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
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
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.
To translate long form, interview-administered International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) from English to Persian and evaluate its validity, reliability and reproducibility.
A forward-backward translation procedure was followed to develop the Persian version of the IPAQ. A total of 218 respondents (53.7% women, aged 22–76 yr) completed the Persian version in Tehran, Iran. To examine the test–retest reliability, 48 healthy volunteers completed the IPAQ twice during a 7-day period.. The PA indicators derived from the IPAQ were assessed for reliability and were compared with aerobic fitness and body mass index (BMI) for construct validity.
In general, the questionnaire was received well and all domains met the minimum reliability standards (intra-class correlation [ICC]>0.7), except for Leisure-time physical activity (PA). Aerobic fitness showed a weak positive correlation with all of the PA results derived from the IPAQ. A significant correlation was observed between the IPAQ data for total PA and both aerobic fitness (r=0.33, P<0.001) and BMI (r=0.26, P<0.001). Performing a known group comparison analysis, the results indicated that the questionnaire was discriminated well between the subgroups of the study samples expected to be different in their physical activity.
The Persian version of the long form, interview-administered IPAQ had an acceptable reliability and validity for assessing total PA in our Iranian sample of individuals. It may be a useful instrument for generating internationally comparable data on PA.
Metabolic equivalent; Physical Activity; Questionnaire; Reliability and Validity; IPAQ
Determining the health-promoting behaviors of women during the important period of reproduction provides valuable information for designing appropriate intervention programs for advancing women's health. There is no study on the health-promoting behaviors of women of reproductive age in Iran. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore these health-promoting behaviors for the purpose of developing comprehensive and culturally sensitive health advancement strategies for Iranian women.
This study has a sequential explanatory mixed methods design. The follow-up explanation model is used to elaborate the quantitative results by collecting qualitative data from participants who could best assist in elucidating the results. The study is conducted in two sequential phases. The first phase is a population-based cross-sectional survey in which 1350 Iranian women of reproductive age are selected by proportional random multistage cluster sampling of the 22 main municipal sectors of Tehran, Iran. Questionnaires are completed through a face-to-face interview. The second phase is a qualitative study in which participants are selected using purposive sampling in the form of extreme case sampling on the basis of health-promoting behavior scores. The qualitative phase is based on data collected from focus group discussions or individual in-depth interviews. A conventional qualitative content analysis approach is used, and the data are managed with a computer-assisted program. Women's health-promoting strategies are developed using the qualitative and quantitative results, a review of the related literature, and the nominal group technique among experts.
The findings of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study, obtained using a culturally sensitive approach, provide insights into the health behavioral factors that need to be considered if preventive strategies and intervention programs are to be designed to promote women's health in the community.
The celebrated generalized estimating equations (GEE) approach is often used in longitudinal data analysis While this method behaves robustly against misspecification of the working correlation structure, it has some limitations on efficacy of estimators, goodness-of-fit tests and model selection criteria The quadratic inference functions (QIF) is a new statistical methodology that overcomes these limitations.
We administered the use of QIF and GEE in comparing the superior and inferior Ahmed glaucoma valve (AGV) implantation, while our focus was on the efficiency of estimation and using model selection criteria, we compared the effect of implant location on intraocular pressure (IOP) in refractory glaucoma patients We modeled the relationship between IOP and implant location, patient's sex and age, best corrected visual acuity, history of cataract surgery, preoperative IOP and months after surgery with assuming unstructured working correlation.
63 eyes of 63 patients were included in this study, 28 eyes in inferior group and 35 eyes in superior group The GEE analysis revealed that preoperative IOP has a significant effect on IOP (p = 0 011) However, QIF showed that preoperative IOP, months after surgery and squared months are significantly associated with IOP after surgery (p < 0 05) Overall, estimates from QIF are more efficient than GEE (RE = 1 272).
In the case of unstructured working correlation, the QIF is more efficient than GEE There were no considerable difference between these locations, our results confirmed previously published works which mentioned it is better that glaucoma patients undergo superior AGV implantation.
Longitudinal Data; Generalized Estimating Equation; Quadratic Inference Function; Ahmed Glaucoma Valve Implantation
The knowledge translation self-assessment tool for research institutes (SATORI) was designed to assess the status of knowledge translation in research institutes. The objective was, to identify the weaknesses and strengths of knowledge translation in research centres and faculties associated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS).
The tool, consisting of 50 statements in four main domains, was used in 20 TUMS-affiliated research centres and departments after its reliability was established. It was completed in a group discussion by the members of the research council, researchers and research users' representatives from each centre and/or department.
The mean score obtained in the four domains of 'The question of research', 'Knowledge production', 'Knowledge transfer' and 'Promoting the use of evidence' were 2.26, 2.92, 2 and 1.89 (out of 5) respectively.
