (mostly physicians, but occasionally a nurse or social worker). This allows men to ask questions about their health and to improve their health literacy and peer-support skills.As a large percentage of the members are indigenous, the club strives to create cultura lsafety by including indigenous perspectives such as medicine wheel teachings, regular participation of elders, and bringing in health care professionals who provide a culturally safe context for indigenous people.

Gender Responsiveness Assessment Scale (GRAS) and the elements of good practice for gender mainstreaming (GM) used

Gender-specific.The approach considers men’s specific needs by providing a non-threateningand inclusive space and intentionally targets Indigenous men with a view to largely improving their health literacy to improve use of preventive and promotion services.

In 2014-2015, the DUDES Club was evaluated by 150 men and responses were analyzed based on the four dimensions of the indigenous medicine wheel (mental,physical, emotional, and spiritual). Evaluation results demonstrated high participant satisfaction and positive outcomes across all 4 dimensions of health and wellbeing: 90.6% of respondents indicated that the DUDES Club program improved their quality of life. Participants who attended meetings more often experienced greater physical, mental, and socialbenefits (P < .05). In addition, older men can successfully engage in health care services when they are relevant, non-threatening, and guided with direct input from members. The evaluation indicated that men attend meetings because of the health information provided and that the men’s-only aspect is a unique feature of the health promotion program.

Another aspect of good practice is culturally responsiveprogramming and using peer-mentoring, particularlythe older Indigenous men mentoring the younger men.



Potential challenges include while the clubs improve health serviceuse, they may not address upstream causes of poorer health outcomes and upstream determinants of health.

Relevant to countries who are interested in

Making health promotion and prevention services more accessible to groups of men who are disadvantaged with a focus on improving their health knowledge and literacy to make use of existing services, in particular Indigenous men. It is a nexample of an evaluated healt hpromotion program that might be adapted for uptake in different country contexts.

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