An effective response to health problems is completely dependent upon the capacities of the health system in providing timely and valid information to take action. This study was designed to identify various reasons from various perspectives for underreporting disease by physicians in the private sector in big cities in developing countries setting.
In this qualitative study, we used focus group discussions (16 manager), and in-depth semi-structured interviews
Themes were classified in 6 categories: Infrastructure and legal issues, the priority of disease reporting, workflow processes, motivation and attitude, human resources and knowledge and awareness. As the main reasons of under reporting, most physicians pointed out complicacy in reporting process and inadequate attention by the public sector. Managers emphasized instituting legal incentives and penalties. Experts focused on physicians’ knowledge and expressed a need for continuing medical education programs.
Independent interventions will have little chance of success and sustainability. Different intervention programs should consider legal issues, attitude and knowledge of physicians in the private sector, and building a simple reporting process for physicians. Intervention programs in which the reporting process offers incentives for all stakeholders can help improving and sustaining the disease reporting system.
Iran; notification; public health practice; reporting
Physical activity is important for adolescent health. The current study aimed to explore factors that predict physical activity among adolescents.
This was a cross-sectional study of physical activity among a sample of adolescents in Tabriz, Iran. Information on physical activity was collected using a modified version of the Adolescent Physical Activity and Recall Questionnaire (APARQ). In addition, a self-administrated questionnaire was used to collect data on demographic characteristics, perceived family support, and self-efficacy. Both univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between physical activity and independent variables including gender and psychosocial predictors.
In all, 402 students were studied. The mean age of adolescents was 12.93 (SD=0.49) years; 51.5% were female. The mean time of moderate and vigorous physical activity for all adolescents was 44.64 (SD=23.24) Metabolic Equivalent (MET) min per day. This figure for female adolescents was 38.77 (SD=19.94) MET min per day and for males it was 50.87 (SD=24.88) (P<0.001). The results obtained from multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that female gender (OR=2.59, 95% CI=1.46–4.57, P=0.001) and poor family support (OR=1.10, 95% CI=1.03–1.20, P=0.038) were the most significant contributing factors to low level physical activity in adolescents. Other variables studied did not show any significant results.
The findings from the current study indicated that female adolescents were at risk of lower level of physical activity. In addition, it was found that the lack of family support represented an increased risk for low-level physical activity. It seems that family support should be an integrated part of any health education/promotion programs for improving physical activity among young adolescents in general and for female adolescents in particular.
adolescent health; physical activity; family support; Asia; Iran
The prevalence of smoking among adolescents varies in different parts of the world. The current study aims to survey the socio-demographic and family characteristics related to adolescent lifetime cigarette smoking among 1201 Iranian adolescents aged 15-18 years old.
This study is a population-based cross-sectional survey conducted using the multistage random cluster sampling method in Tehran, Iran in the summer of 2010.
The prevalence of lifetime cigarette use amongst boys (30.2%) was about 1.5 times that of girls (22.2%), (p=0.002). Older age, low parental control, very little parental supervision in the adolescent’s selection of friends, and having a friend or family member who smokes were associated with lifetime cigarette use among male adolescents. Moreover, the use of verbal punishment by the parents was a protective factor for female lifetime cigarette use. Smoking has become one of the great health threats among Iranian adolescents.
As a result, health promotion programs should be gender based whilst educational and interventional programs for preventing tobacco use should begin before adolescence.
Adolescent; Smoking; Cigarette; Family behavior; Tehran; Iran
Studies indicate that becoming a mother is accompanied by prominent physical, social, and psychological changes which can affect not only mother's psychological healthiness, but also all other aspects of her personal and family life.
The purpose of this research was to explore the struggles experienced by Iranian first-time mothers in adapting to their maternal role between 0 and 1 year after giving birth.
Materials and Methods:
A qualitative design was used in this study. Twenty-one first-time mothers with diverse ethnic backgrounds were recruited in their home or healthcare centers in Tehran and Ahwaz. Data collected through in-depth interviews were analyzed by qualitative content analysis.
