J Caring Sci. 2019;8(4): 241-247.
doi: 10.15171/jcs.2019.034
PMID: 31915627
PMCID: PMC6942646
  Abstract View: 98
  PDF Download: 104

Original Research

Why People Choose to Volunteer? Women Health Volunteers’ Activities, Reasons for Joining and Leaving

Hamed Rezakhani Moghaddam 1 ORCID logo, Hamid Allahverdipour 2 ORCID logo, Saeed Musavi 2 ORCID logo, Ali Akbar Shekarchi 3 ORCID logo, Hossein Matlabi 2 * ORCID logo

1 Department of Public Health, Khalkhal University of Medical Sciences, Khalkhal, Iran
2 Department of Health Education and Promotion, Faculty of Health Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine and Allied Medical Sciences, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences


Introduction: Women health volunteers are the link between people and healthcare workers. They play an important role in health education activities, following up families under coverage, and updating the demographic data to health centers. This study was performed to uncover women health volunteers’ activities, reasons for joining and leaving from the program.

Methods: A qualitative study design was used to conduct the study. Through purposive sampling technique, twenty -four in-depth semi-structured individual interviews and two focused group discussions with women health volunteers and their supervisors were conducted in Tabriz, Iran. Data analysis implemented thematic analysis, using MAXQDA10.

Results: The findings were generally categorized into three major themes, participation in promoting health, perceived benefit, and perceptual- environmental inhibitors. Participation in promoting health consisted of the sub-themes participation in educational programs, participation in health care. The sub-themes of perceived benefit included benefits from health care services and interest in having an active role in the community. The theme perceptual- environmental inhibitors involved the subthemes participation barriers and lack of innovation and inconsistency with social changes.

Conclusion: Culture-building about the role of health volunteers, the valuing on their activities in the community, and informing program supervisors about the health volunteer’s duties would help to retain health volunteers and also sustain their activities at the community level.

Keywords: Women Health Volunteers, Qualitative Research, Community Participation, Healthcare
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Submitted: 17 Jul 2018
Accepted: 22 Oct 2018
ePublished: 01 Dec 2019
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