Abstract

Introduction: After more than three decades of network system design, epidemiological transition, as well as the change in needs and expectations of rural communities, have brought some challenges for Iran’s health houses. So, this study is aimed at identifying these challenges through a qualitative study. 

Methods: This was a qualitative and phenomenological study which was carried out in three phases in Iran in 2015. In the first phase, the required data was collected through semi-structured interviews with selected experts, health workers and referrals to Iran’s health houses, so that all were selected purposefully.  In the second phase, two expert panels were conducted to provide solutions. In the third phase the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats were evaluated using the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) method.  The data of the first two phases were analyzed using the Collaizi method. 

Results: Fourteen subthemes under five themes of ; quality of provided services, human resources, infrastructure, inter-sectorial and intra-sectorial relations, and contextual factors were identified as the challenges of Iran’s health houses, and consist of fourteen sub themes. Continuous education of health workers, equipping and renovating old buildings, improving inter and intra-sectorial relationships and the proportionating workload with a number of workers, were the most important solutions. 

Conclusion: The study showed that, over time, many of the functions of Iran’s health houses have been faced with problems, therefore, training the manpower, equipping Iran’s health houses and creating better public spaces and building culture are recommended to enhance the effectiveness and revisions based on the study.

 

Keywords: Iran’s health houses, Challenge, Primary health care
 
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