The analysis produced four themes: “Unpreparedness,” “lack of control,” “incomplete maternal feelings,” and “unstable relations.” The main theme, “internal conflict,” integrates all other categories and encapsulates the major changes to which women are subjected, as well as the factors distressing this experience.
Discrepancies between subjective expectations and postnatal experiences take an influential role in causing postpartum conflict and strain. The more accurate information mothers and families have about this transitory stage, the better they can get prepared to deal with it. This specifies the pivotal role of midwives, midwifery educators, and healthcare policy makers in incorporating these concepts into training programs and protocols of healthcare and support services in due time, form, and content that is in accordance with mothers’ mental and psychological needs.
Conflict; Iran; mother; role adaptation
This study was carried out to detect the prevalence of child abuse in three domains of physical, psychological and neglect among elementary school aged children of Qazvin Province, Iran.
In this descriptive-analytic and cross-sectional study, 1028 elementary school aged children of Qazvin Province selected through multistage cluster sampling were assessed for child abuse in all domains, except for sexual abuse through a researcher-made questionnaire. The questionnaire was standardized for validity and reliability. Gathered data was statistically analyzed and P-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Out of 1028 studied children, including 540 (52.5%) boys and 488 (47.5%) girls 679 (66.05%) cases declared at least one type of child abuse. The number of positive cases for each domain of emotional, physical and neglect was 618 (60.1%), 360 (35%) and 394 (38.3%) respectively. No significance was seen regarding the gender and/or regions of living in any of the domains and total prevalence.
Regarding the results of this study which showed a prevalence rate of 66% for child abuse; and since there are strong association between child maltreatment and its impacts in juvenile and adulthood periods in the forms of offending, mental health concerns such as suicide and homicide, substance abuse, school failure, employment difficulties, teenage pregnancy, adult attachment difficulties, family violence, intergenerational violence and so on, appropriate education to the parents, and the punishment laws for child abuse is recommended.
Child Abuse; Child Maltreatment; Emotional Disturbances; Child Neglect; Violence; Iran
Nearly three decades ago, the Master of Public Health (MPH) academic degree was introduced to Tehran University of Medical Sciences’ School of Public Health, Tehran, Iran. A new program for simultaneous education of medical, pharmaceutical and dental students was initiated in 2006. Talented students had the opportunity to study MPH simultaneously. There were some concerns about this kind of admission; as to whether these students who were not familiar with the health system had the appropriate attitude and background for this field of education. And with the present rate of brain drain, is this just a step towards their immigration without the fulfillment of public health?
This qualitative study was conducted in 2012 where 26 students took part in focused group discussions and individual interviews. The students were questioned about their motivation and the program’s impact on their future career. The participants’ statements were analyzed using thematic analysis.
The primary motivations of students who entered this program were: learning health knowledge related issues, gaining a perspective beyond clinical practice, obtaining a degree to strengthen their academic résumé, immigration, learning academic research methods and preparing for the management of health systems in the future.
Apparently, there was no considerable difference between the motivation of students and the program planners. The students’ main motivation for studying MPH was a combination of various interests in research and health sciences issues. Therefore, considering the potential of this group of students, effective academic investment on MPH can have positive impact.
Curriculum; Graduate; Administration; Public health; Education; Iran
Knowledge products such as clinical practice guidelines (CPG) are vitally required for evidence-based medicine (EBM). Although the EBM, to some extent, has been attended during recent years, no result has achieved thus far. The current qualitative study is to identify the barriers to establishing development system and implementation of CPGs in Iran.
Twelve semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of health policy and decision makers, the experts of development and or adaptation of CPGs, and the experts of EBM education and development. In addition, 11 policy-makers, decision-makers, and managers of the health system participated in a focus group discussion. The analysis of the study data was undertaken by thematic framework approach.
Six themes emerged in order of their frequency include practice environment, evidence-based health care system, individual professional, politician and political context, innovation (CPG) and patients. Most of the indications in the treatment environment focused on such sub-themes as regulations and rules, economical factors, organizational context, and social context.
