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The meaning of health for Iranian elderly: A qualitative content analysis

Authors: Mohammad Fathi, Sina Valiee, Shoaleh Shamiand Gader Salehnejad

Int J Med Res Health Sci.137-141 | pdf PDF Full Text

Health can be described as a dynamic abstract, multidimensional and culturally oriented concept. Every person may
have a different perception of health which influences his/her health-related behaviors. The purpose of this
qualitative study was to discover the meaning of health in a group of the Iranian elderly. A phenomenological
method (Benner’s interpretive phenomenology) has been utilized with semi-structured interviews. Responses were
transcribed and verbatim and then analyzed qualitatively for themes and categories. Fourteen elderly persons aged
over 65participated in the study. From the analysis of data in this research three major concepts emerged from the
participants’viewpoints about the meaning of health;Physical and mental well-being in carrying out normal daily
activities, having faith in religious matters and the shadow effect of older people’s family members’ health on their
health. It is important that policy makers in health care systems investigate taken for granted concepts such as
health and illness periodically, in order to plan for proper health promotion and health management programs
particularly in specific groups like the elderly.

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