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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 402-408

The vulnerability of the Iranian elderly in disasters: Qualitative content analysis


1 Research Center in Emergency and Health, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Research Center in Emergency and Health, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet. Stockholm Sweden, Scientific Board Member of IPT E.V Leipzig, Germany
3 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Nursing, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Iranian Research Center on Ageing, Department of Ageing, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran
6 Disaster and Emergency Management Program and Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM), York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. HamidReza Khankeh
Research Center in Emergency and Health, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijnmr.IJNMR_127_17

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Background: Elderly people are among the most vulnerable groups in natural disaster events. Although old age is responsible for them becoming unequally vulnerable, understanding the different aspects of vulnerability can help health care providers, especially nurses, to manage disaster risk for this increasing number of people. This study intended to explore disaster-related vulnerability and its contributing factors based on older adults' perceptions and experiences. Materials and Methods: This qualitative content analysis study was performed in Iran in 2016. The study was conducted by semi-structured interviews of 24 participants, and purposeful sampling with maximum variation continued until data saturation. Results: By analyzing primary codes two main themes were extracted through content analysis, namely personal factors and social factors, from experiences of two experts in the field of health in emergencies and disaster management among 22 Iranian elderly participants. Conclusions: This study indicated that age is not the only criteria that makes an elderly person vulnerable, but their lifetime achievements and experiences can determine their level of vulnerability. The results of this study will help health service providers as well as disaster nurses to identify and moderate the factors affecting the vulnerability of the elderly, and by using their rich experience, enhance senior citizens' resilience to disasters.


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