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01.06.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2014

International Journal of Public Health 3/2014

Health-promoting behaviors and social support in Iranian women of reproductive age: a sequential explanatory mixed methods study

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 3/2014
Azam Baheiraei, Mojgan Mirghafourvand, Sakineh Mohammad-Alizadeh Charandabi, Eesa Mohammadi, Saharnaz Nedjat



The aim of this study was to determine health-promoting behaviors and their determinants including social support and sociodemographic characteristics as well as to explore women’s experience of health-promoting behaviors.


This sequential explanatory mixed methods study was conducted in two phases. The first phase was a cross-sectional study conducted on 1,359 women. Questionnaires, including items on sociodemographic characteristics, the HPLP-II and the PRQ85-Part2, were completed by interview. In the second phase, 15 women who were identified as extreme cases participated in individual in-depth interviews.


The results of the quantitative phase showed that women obtained the highest scores on interpersonal relations and the lowest scores on physical activity. Scores on the HPLP-II and all its subscales correlated significantly with the level of social support. In the qualitative phase, factors affecting health-promoting behaviors were explored and grouped into four main categories that included personal and socio-environmental barriers as well as personal and socio-environmental facilitators.


The findings from this study confirm the importance of social support and modifiable variables (sociodemographic) that play a role in the health-promoting behaviours of women. These results will be useful in designing suitable interventions and strategies for the promotion of women’s health.

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