While the barriers related to the conditions of treatment environment, service provider and the features of innovation and patients had been identified before in other studies, very little attention has been paid to the evidence-based health care system and politician and political context
The lack of an evidence-based healthcare system and a political macro support are mentioned as the key barriers in Iran as a developing country. The establishment of a system of development and implementation of CPGs as the evidence-based practice tools will not be possible, unless the barriers are removed.
Barriers; clinical practice guideline; development; health care system; implementation; qualitative study
Clinical guidelines have increasingly been used as tools for applying new knowledge and research findings. Although, efforts have been made to produce clinical guidelines in Iran, it is not clear whether they have been used by physicians and what factors are associated with them?.
Four hundred and forty three practicing physicians in Tehran were selected from private clinics through weighted random sampling. The data collection tool was a questionnaire on familiarity and attitude toward clinical guidelines. The descriptive and analytical findings were analyzed with t-tests, Chi2, logistic and linear multivariate regression by SPSS, version 16.
31.8% of physicians were familiar with clinical guidelines. Based on the logistic regression model physicians’ familiarity with clinical guidelines was positively and significantly associated with ‘working experience in a health service delivery point’ OR = 2.13 (95% CI, 1.17-3.90), ‘familiarity with therapeutic protocols’ OR = 2.09 (95% CI, 1.22-3.57) and ‘holding a specialty degree’ OR = 2.51 (95% CI, 1.24-5.07). The mean overall attitude scores in the ‘usefulness’, ‘reliability’, and ‘problems and barriers’ domains were, respectively, 78.9 (SD = 16.5), 78.9 (SD = 19.7) and 50.4 (SD = 15.9) out of a total of 100 scores in each domain. No significant association was observed between attitude domains and other independent variables using multivariate linear regression.
Little familiarity with clinical guidelines may represent weakness in of production and distribution of domestic evidence. Although, physicians considered guidelines as useful and reliable tools, but problems such as difficult access to guidelines and lack of facilities to apply them were stated as well.
Attitude; clinical guidelines; evidence-based medicine; physician
Alcohol and other drugs use is a problem among adolescents leading to numerous physical, social, and educational damages.
For determining the prevalence of alcohol and other substance use as well as the factors associated with the experience of alcohol use in adolescents.
Patients and Methods
This is a population-based and cross-sectional study, which was conducted in August 2010 on adolescents aged 15–18 years in Tehran. Data were collected by a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) in 1,201 adolescents. The multistage cluster sampling method was used. Questions belonging to the domain of alcohol and other substance use were analyzed.
In general, 15.1% of adolescents had experienced alcohol, which is significantly higher in boys (21.9%) compared to girls (8.4%) (P = 0.000). 3.1% of adolescents had experience using opium and marijuana. 5.6% had used ecstasy. The results of multivariate logistic regression indicated that low parental control rather than medium control [AOR: 0.09], lifetime cigarette use [AOR: 10.41], having a tobacco user friend [AOR: 4.36], and having an alcohol user friend [AOR: 5.84] are factors that are significantly related to the experience of alcohol use in female adolescents. In addition, studying in private schools rather than public schools [AOR: 3.46], lifetime cigarette use [AOR: 3.41], lifetime water pipe use [AOR: 4.43], experience of sexual activity [AOR: 8.52], having an alcohol user friend [AOR: 12.60], and having a water pipe user in family [AOR: 2.98] are factors that are significantly related to the experience of alcohol use in male adolescents.
We recommend interventional plans based gender aimed at improving adolescent health with regard substance abuse.
Alcohol Drinking; Prevalence; Adolescent; Iran
Intention to smoking is a strong predictor of future smoking behavior. The aim of this study is identifying the personal, environmental, and psychological factors relating to intention to smoking in adolescents of Tabriz city (Northwest of Iran).