Nine out of 12 interventional priorities with the lowest quartile score were related to knowledge transfer resources and strategies, whereas eight of them were in the highest quartile and related to 'The question of research' and 'Knowledge production'.
The self-assessment tool identifies the gaps in capacity and infrastructure of knowledge translation support within research organizations. Assessment of research institutes using SATORI pointed out that strengthening knowledge translation through provision of financial support for knowledge translation activities, creating supportive and facilitating infrastructures, and facilitating interactions between researchers and target audiences to exchange questions and research findings are among the priorities of research centres and/or departments.
Studies have shown an inverse relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality due to coronary heart disease (CHD). Little is known about this association in Iran. This study aimed to investigate whether mortality after myocardial infarction (MI) varies by SES.
In a retrospective study, 1283 MI patients who hospitalized in Tehran Heart Center from March 2005 to March 2006 were followed up in March 2008. Demographic, clinical and SES data were collected from case records and by telephone interviews. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the predictive effect of socioeconomic factors on outcome.
In all 664 patients were studied. Of these, 500 patients were alive and 164 were dead due to MI (64 died at hospital and 100 died at home). The results of regression analysis showed that in addition to treatment (OR = 9.52, 95%CI 4.84-18.7), having diabetes (OR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.12-2.81) or hyperlipidemia (OR = 1.82, 95% CI 1.14-2.90), socioeconomic variables including living area in square per person (lowest level vs. upper level OR = 4.92, 95% CI 2.11-11.4), unemployment (OR = 3.50, 95% CI 1.50-8.13) and education (OR for illiterate patients = 2.51, 95% CI 1.00-6.31) were the most significant contributing factors to increased mortality after MI.
Although the findings should be interpreted with caution, the study results indicated that socioeconomic variables were significant contributing factors to increased mortality after myocardial infarction. The underlying role of socioeconomic status on increased mortality after MI deserves further investigation.
The purpose of this study was to design a valid questionnaire suitable to the Iranian culture to measure the stress mounted on dementia caregivers.
In order to design a valid and reliable tool, the stages of content validation were performed as follows: 1- Development: search of relevant electronic databanks and use of experts and caregivers’ opinions to prepare appropriate content, review and correction of the content through consecutive focus group discussions with experts. 2- Judgment Quantification: determination of interrater agreement (IRA), relevancy and clarity of each of the items and the tool as a whole. Reliability was measured with Cronbach’s alpha, and repeatability was measured with intracluster correlation through repeated test-piloting at 2-3 week intervals.
Using a conservative approach, the IRA for the overall relevancy and clarity of the tool was 87.87% and 81.81%, respectively. Through overall agreement (the items that were recognized as appropriate by 100% of the specialists were divided by the total number of items) the overall relevancy of the tool obtained was 98.62%. The overall clarity of the tool was calculated through the mean clarity of the questions and was 99.3%, and eventually its comprehensiveness was 100%. The overall Cronbach’s alpha was 94% and the intracluster correlation that was obtained through comparing the overall score of the questionnaire in the pretest and test phase was 97%.
The new tool has good reliability and validity suitable to Iranian dementia patients and their caregivers’ culture. Researchers can use this tool to monitor the pressure mounted on dementia caregivers and to assess interventions in this group.
Content validity; Questionnaire development; Care-giver burden; Dementia
Writing papers can be used as a means to convey a message. Knowledge transfer is also about conveying the right message to the right target audience. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of articles that had mentioned a clear message and the target audience in the abstract and the article as a whole, and also to examine their association with different determinant factors.
Articles published from 2001 to 2006 that were based on clinical and health system research conducted on Iranian populations and on maternal care, diabetes and tuberculosis were searched systematically in domestic and international databases. Eventually checklists (Additional file 1) were completed for 795 articles.
Overall, 98.5% of articles had a clear message, whereas 12.5% had addressed the direct target audience. Presence of a clear message in formatted abstracts were seen 3.6 times more (CI95%: 1.5-8.7) than in articles without formatted abstracts (p = 0.005). Addressing of the direct target audience was seen twice as much in health system research articles as compared to clinical studies, odds ratio was 2.3 (CI95%: 1.47-3.48, p<0.001).
Creating a format for journal abstracts seems to be an effective intervention for presenting the message in articles.
Knowledge transfer; Research; Utilization; Iran; Audience; Message
In 1985 medical schools were integrated into the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education was created in Iran. Under this infrastructure education, research and service provision are unified, and it is expected that collaboration between researchers and decision makers become easier in such an integrated context.
The question here is how the researchers behavior in the biggest medical university of the country towards collaboration is, i.e. how much do decision makers participate in different stages of research? Which factors affect it?
The samples under study were all Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) completed research projects that had gotten grants in 2004 and were over by the time this study was done. Two questionnaires were designed for this study: i) the research checklist which was filled for 301 projects, ii) the researcher's questionnaire, which was sent to principle investigators, 208 of which were collected. Multiple linear regression analysis was used for evaluating the potential factors affecting individuals 'collaboration score'.
