A qualitative study of the current situation of elderly care in Iran: what can we do for the future?

Salime Goharinezhad, Mohammadreza Maleki* (Corresponding Author), Hamid Reza Baradaran, Hamid Ravaghi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: With the successful improvement of global health systems and social security in societies, the world is now advancing toward aging. All countries have to face the phenomenon of population aging sooner or later depending on their degree of development; however, elderly care is predicted to soon become a major concern for developing countries such as Iran.

Objectives: This study was conducted to identify the challenges of elderly care in Iran and to help policymakers develop roadmaps for the future through providing a clearer image of the current state of affairs in this area of healthcare.

Design: This study has adopted a framework approach to qualitative data analysis. For this purpose, 37 semistructured interviews were conducted in 2015 with a number of key informants in elderly care who were familiar with the process at macro-, meso-, and micro-levels. Maximum variation purposive sampling was performed to select the study samples. A conceptual framework was designed using a review of the literature, and key issues were then identified for data analysis.

Results: The elderly care process yielded five major challenges, including policymaking, access, technical infrastructure, integrity and coordination, and health-based care services.

Discussion: According to the stakeholders of elderly care in Iran, the current care system is not well-suited for meeting the needs of the elderly, as the elderly tend to receive the services they need sporadically and in a noncoherent manner. Given the rapid growth of the elderly population in the coming decades, it is the authorities' job to concentrate on the challenges faced by the health system and to use foresight methods for the comprehensive and systematical management of the issue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32156
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Health Action
Issue number1
Early online date21 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This study is part of the first author's PhD dissertation (17 Goharinezhad S. Foresight of elderly care in Iran: a scenario approach. PhD dissertation. 2016; Tehran, Iran: Iran University of Medical Sciences. [Google Scholar]) in Iran University of Medical Sciences, School of Health Management and Information Sciences (IUMS_ SHMIS: 65/2014). The authors would like to make special thanks to all participants for their cooperation to this study. The authors would also like to thank all reviewers who helped improve the manuscript.


  • elderly care
  • current situation
  • challenge
  • qualitative study
  • Iran


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