Facilitators and barriers to the privacy of Iranian hospitalized patients: a qualitative content analysis

Taybeh Tehranii, Sadat Maddah, Masoud Fallahi-khoshknab, Farhnaz Shahbooulaghi, Mark Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aim: Privacy is one of the essential needs of humans, and is therefore crucial in effective healthcare systems. Despite the fact that many studies have investigated this concept over recent decades, there is limited research clearly addressing the factors underpinning privacy for hospitalized patients. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the effective facilitators and barriers to the privacy of hospital in-patients.

Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was conducted on 22 patients and their carers admitted to the in-patient and surgical departments of government hospitals in Tehran, Iran, in 2016. The study population was selected through purposive sampling technique. The data were collected using individualized semi-structured interviews, which were recorded and transcribed. Data analysis was performed by means of a direct content analysis approach.

Results: The analysis of the experiences of the hospitalized patients as regards the effective facilitators and barriers to their privacy led to the extraction of six themes. These themes included the ethical and legal backgrounds of privacy, multi-dimensional design of privacy, perceived vulnerability, patriarchal care, conflict between privacy and care, individual backgrounds, nature of disease, and informed consent.

Conclusion: The findings of this study can help healthcare managers better detect the available opportunities and establish the proper foundation for respecting the privacy of in-patients. Moreover, the evaluation of patient privacy in healthcare centers can facilitate the establishment of an operational model of patient privacy policy and development of the tools evaluating this concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-77
JournalAustralasian Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Privacy patients
  • Iran
  • Qualitative content analysis
  • Hospitalization


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