Four thousand nine hundred and three (4903) students were randomly selected and completed a self-administered questionnaire about cigarette smoking, intention to smoking, and the related risk factors through multi-stage sampling. The association of independent variables with intention to smoking was evaluated using the multi-variable logistic regression model.
The mean age of student was 15.7 ± 0.73 years, and 42.9% of the samples were male. The results showed that 95.0% of students were in committer stage (students who had never smoked and were sure never start smoking). Having general risk-taking behavior (OR = 2.90; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.21-6.97), smoker in the family (OR = 2.60; 95% CI: 1.20-5.61), and positive attitude towards cigarette smoking (OR = 1.30; 95% CI: 1.18-1.43) had statistically significant association with intention to start smoking in future.
Majority of non-smokers have firm decision to not start smoking in the future. Having general risk-taking behavior, smoker in the family, and positive attitude towards smoking are associated with intention to smoking in adolescents.
Adolescents; attitude to smoking; intention to smoking; risk-taking behavior; smoking stages
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimation, more than half of all pharmaceutical products are inappropriately prescribed, distributed, and sold and more than half of all patients use the medicines prescribed for them incorrectly. As more than 40% of therapeutic costs are pharmaceutical costs, this implies a significant waste of health resources in the world.
To find effective factors in irrational prescription of corticosteroids in Iran and design suitable interventions to decrease prescription rates of corticosteroids.
Materials and Methods
A qualitative study was performed in 2009 on fifteen general practitioners in two groups identified by high and low corticosteroid prescription rates. Data analysis was performed by thematic analysis and the study's validity was based on training interviewers, use of interview guide, avoidance of imposing opinions, coding by two independent persons and use of all opinions obtained in the analysis.
The effective factors in irrational prescription of corticosteroids can be divided into four categories: lack of knowledge, patient-physician relationship in terms of monetary cost, poor availability of proper alternative medicines and weak supervision of regulatory bodies. As the same results were found in both groups regarding the role of regulatory organizations and availability of alternative medicines, it seems that interventions in knowledge and the patient-physician relationship which were different in the two groups can be more effective for reduction of prescription in high rate prescribers although intervention in regulatory supervision and medicine availability could have a moderate effect in both groups. In addition the common feature in all the above categories was the gap between knowledge and actual practice which is significant on three regulatory levels, supervisors, physicians and patients, and should be noted for intervention design.
The interventions applied in other countries can also be effective in decreasing irrational prescription of corticosteroids in Iran. These interventions include: standard clinical guidelines, essential medicines list, practical workshops, purposeful training based on problem-solving, training of all parties including pharmacists and patients, improved regulatory mechanisms, availability of assured quality medicines, availability of suitable alternatives to painkillers and realistic rational prescription policy.
Inappropriate Prescriptions; Corticosteroids; Qualitative Research
In this study, we aimed to assess the association between air pollution and cerebrovascular complications in Tehran, one of the most air-polluted cities in the world, among different subgroups of patients with stroke in 2004.
In this ecologic study, we calculated the daily average levels of different air pollutants including CO, NOX, SO2, O3, and PM10 and also humidity and temperature on the day of stroke and 48 hours prior to stroke in 1 491 patients admitted with the diagnosis of stroke in eight referral hospitals in different areas of Tehran. Then, we evaluated the association between the rate of stroke admissions and the level of the selected pollutants, humidity, and temperature on the day of stroke and 48 hours prior to stroke among different subgroups of patients.
There was no significant association between the same-day level of the pollutants and the rate of stroke admissions, but an association was seen for their level 48 hours before stroke. These associations differed among different subgroups of age, sex, history of underlying diseases, and type of stroke. Same-day temperature had a reverse association in patients with hemorrhagic stroke and in patients without a history of heart disease or previous stroke. A direct significant association was seen for humidity level 48 hours before stroke in patients with a history of heart disease.
It is inferred that air pollution has a direct association with the incidence of stroke and these association differs among different subgroups of patients. The results of this study are not time-dependant and can be generalized to different times and regions. Moreover, these results may be useful for environmental health policy makers.
