Situation Analysis for Promotion of Hot‑Lines: An Experience from Iran

Shirin Djalalinia, Ahmad Hejabi, Jafar Bolhari, Ali Asadi, Hossein Naseri, Mahdi Mirmohammad Sadeghi, Mohammad Shams Mehrabadi, Masoumeh Dejman, Monir Eftekhari, Mehrdad Kazemzadeh Atoof


Background: The hot line services were developed in response to the perceived need for 24‑hour help services in crises ranging from suicide to unwanted pregnancy. This study is aimed at analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and suggestions of improving the performance of the help centers from the perspective of key stakeholders. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study to elicit the key informants’ opinion regarding the performance of Iranian hot‑lines. All the conversations were audio‑recorded with the permission of the participants. To reach the saturation limit, the number of interviews was completed in the saturation of data. Data was gathered from 15 individual in‑depth interviews. Collecting and analyses of data was based on content analysis through which simultaneously during texts open coding, main concepts were extracted and then in axial coding similar concepts were categorized. Results: According to the study results, there is no specific and independent system for assessing the hot‑ lines. One of the major weaknesses was the lack of standard protocols. Most participants believed that most of these guidelines came from the general principles of counseling and are not standard. As another point, the existence of referral services is one of the main problems of counseling lines. The most important suggestion from the majority of experts were the development of services and modification of their investments. Conclusions: The findings, in addition to providing the applied data for policy‑making in the health system, will significantly contribute to the creation of scientific, technical, and skillful personnel in the community of researchers.


Hot‑line; qualitative study; situation analysis

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