Document Type : Original Article
Social Determinants of Health Research Center Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
Department of Health in Emergencies and Disasters, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Skull Base Research Center, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Health in Emergencies and Disasters, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background: Non-communicable diseases are of the major health challenges and the leading cause of death in Iran and at the global level. Moreover, Iran is a disaster-prone country and considering the exacerbation of diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases in natural disasters, its healthcare system is facing challenges. This study was designed to explore challenges in providing healthcare services to patients with diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases during disasters in Iran.
Materials and Methods: The conventional content analysis is used in this qualitative study. Participants included 46 patients with diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, and 36 of stakeholders were experienced and had theoretical knowledge. Participants’ selection started by means of purposive sampling and continued to the point of data saturation. Data collection was carried out employing semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was performed using Graneheim and Lundman method.
Results: Based on participants’ experiences, four major challenges in providing care to patients with diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases during natural disasters include integrated management (with three subcategories: control and supervision, patient data management, volunteer management), physical, psychosocial health (with three subcategories: psychological impacts, exacerbation of signs and symptoms, special patient characteristics), health literacy and the behavior (with three subcategories: risk perception, values and beliefs, education and awareness) and barriers to healthcare delivery (with three subcategories: facilities and human resources, financial and living problems and insurances, accessibilities and geographic access).
Conclusion: Developing countermeasures against medical monitoring system shutdown in order to detect medical needs and problems faced by chronic disease patients including those with diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is essential in preparedness for future disasters. Developing effective solutions may result in improved preparedness and better planning of diabetic and COPD patients for disasters, and potentially promote health outcomes during and after disasters.