Air pollution; cerebrovascular complications; CO; humidity; NOx; O3; PM10; SO2; temperature; Tehran
Social support is an exchange of resources between at least two individuals perceived by the provider or recipient to be intended to promote the health of the recipient. Social support is a major determinant of health. The objective of this study was to determine the perceived social support and its associated sociodemographic factors among women of reproductive age.
This was a population-based cross-sectional study with multistage random cluster sampling of 1359 women of reproductive age. Data were collected using questionnaires on sociodemographic factors and perceived social support (PRQ85-Part 2). The relationship between the dependent variable (perceived social support) and the independent variables (sociodemographic characteristics) was analyzed using the multivariable linear regression model.
The mean score of social support was 134.3 ± 17.9. Women scored highest in the “worth” dimension and lowest in the “social integration” dimension. Multivariable linear regression analysis indicated that the variables of education, spouse’s occupation, Sufficiency of income for expenses and primary support source were significantly related to the perceived social support.
Sociodemographic factors affect social support and could be considered in planning interventions to improve social support for Iranian women.
Although liver transplantation is the last resort for treating end stage liver diseases, this medical procedure is not available for all needful patients because of inadequate organ supply. Therefore, guidelines have been developed by medical experts to regulate the process. Some professionals believe that medical criteria are inadequate for organ allocation in all situations and may not secure fairness of organ allocation.
The current study has been designed to identify decision criteria about allocation of donated liver to potential recipients from public points of view.
Patients and Methods
This is a qualitative study that was conducted through individual interviews and Focus Group Discussions. Individual interviews were conducted among patients’ companions and nurses in one of the two liver transplant centers in Iran. Group discussions were conducted among groups of ordinary people who had not dealt previously with the subject. Data was analyzed by Thematic Analysis method.
Most of the participants in this study believe that in equal medical conditions, some individual and societal criteria could be used to prioritize patients for receiving donated livers. The criteria include psychological acceptance, ability to pay post-operative care costs, being breadwinner of the family, family support, being socially valued, ability to be instructed, lack of mental disorders, young age of the recipient, being on waiting list for a long time, lack of patient’s role in causing the illness, first time transplant recipient, critical medical condition, high success rate of transplantation, lack of concurrent medical illnesses, not being an inmate at the time of receiving transplant, and bearing Iranian nationality.
Taking public opinion into consideration may smooth the process of organ allocation to needful patients with equal medical conditions. It seems that considering these viewpoints in drafting organ allocation guidelines may increase confidence of the society to the equity of organ allocation in the country. This strategy may also persuade people to donate organs particularly after death.
Liver Transplantation; Resource Allocation; Decision Making; Public Opinion
“Caregiver Burden” is actually an expression addressing the adverse consequences of the care provided to the patients’ with dementia. Review of the previous studies reveals a higher rate of depression and anxiety among the caregivers as compared to the general population. This study has been designed to evaluate the caregiver burden and then the factors influencing it among caregivers of patients with dementia in Iran.
In this cross-sectional study, 153 patients and their caregivers registered in the Memory Clinic in Roozbeh Hospital and Iranian Alzheimer Association (IAA) were included. Data collection scales were Iranian Version of Caregiver Burden, Global Deterioration scale and Barthel index. Multiple linear regression model was applied to determine the factors influencing the caregiver burden.
Out of the 153 patients, 90 were male. The mean age calculated for the patients and the caregivers was 77.1 and 53, respectively. The mean of caregiver burden was 55.2. Three variables, gender (P<0.01), education of the patient (P<0.005 for illiterate patients), and the patient's dependence on the caregiver for his/her daily tasks (P<0.000)) were correlated with a high level of burden on the caregiver. The recommended model explains 0.664% of the variance of the outcome variable.
Presence of either moderate or higher levels of burden (58-116) in more than 50% of the caregivers of these patients’ highlights the need for more attention from health policy makers in Iran. Promoting the level of caregivers’ quality of life along with enabling the patients in performing their daily tasks in order to reduce the imposed burden on caregivers’ is recommended.
