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      Family Medicine in Iran: Facing the Health System Challenges

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          In response to the current fragmented context of health systems, it is essential to support the revitalization of primary health care in order to provide a stronger sense of direction and integrity. Around the world, family medicine recognized as a core discipline for strengthening primary health care setting.


          This study aimed to understand the perspectives of policy makers and decision makers of Iran’s health system about the implementation of family medicine in Iran urban areas.

          Materials/Patients and Methods:

          This study is a qualitative study with framework analysis. Purposive semi-structured interviews were conducted with Policy and decision makers in the five main organizations of Iran health care system. The codes were extracted using inductive and deductive methods.


          According to 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Policy and decision makers, three main themes and 8 subthemes extracted, including: The development of referral system, better access to health care and the management of chronic diseases.


          Family medicine is a viable means for a series of crucial reforms in the face of the current challenges of health system. Implementation of family medicine can strengthen the PHC model in Iran urban areas. Attempting to create a general consensus among various stakeholders is essential for effective implementation of the project.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Falling on stony ground? A qualitative study of implementation of clinical guidelines' prescribing recommendations in primary care.

          We aimed to explore key themes for the implementation of guidelines' prescribing recommendations. We interviewed a purposeful sample of 25 participants in British primary care in late 2000 and early 2001. Thirteen were academics in primary care and 12 were non-academic GPs. We asked about implementation of guidelines for five conditions (asthma, coronary heart disease prevention, depression, epilepsy, menorrhagia) ensuring variation in complexity, role of prescribing in patient management, GP role in prescribing and GP awareness of guidelines. We used the Theory of Planned Behaviour to design the study and the framework method for the analysis. Seven themes explain implementation of prescribing recommendations in primary care: credibility of content, credibility of source, presentation, influential people, organisational factors, disease characteristics, and dissemination strategy. Change in recommendations may hinder implementation. This is important since the development of evidence-based guidelines requires change in recommendations. Practitioners do not have a universal view or a common understanding of valid 'evidence'. Credibility is improved if national bodies develop primary care guidelines with less input from secondary care and industry, and with simple and systematic presentation. Dissemination should target GPs' perceived needs, improve ownership and get things right in the first implementation attempt. Enforcement strategies should not be used routinely. GPs were critical of guidelines' development, relevance and implementation. Guidelines should be clear about changes they propose. Future studies should quantify the relationship between evidence base of recommendations and implementation, and between change in recommendations and implementation. Small but important costs and side effects of implementing guidelines should be measured in evaluative studies.
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            What is good qualitative research? A first step towards a comprehensive approach to judging rigour/quality.

             Jane Meyrick (2006)
            Qualitative research has an enormous amount to contribute to the fields of health, medicine and public health but readers and reviewers from these fields have little understanding of how to judge its quality. Work to date accurately reflects the complexity of the theoretical debate required but may not meet the needs of practitioners attempting to apply qualitative work in reviews of evidence. This article describes a simple, practitioner-focused framework for assessing the rigour of qualitative research that attempts to be inclusive of a range of epistemological and ontological standpoints. An extensive review of the literature, contributions from expert groups and practitioners themselves lead to the generation of two core principles of quality: transparency and systematicity, elaborated to summarize the range of techniques commonly used, mirroring the flow of the research process. The complexities discovered are only summarized here. Finally, outstanding issues such as 'how much transparency is enough?', are flagged up.
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              The european primary care monitor: structure, process and outcome indicators

              Background Scientific research has provided evidence on benefits of well developed primary care systems. The relevance of some of this research for the European situation is limited. There is currently a lack of up to date comprehensive and comparable information on variation in development of primary care, and a lack of knowledge of structures and strategies conducive to strengthening primary care in Europe. The EC funded project Primary Health Care Activity Monitor for Europe (PHAMEU) aims to fill this gap by developing a Primary Care Monitoring System (PC Monitor) for application in 31 European countries. This article describes the development of the indicators of the PC Monitor, which will make it possible to create an alternative model for holistic analyses of primary care. Methods A systematic review of the primary care literature published between 2003 and July 2008 was carried out. This resulted in an overview of: (1) the dimensions of primary care and their relevance to outcomes at (primary) health system level; (2) essential features per dimension; (3) applied indicators to measure the features of primary care dimensions. The indicators were evaluated by the project team against criteria of relevance, precision, flexibility, and discriminating power. The resulting indicator set was evaluated on its suitability for Europe-wide comparison of primary care systems by a panel of primary care experts from various European countries (representing a variety of primary care systems). Results The developed PC Monitor approaches primary care in Europe as a multidimensional concept. It describes the key dimensions of primary care systems at three levels: structure, process, and outcome level. On structure level, it includes indicators for governance, economic conditions, and workforce development. On process level, indicators describe access, comprehensiveness, continuity, and coordination of primary care services. On outcome level, indicators reflect the quality, and efficiency of primary care. Conclusions A standardized instrument for describing and comparing primary care systems has been developed based on scientific evidence and consensus among an international panel of experts, which will be tested to all configurations of primary care in Europe, intended for producing comparable information. Widespread use of the instrument has the potential to improve the understanding of primary care delivery in different national contexts and thus to create opportunities for better decision making.

                Author and article information

                Glob J Health Sci
                Glob J Health Sci
                Global Journal of Health Science
                Canadian Center of Science and Education (Canada )
                May 2015
                30 November 2014
                : 7
                : 3
                : 260-266
                [1 ]Department of Health Economics, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                [2 ]Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                [3 ]Community Medicine Department, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Mohammad Hadian, Department of Health Economics, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, No 6, Rashid Yasemi st., Vali-e-asr Ave., Tehran-Iran. Tel: 98-21-88-794-302; Fax: 98-21-88-883-334. E-mail: hadianmohamad@ 123456yahoo.con
                Copyright: © Canadian Center of Science and Education

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).


                general practice, primary health care, health reform


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