Skip to main content
main-content

01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

The experience of community health workers training in Iran: a qualitative study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Autoren:
Sara Javanparast, Fran Baum, Ronald Labonte, David Sanders, Zohreh Rajabi, Gholamreza Heidari
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-12-291) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

SJ designed the study, supervised its implementation, analysed the data, and led the preparation of the article. FB provided mentoring in the implementation of the study and assisted in the preparation of the article. RL and DS provided advice in the implementation of the study and assisted in the preparation of the article. ZR assisted in interviewing with community health workers and preparation of the article. GH coordinated research activities and assisted in the preparation of the article. All authors read and approved the final version of the article.

Abstract

Background

The role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in improving access to basic healthcare services, and mobilising community actions on health is broadly recognised. The Primary Health Care (PHC) approach, identified in the Alma Ata conference in 1978, stressed the role of CHWs in addressing community health needs. Training of CHWs is one of the key aspects that generally seeks to develop new knowledge and skills related to specific tasks and to increase CHWs’ capacity to communicate with and serve local people. This study aimed to analyse the CHW training process in Iran and how different components of training have impacted on CHW performance and satisfaction.

Methods

Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Training policies were reviewed using available policy documents, training materials and other relevant documents at national and provincial levels. Documentary analysis was supplemented by individual interviews with ninety-one Iranian CHWs from 18 provinces representing a broad range of age, work experience and educational levels, both male and female.

Results

Recognition of the CHW program and their training in the national health planning and financing facilitates the implementation and sustainability of the program. The existence of specialised training centres managed by district health network provides an appropriate training environment that delivers comprehensive training and increases CHWs’ knowledge, skills and motivation to serve local communities. Changes in training content over time reflect an increasing number of programs integrated into PHC, complicating the work expected of CHWs. In-service training courses need to address better local needs.

Conclusion

Although CHW programs vary by country and context, the CHW training program in Iran offers transferable lessons for countries intending to improve training as one of the key elements in their CHW program.
Zusatzmaterial
Authors’ original file for figure 1
12913_2012_2174_MOESM1_ESM.jpeg
Authors’ original file for figure 2
12913_2012_2174_MOESM2_ESM.jpeg
Authors’ original file for figure 3
12913_2012_2174_MOESM3_ESM.doc
Literatur
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2012

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012 Zur Ausgabe