Empowerment of Adolescent Girls for Sexual and Reproductive Health Care: A Qualitative Study
Adolescent girls should be empowered to acquire the ability to take care of their sexual and reproductive health. The present study aimed to improve the understanding of the factors affecting the empowerment of Iranian adolescent girls in terms of taking care of their sexual and reproductive health (e.g. pubertal and menstrual health, preventing high risk sexual behaviors, treatment seeking for sexual and reproductive complaints such as dysmenorrhea, genitalia infection). The present qualitative study was performed using conventional content analysis method. Eight key informants were purposively selected and interviewed. Data collection was performed through unstructured and in-depth interviews. The qualitative content was analyzed simultaneously with data collection based on Graneheim and Lundman method using MAXQDA 2010 software. Data analysis led to the emergence of the main theme of empowerment for care with four classes of reinforcing the foundations of sexual and reproductive health, providing services in health system, reinforcing educational institutions, and consolidating the interaction between adolescent and family, as well as thirteen sub-classes. Results of the present study showed the need for inter-sectional interaction and collaboration among authorities of health systems, education systems, and policymaking institutions to achieve a model for empowering adolescent girls via a multi-level and comprehensive approach.
Keywords: Adolescent girls, empowerment, self-care, sexual and reproductive health, Iran