Qualitative Study of Health Information -Seeking Barriers among Mastectomy Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Mother and Child Welfare Research Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of medical science, Tehran, Iran.

3 Scientometrics Office, Vice Chancellery of Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Department of Information Sciences and Knowledge Studies, Faculty of Management, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.

5 Vice-Chancellery for Research and Technology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.


Background: Health information-seeking behavior (HISB) plays a key role in self-care management, promoting quality of life and improving health. However, some individual and contextual barriers hinder women undergoing mastectomy access to needed information. Identifying and removing health information-seeking barriers for these women undergoing mastectomy can lead to improving their health outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the health information-seeking barriers for women with breast cancer after mastectomy. Materials and Methods: This was a conventional qualitative content analysis in which the participants were selected through purposive sampling based on the study inclusion criteria from two hospitals of Shahid Mohammadi and Persian Gulf and Chemotherapy Center of Omid in Bandar Abbas. The study population consisted of 17 women with breast cancer after mastectomy. Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Results: Seven main themes were introduced as three individual barriers, including fear, shame and embarrassment and inadequate health literacy and four contextual barriers of economic status, physicians and medical staff, lack of accessibility of information sources and the behavior of those around them that were the underlying factors to explain the barriers of health information seeking in mastectomized women. Conclusion: The results of this study emphasize the need for further attention from Iranian authorities to health care, especially women’ health care institutions, to reform the health system and remove their health information -seeking barriers.


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