Dementia; caregivers; burden; family caregivers; elderly people; caregiver burden; Iran
In Iran, admission to medical school is based solely on the results of the highly competitive, nationwide Konkoor examination. This paper examines the predictive validity of Konkoor scores, alone and in combination with high school grade point averages (hsGPAs), for the academic performance of public medical school students in Iran.
This study followed the cohort of 2003 matriculants at public medical schools in Iran from entrance through internship. The predictor variables were Konkoor total and subsection scores and hsGPAs. The outcome variables were (1) Comprehensive Basic Sciences Exam (CBSE) scores; (2) Comprehensive Pre-Internship Exam (CPIE) scores; and (3) medical school grade point averages (msGPAs) for the courses taken before internship. Pearson correlation and regression analyses were used to assess the relationships between the selection criteria and academic performance.
There were 2126 matriculants (1374 women and 752 men) in 2003. Among the outcome variables, the CBSE had the strongest association with the Konkoor total score (r = 0.473), followed by msGPA (r = 0.339) and the CPIE (r = 0.326). While adding hsGPAs to the Konkoor total score almost doubled the power to predict msGPAs (R2 = 0.225), it did not have a substantial effect on CBSE or CPIE prediction.
The Konkoor alone, and even in combination with hsGPA, is a relatively poor predictor of medical students’ academic performance, and its predictive validity declines over the academic years of medical school. Care should be taken to develop comprehensive admissions criteria, covering both cognitive and non-cognitive factors, to identify the best applicants to become "good doctors" in the future. The findings of this study can be helpful for policy makers in the medical education field.
This study aims to identify the differences between Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) and non-IDUs, with regard to some potential factors. This could be useful to design effective interventions for harm reduction, which is one of the priority areas in reducing the burden of addiction.
Sixty cases and 60 controls participated in this pair-matched case-control study, which was conducted in Tehran. The cases were IDUs who were asked to introduce two friends; one IDU and the other non-IDU as the paired control. In addition to demographic variables, onset age of cigarette smoking, dropping out of school, imprisonment, history of being sexually abused for money, and family history of using illegal drugs were obtained from the cases and controls via an interview. Pair Odds Ratio (OR) was estimated through McNemar and conditional multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Eighty-three % of the IDUs and 92% the controls were male. The mean for onset age of cigarette smoking was 16 in the cases and 20 in the controls, which was significantly different between cases and controls (P<0.001).
In the multivariate analysis, dropping out from school was significantly different between cases and controls (OR=4.22 95% CI: 2.23 – 14.0). Imprisonment was more frequent in IDUs compared to non-IDUs (OR=3.70 95% CI: 1.09 – 11.08). The cases had more sexual relationship for earning money compared to the controls (OR=3.14 95% CI: 1.24 – 13.70). Onset age of cigarette smoking was significantly (P<0.001) sooner in the IDUs compared to the non-IDUs (15.9 and 20.1 years, respectively). IDUs reported 5.5 times more that non-IDUs of having an addict in their family (P value=0.04).
The finding of this study can be useful in identifying the persons who are at risk of IDU. Therefore, people who involve with risk factors recognized in this study should be triggered for harm reduction prevention strategies.
Addiction; case control; injection drug use; snowball sampling
Residence characteristics can affect health of residents. This paper reports the development of an instrument assessing these aspects of neighborhoods.
Materials and Methods:
Literature search and focus group discussions with residents were carried out and relevant items were extracted. Five experts reviewed and commented on the items. An observation instrument with 54 items was composed and completed by two independent observers in 20 randomly selected locations. Due to lack of acceptable reliability in some items, the checklist was revised. The new 22-items checklist in four categories (general characteristics, public green area characteristics, access to services and undesirable features) was completed by two independent trained observers in 28 randomly selected locations.
The items in the final checklist had kappa statistics ranging from 0.63 to 1, with an exception of the item assessing “presence of beggars, homeless or working/street children”, with kappa as low as 0.27 due to variability of their presence in different times. Average Kappa statistics was 0.78 for general characteristics, 0.79 for public green area characteristics, 0.84 for access to services, and 0.54 for undesirable features.
