Identifying the Social Determinants of Breast Health Behavior: a Qualitative Content Analysis

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Social welfare management department, University of social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Social welfare management Research Centre, University of social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Prevention, early diagnosis and reduction of mortality caused by breast cancer are the priorities of
the world health systems. The aim of this study was to identify the social factors that affect the women’s breast health
behavior based on the social determinants model of the World Health Organization (WHO). Materials and Method:
This qualitative study was conducted and analyzed using content analysis approach. The data were collected from
32 participants by semi-structured interviews and focused group discussion. The participants comprised of breast
surgeons, radiologists, health care providers and women over 35 years of age in Tehran who were selected through
purposeful sampling. The interviews continued until data saturation was reached. Results: Based on the experiences of
the participants, three themes were obtained from the data that shaped the women’s breast health behavior, including
1) the context of health policy, 2) socioeconomic status, and 3) cultural, psychological, and behavioral factors.
Conclusion: A better understanding of social determinants related to breast health behavior can be effective in designing
and applying of appropriate theories and models of education and intervention, so that, by early diagnosis of breast
cancer and timely treatment of patients, the disease complications and mortality would be reduced.


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