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Health information-seeking behavior and self-care in women with osteoporosis: a qualitative study

Ameneh Ansari 1Noushin Fahimfar 2Alireza Noruzi 1Sepideh Fahimifar 1Fatemeh Hajivalizadeh 3Afshin Ostovar 2Bagher Larijani 4Mahnaz Sanjari 5 6

Arch Osteoporos. 2021 May 5;16(1):78.doi: 10.1007/s11657-021-00923-8.


The main findings of this study on the self-care behaviors contain «identification of knowledge gaps,» «established networking for seeking information,» «information from trust-to-distrust,» «information-seeking inhibiting factors,» «information-seeking facilitating factors,» and «self-care behaviors based on required knowledge.»

Purpose: Health information-seeking behavior affects self-care and could promote quality of life and life expectancy. This study aimed at assessing health information-seeking and self-care behaviors of women with osteoporosis in Iran.

Methods: This study was conducted using a content analysis approach. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 15 women with osteoporosis aged above 50 years. The participants were selected by purposeful sampling. The data were analyzed by the conventional content analysis method using MAXQdata software version 10.

Results: From in-depth descriptions of the participants’ experiences, 246 primary codes were extracted. Subsequently, constant comparison analysis was done and 35 sub-categories and 6 main categories have appeared from the data.

Discussion: Based on the experiences of women with osteoporosis, they received limited information from the health care providers, so they were seeking reliable information sources to meet their information needs. They obtained most of their information from other patients, family members, and network of friends. In the process of seeking information, they face various barriers such as lack of time in the health care team that affect their ability to self-care.

Conclusion: The results can guide health policymakers, patient educators, health care providers, information specialists, and patients and their families.