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01.12.2018 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Reproductive Health 1/2018

Social capital and fertility behaviors among female workers in healthcare settings: study protocol of a sequential explanatory mixed methods study

Reproductive Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Mojgan Firouzbakht, Aram Tirgar, Karimollah Hajian-Tilaki, Abbas Ebadi, Fatemeh Bakouei, Maryam Nikpour, Mohammad Esmaeil Riahi



Fertility rate in Iran has decreased by more than 70% in the last three decades. Continuous decrease in fertility rate will create socioeconomic crises for the country in a near future. A significant factor behind fertility behaviors is women’s attitudes towards maternal and spousal roles. Such attitudes are mainly determined by social capital. This study aims to determine and explore of relationship between social capital and fertility behavior among female healthcare workers.


This sequential explanatory mixed methods study will be conducted using the follow-up explanations model in two phases. In the first phase, a population-based cross-sectional survey will be conducted on 500 female workers recruited through multistage cluster sampling from healthcare settings located in Babol, Iran, and the relationship of social capital with fertility behaviors will be assessed. In the second phase, a qualitative study will be done to explain the findings of the first phase. Finally, the findings of the first phase will be explained using the findings of the second phase.


Understanding the relationship of social capital with fertility behaviors is essential to effective planning for the management of population decline. The findings of the present study will provide population policy-makers with helpful information.
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