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J Adolesc Health. 2014 Jul;55(1):107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.11.029. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Assessing Iranian adolescent girls' needs for sexual and reproductive health information.

Author information

1
Research Center Of Psychiatry, Golestan University Of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.
2
Department of Reproductive Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran. Electronic address: raheleh621@yahoo.com.
3
Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
4
Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medicine Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To explore the views and experiences of adolescent girls and key adults regarding the necessity of providing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services for adolescent girls in Iran.

METHODS:

This was a qualitative study; the data were coded and categorized in content analysis by MAXQDA10 and were gathered through focus groups with adolescent girls and their mothers and semi-structured interviews with school counselors, sociologists, health providers, state and nongovernmental directors of health programs, clergy, and health policy makers in the Iranian cities of Mashhad, Tehran, Shahroud, and Qom.

RESULTS:

There were six main reasons for the need to provide SRH services for adolescent girls: a lack of adequate knowledge about SRH, easy access to inaccurate information sources, cultural and social changes, increasing risky sexual behaviors among adolescents, religion's emphasis on sex training of children and adolescents, and the existence of cultural taboos.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most participants confirmed the necessity of providing SRH services for adolescent girls, so instead of talking about provision or non-provision of these services, it is important for policy makers to plan and provide SRH services that can be consistent with cultural and religious values for adolescent girls.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent girls; Information; Iran; Qualitative study; Sexual and reproductive health

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