Only 2.2 percent of TUMS' projects initiated in 2004 have had collaboration as a joint PI or co-investigator from non-academic organizations. The principle investigators mean collaboration score was 2.09, where 6 was the total score. So the collaboration score obtained was 35%. The 'type of research' had significant association with the collaboration score which is shown in the linear regression; collaboration was seen more in clinical (p = 0.007) and health system researches (p = 0.001) as compared to basic research.
The present study shows that not many individuals collaborated as co-investigators from outside the university. This finding shows that research policy makers need to introduce interventions in this field. And assessment of barriers to collaboration and its facilitating factors should be considered in order to make it actually happen.
In Iran medical students are selected from high school graduates via a very competitive national university entrance exam. New proposals have been seriously considered for admitting students from those with bachelor degrees. We assessed the opinions of different stakeholders on the current situation of admission into medicine in Iran, and their views on positive and negative aspects of admitting graduates into medicine.
We conducted five focus group discussions and seven in-depth interviews with stakeholders including medical students, science students, university professors of basic sciences, medical education experts, and policy makers. Main themes were identified from the data and analyzed using content analysis approach.
Medical students believed "graduate admission" may lead to a more informed choice of medicine. They thought it could result in admission of students with lower levels of academic aptitude. The science students were in favor of "graduate admission". The education experts and the professors of basic science all mentioned the shortcomings of the current system of admission and considered "graduate admission" as an appropriate opportunity for correcting some of the shortcomings. The policy makers pointed out the potential positive influences of "graduate admission" on strengthening basic science research. They thought, however, that "graduate admission" may result in lengthening the overall duration of medical education, which is already long in Iran (over 7 years). On the whole, the participants thought that "graduate admission" is a step in the right direction for improving quality of medical education.
"Graduate admission" has the potential to correct some of shortcomings of medical education. Unlike other countries where "graduate admission" is used mainly to admit students who are mentally mature, in Iran the main objective seems to be strengthening basic sciences.
In the past two decades, scientific publications in Iran have considerably increased their medical science content, and the number of articles published in ISI journals has doubled between 1997 and 2001. The aim of the present study was to determine how frequently knowledge transfer strategies were applied in Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS). We were also interested in studying the determining factors leading to the type of strategy selected.
All TUMS research projects that had received grants from inside and outside the university in 2004, and were completed by the end of 2006, were included in the study. In total, 301 projects were examined, and data on each of the projects were collected by the research team using a standardized questionnaire. The projects' principle investigators filled out a second questionnaire. In all, 208 questionnaires were collected.
Researchers stated being more engaged in the passive strategies of knowledge transfer, especially those publishing in peer-reviewed journals. The mean score for the researchers' performance in passive and active strategies were 22% and 9% of the total score, respectively. Linear regression analysis showed that the passive strategy score decreased with the increase in the number of years working as a professional (p = 0.01) and personal interest as the only reason for choosing the research topic (p = 0.01). Regarding the active strategies of knowledge transfer, health system research studies significantly raised the score (p = 0.02) and 'executive responsibility' significantly lowered it (p = 0.03).
As a study carried out in a Middle Eastern developing country, we see that, like many other universities in the world, many academicians still do not give priority to active strategies of knowledge transfer. Therefore, if 'linking knowledge to action' is necessary, it may also be necessary to introduce considerable changes in academic procedures and encouragement policies (e.g., employment and promotion criteria of academic members).
The objective of the current study was to translate and validate the Iranian version of the WHOQOL-BREF.
A forward-backward translation procedure was followed to develop the Iranian version of the questionnaire. A stratified random sample of individuals aged 18 and over completed the questionnaire in Tehran, Iran. Psychometric properties of the instrument including reliability (internal consistency, and test-retest analysis), validity (known groups' comparison and convergent validity), and items' correlation with their hypothesized domains were assessed.
In all 1164 individuals entered into the study. The mean age of the participants was 36.6 (SD = 13.2) years, and the mean years of their formal education was 10.7 (SD = 4.4). In general the questionnaire received well and all domains met the minimum reliability standards (Cronbach's alpha and intra-class correlation > 0.7), except for social relationships (alpha = 0.55). Performing known groups' comparison analysis, the results indicated that the questionnaire discriminated well between subgroups of the study samples differing in their health status. Since the WHOQOL-BREF demonstrated statistically significant correlation with the Iranian version of the SF-36 as expected, the convergent validity of the questionnaire was found to be desirable. Correlation matrix also showed satisfactory results in all domains except for social relationships.
This study has provided some preliminary evidence of the reliability and validity of the WHOQOL-BREF to be used in Iran, though further research is required to challenge the problems of reliability in one of the dimensions and the instrument's factor structure.