Facilitators and Inhibitors of Health‑promoting Behaviors: The Experience of Iranian Women of Reproductive Age

Azam Baheiraei, Mojgan Mirghafourvand, Sakineh Mohammad-Alizadeh Charandabi, Eesa Mohammadi


Background: There is scant information on the facilitators and inhibitors of health‑promoting behaviors among reproductive‑aged Iranian women. This study aims to explore the experience of factors influencing health‑promoting behaviors among Iranian women of reproductive age from a qualitative perspective.

Methods: This study was performed in Tehran in 2011, over about 8 months. Qualitative methods, specifically in‑depth interviews, were used to gather data on 15 women of reproductive age. Data continued to be collected until introduction of new information ceased. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by conventional content analysis.

Results: The reported factors were categorized into four main groups and 12 subgroups: (1) personal barriers (lack of time, school or work duties, lack of preparation or motivation, physical disability); (2) socio‑environmental barriers (family responsibilities, environmental pressures, high‑costs and financial pressures); (3) personal facilitators (personal interest and motivation, experience of disease); and (4) socio‑environmental facilitators (family and social support networks, encouraging and motivating environment, media, and public education).

Conclusions: In these women’s experience, factors influencing health‑promoting behaviors were either facilitators or inhibitors; most were inhibitors. The findings of this study show that, in addition to personal factors, the pursuit of health‑promoting behaviors is affected by socio‑environmental factors. These results will be useful in designing interventions and plans for women’s health promotion that focus on the improvement of their environment and the modification of social factors.

Keywords: Experience of reproductive‑aged women, facilitators of health‑promoting behaviors, inhibitors of health‑promoting behaviors, Iran

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