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Asking for Help with a Men's Health Study

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    Asking for Help with a Men's Health Study

    My name is Shaun Burns, Ph.D. and I am working with James Mahalik, Ph.D., Sigmund Hough, Ph.D., ABPP/rp, and Sunil Sabharwal, M.D. researching issues that affect the health and adjustment of men living with spinal cord injuries. I am writing the listserv to ask for men living with spinal cord injuries to participate in an online research study. I would like to learn something about the factors influencing the adjustment and health of men living with spinal cord injuries.

    I am asking all men on this listserv living with a spinal cord injury to participate in this study.

    In the study, you will not be asked to give any identifying information; your participation is entirely anonymous. You will not be contacted in any way following your participation in the survey. You will not be asked to buy anything or to sign up for any membership. You are only being asked to complete the on-line survey and nothing else.

    If you decide to take part, you will be asked to complete some questions about your adjustment, support available to you, your attitudes about men and masculinity, your physical well-being, and your sexual activity/interest. The survey takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. If you agree to participate, I ask that you complete all questionnaire materials, though you may quit and end your participation at any time. The survey can be completed online at:

    There will be no cost to you for participating in this study. Although there is no direct benefit to you for participating, I hope that the knowledge you provide during this project may help improve the treatment and education of men living with spinal cord injuries in the future. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by e-mail at if you have any questions about the study.

    In closing, thank you for your willingness to consider participating in this survey. I believe that answering these types of questions can give men living with spinal cord injuries a voice in issues affecting their quality of life. Please feel free to share the web-site address of the survey with other men who you think would be willing to help us better understand the health and adjustment of men living with spinal cord injuries.

    Shaun Burns, Ph.D.
    Post-Doctoral Fellow
    VA Boston Healthcare System
    Harvard Medical School/Boston University School of Medicine
    1400 VFW Parkway
    West Roxbury, MA 02132

    Done. Will we be able to see the results somewhere, sometime?


      Here is what I think of focus groups and studies:



        I started the survey out of curiosity but I had to bail -- the number of questions/items seemed interminable, not to mention mind-numbingly redundant.

        I was in a counseling psych doctoral program (the researcher, Dr. Shaun's degree -- he wrote his dissertation on quality of life issues for men with prostate cancer) and this survey was a reminder of much of what turned me off about the profession. Research focus aside, it would really behoove researchers to design measurement instruments that actually engage the respondent. I found the language in this survey to be painfully dry, inspiring very little if any meaningful self-reflection. I asked myself "Where is it heading? What possible new information might it possibly yield?" I doubt very much. Moreover, there was nothing in the Informed Consent verbiage that offers any clue as to why data is being sought, let alone how it might be beneficially applied to SCI men.

        But post-doc internships must be earned, I suppose, to advance one's career. Doing what, contributing what, exactly, I'm not the least be sure about. Judging from his dissertation, which didn't move the ball down the field all that much, I'm not inspired by this next research project either.