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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 573.
Published online 2012 July 30. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-573
PMCID: PMC3490730

The experiences of women of reproductive age regarding health-promoting behaviours: A qualitative study

Abstract

Background

Health promotion is critical for community and family health. Health-promoting behaviours provide solutions for maintaining and promoting health. Although several studies have addressed the frequency and different types of health-promoting behaviours in women, little information is available about their experiences. This study aimed to explore the experiences of women of reproductive age regarding health-promoting behaviours.

Methods

In the present study, which was conducted in Tehran, Iran, 15 females, who were selected purposefully, participated in individual in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using conventional content analysis.

Results

Nine main categories were derived from the analysis, including establishing an appropriate eating pattern, establishing a balanced rest/activity pattern, spirituality, stress management, personal sensitivity and responsibility, establishing an appropriate pattern of social interactions, practicing safe and healthy recreations, feeling improvement in physical-functional health, and feeling improvement in emotional and psychological health. The first 7 categories represent the nature and types of real health-promoting behaviours in women of reproductive age, whereas the last 2 constitute feeling and understanding of the implementation of these behaviours.

Conclusion

The study findings show that the women experience improvement in physical-functional, emotional, and psychological health by implementing health-promoting behaviours. It is therefore necessary to introduce strategies in the context of the community culture for improving different aspects of health-promoting behaviours in women of reproductive age to maintain and improve their overall health.

Keywords: Experience of health promoting behaviours, Women of reproductive age, Qualitative study

Articles from BMC Public Health are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central