Neighborhood and health observation instrument seems to have good reliability in city of Tehran. It can probably be used in other large cities of Iran and similar cities elsewhere.
Health; Iran; reliability; residence characteristics; validity
The purpose of this study is to determine association between personal, family, neighborhood, and social network characteristics and perceived intimacy in the neighborhood by the women.
In this cross-sectional study, we applied a two-stage sampling method to choose a representative sample of 150 married women and housewives, aged 15 to 49 years, who had education between six and twelve years and lived in the urban areas of the Khorasan-e-Razavi province of Iran. Association between personal, family, neighborhood, and social network variables, with the perceived neighborhood intimacy, was assessed through univariate and multiple linear regression.
Based on the multiple model, there were significant associations between neighborhood intimacy as perceived by the women and their education level (Standardized Beta=–0.190, P=0.019), length of residence (Standardized Beta=0.175, P=0.029), self-rated health status (Standardized Beta=0.177, P=0.029), and their individual social network size (Standardized Beta=0.211, P=0.030).
The potential predictors including length of residence, self-rated health, and size of the respondents’ personal social networks had a direct association with the women's perceived neighborhood intimacy, while the education level of the respondents had an inverse association with the neighborhood intimacy, as another potential predictor. Neighborhood intimacy could express the social health condition of the community members.
Iran; neighborhood; urban population; women's health
Maternal mortality (MM) is an avoidable death and there is national, international and political commitment to reduce it. The objective of this study is to examine the relation of MM to socioeconomic factors and its inequality in Iran's provinces at an ecologic level.
The overall MM from each province was considered for 3 years from 2004 to 2006. The five independent variables whose relations were studied included the literacy rate among men and women in each province, mean annual household income per capita, Gini coefficients in each province, and Human Development Index (HDI). The correlation of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to the above five variables was evaluated through Pearson's correlation coefficient (simple and weighted for each province's population) and linear regression – by considering MMR as the dependent variable and the Gini coefficient, HDI, and difference in literacy rate among men and women as the independent variables.
The mean MMR in the years 2004–2006 was 24.7 in 100,000 live births. The correlation coefficients between MMR and literacy rate among women, literacy rate among men, the mean annual household income per capita, Gini coefficient and HDI were 0.82, 0.90, –0.61, 0.52 and –0.77, respectively. Based on multivariate regression, MMR was significantly associated with HDI (standardized B=–0.93) and difference in literacy rate among men and women (standardized B=–0.47). However, MMR was not significantly associated with the Gini coefficient.
This study shows the association between socioeconomic variables and their inequalities with MMR in Iran's provinces at an ecologic level. In addition to the other direct interventions performed to reduce MM, it seems essential to especially focus on more distal factors influencing MMR.
Ecologic study; inequality; Iran; maternal mortality
An article with a clear message can transfer research knowledge better. However, this is the case when the message suits the type of study methodology (research design) and its results. The objective of this study was to assess the presence of message articles and the type of study methodologies.
Articles published between 2001 and 2006, on maternal care, diabetes, and tuberculosis, which were based on studies performed on the Iranian population were investigated. A systematic search was performed in foreign databases ‘Pubmed, Medline, and Embase’, and national databases ‘Iranmedex, SID (Scientific Information Database), and Iranpsych’. Seven hundred and ninety-five articles were examined for the type of study methodology and presence of an actionable message (one that specifies what and how an action should be carried out).
Among the 795 articles accessed, cross-sectional studies were the most frequent (50.9%) and systematic reviews were the least frequent (0.4%). Cohort cases were observed in 6.9% of the cases. Actionable messages were observed in 22.1% of all the cases and 24.7% of the cross-sectional studies.
Cohort studies increased from 5% in 2001 to 6.9% in 2006, but the shortage of systematic reviews represented a major weakness in the country's knowledge production process. Studies with a higher level of evidence such as systematic reviews, and cohort and interventional studies should be among the priorities of knowledge production in the country.
