Social Determinants of Positive Mental Health in Iranian Society: A Qualitative Approach

Katayoun Falahat, Arash Mirabzadeh, Monir Baradaran Eftekhari, Homeira Sajjadi, Meroe Vameghi, Gholamreza Ghaedamini Harouni, Golnaz Feizzadeh


Background: Based on the World Health Organization definition, mental health is the absence of mental disorders and presence of positive mental health (PMH). As the social determinants of mental disorders and PMH are not the same in different cultures and in order to promote community mental health, social determinants of PMH should be identified, which is the aim of this study.

Methods: This was a qualitative study conducted in Tehran. Data were collected through eight focus group discussions with the general population aged between 30 and 60 years and ten semi‑structured interviews with mental health professionals from Tehran. Data were analyzed through directional content analysis using Dedoose software.

Results: Fifty‑one lay people and ten mental health professionals participated in this study. The process of content analysis resulted in two main themes: (a) structural determinants of PMH which consist of socioeconomic and political
context and socioeconomic position and (b) intermediary determinants of PMH which consist of working condition, living condition, family factors, lifestyle, psychosocial factors, and health system.

Conclusions: Improvement of living conditions, with emphasis on working conditions as one of the intermediary social determinants, will play an important role in

Keywords: Iran, positive mental health, qualitative research, social determinants of health

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