Barriers Toward the National Program for Prevention and Control of Diabetes in Iran: A Qualitative Exploration

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Research Center for Social Determinants of Health, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Obesity Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Prevention of Metabolic Disorders Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Center for Non-communicable Disease Control, Tehran, Iran

6 Internal Medicine and Endocrinology Shohada Tajrish Medical Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background 
Despite the achievements of the national program for the prevention and control of diabetes (NPPCD) over the past two decades, the available evidence indicates a high prevalence of this disease in Iran. This qualitative study aims to investigate barriers to the NPPCD by pursuing the perspectives of relevant policy-makers, planners, and healthcare workers.

Methods 
A grounded theory approach was used to analyze participants’ perceptions and experiences. Semistructured interviews (n=23) and eight focus groups (n=109) were conducted with relevant policy-makers, planners, and healthcare workers in charge of Iran’s national diabetes management program. Of the 132 participants, ages ranged from 25 to 56 years, and 53% were female. Constant comparative analysis of the data was conducted manually, and open, axial, and selective coding was applied to the data.

Results 
Two main themes emerged from data analysis: implementation barriers and inefficient policy-making/ planning. Insufficient financial resources, staff shortage and insufficient motivation, inadequate knowledge of some healthcare workers, and defects in the referral system were recognized as the NPPCD implementation barriers. Inappropriate program prioritizing, the lack of or poor intersectoral collaboration, and the lack of an effective evaluation system were the inefficient policy-making/planning problems.

Conclusion 
Current results highlighted that inefficient policy-making and planning have led to several implementation problems. Moreover, the key strategies to promote this program are prioritizing the NPPCD, practical intersectoral collaboration, and utilizing a more efficient evaluation system to assess the program and staff performance.

Keywords


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Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 20 September 2022
  • Receive Date: 02 November 2021
  • Revise Date: 14 August 2022
  • Accept Date: 19 September 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 September 2022