Evidence-based medicine; knowledge management; knowledge dissemination; knowledge translation; research design
Identifying the underlying factors contributing to smoking among teenagers is important in establishing smoking control programs. The present study was designed to identify and compare factors revealed in a preceding qualitative study conducted on 13-15 year-old boys living in two different socio-economic districts in the Northern and Southern parts of Tehran.
Two completely similar case-control studies, each with 200 subjects, were conducted using a snowball sampling. The case and control subjects were matched based on the intimacy relations, i.e. six smokers were recruited in each of the Northern and Southern districts; they were then asked to introduce one of their smoker friends as a case and a non-smoker one as a control.
Multi-variable conditional logistic regression revealed that having a smoker father is the single effective factor in the two districts. As for boys living in the Northern (wealthier) part of the city, social capital (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.43-0.81) played a protective role against smoking, whereas quitting home after a quarrel (OR: 15.07, 95% CI: 1.54-147.25), monthly allowance (OR: 2.22, 95% CI: 1.29-3.82) and hyperactivity (OR: 1.69, 95% CI: 2.64-240.45) were associated with a higher risk of becoming a smoker.
The studied variables can be classified as personal, familial, and school-level factors. Familial intervention is effective for all the factors which revealed to be influential on the risk of becoming a smoker. It could be concluded that interventions on the family level should be used to prevent the cigarette use in Tehran.
Smoking; Teenagers; Male; Snowball sampling
One of the main strategies to prevent smoking is delaying onset of smoking in adolescents. Thus, identifying the age of smoking and smoking pattern in adolescents gives important knowledge for planning the intervention programs on smoking.
Students aged 13-15 years old living in the Northern and the Southern Tehran were selected through two separate snowball samplings. In each area six smokers were considered as the seeds and were asked to introduce a smoker friend. The sampling continued until one hundred study subjects were recruited in each area.
Although in the area with wealthier socioeconomic status the age at which smoking started was one year more, the number of days of smoking, number of consumed cigarettes, not willingness to quit smoking, ease of access to cigarettes, mother and siblings smoking were more frequent. In contrast, seeing anti-smoking advertisements, father smoking, teachers smoking and education about the adverse effects of smoking were lower than the area with poorer socioeconomic status.
The community level interventions such as not selling cigarettes to juniors, quit smoking help and support, and education of families must be revised. The role of families, through the supervision and control over their children, and parents’ avoidance of smoking should be emphasized.
Cigarette smoking; Socioeconomic status; Urban disparity; Iran
The cesarean section rate has been steadily rising from 35% in 2000 to 40% in 2005 in Iran. The objective of this study was to identify barriers of reduce the cesarean section rate in Iran, as perceived by obstetricians and midwives as the main behavioral change target groups.
A qualitative study with purposive sampling was designed in which data were collected through in-depth interviews and document analyses. Hospitals were selected on the bases of being public and or private and their response to the ministry's C-section reduction interventions. The hospital director, obstetricians and midwives from each hospital were included in the study. The classification of barriers suggested by Grol and Wensing was used for the thematic analysis.
After 26 in-depth interviews and document analyses, the barriers were identified as: financial, insurance and judicial problems at the economic and political context level; the type and ownership of hospitals, absence of an on call physician, absence of clear job-descriptions for obstetricians and midwives, too many interventions in the delivery process and shortage of human resources and facilities at the organizational context level; distrust and insufficient collaborations between obstetricians and midwives from macro to micro level at the social context level; attitudes toward complications of C-section, reduced capabilities of obstetricians, midwives and residents at the individual professional level; and finally, at the innovation level, vaginal delivery is time consuming, imposes high stress levels and is unpredictable.
Changing service providers' behavior is not possible through presentation of scientific evidence alone. A multi-level and multidisciplinary approach using behavior change theories is unavoidable. In future studies, the effect of the barriers should be determined to help policy makers recognize the most effective interventional package.