Men's Health and Livelihood Status in Disasters: A Qualitative Field Study in Eastern Azerbaijan, Bushehr, and Mazandaran Provinces in Iran

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Background: While men also have a number of disadvantages at the time of disasters, little attention is paid to their status. The term “invisible men” refers to ignoring men's status in different catastrophes and not investigating their post-disaster challenges as much as it should. The current study was conducted to fill this gap by exploring the factors concerning men's status in the recent natural disasters of Iran. Objectives: The current study aimed at exploring the aspects of affected men's status as well as eliciting the factors of men's coping capacity after the recent disasters of Iran. Methods: A qualitative content analysis using in-depth unstructured interviews and field observations were employed to explore the status of damaged men. A total of 22 participants, 18 affected people and 4 key informants were interviewed using the purposive sampling method. The conventional content analysis using the Graneheim approach was performed to analyze the transcribed interviews. Results: Three main categories and 6 subcategories were extracted from the data. The main categories included men's livelihood, health, and capability. All categories had their specific subcategories integrated based on discrete features in a given category. Conclusions: Providing supportive livelihood plans and entrepreneurship projects with the focus on economical independency of damaged men are highly recommended in the disaster-stricken regions. In addition, local health centers can provide some essential public health services for free and encourage affected men to use such services. Further research is required to identify other probable aspects of men's health status and capabilities related to wider cultural settings.