Health statistics leave little doubt that the current health system in Iran, which is mainly based on primary health care (PHC), is a functioning one, and that health in Iran has improved far beyond where it was 40 years ago. However, this system has its limitations too. While PHC is very effective in reducing morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases and other acute conditions, it is far less effective in addressing chronic and multifactorial conditions which are now emerging in Iran. In this article, we review some of the salient features of the current health system in Iran, its strengths and limitations, and then introduce community-based participatory research (CBPR) as a method that could potentially fill some of the gaps in the system. We will discuss the definition and steps needed to implement CBPR, provide some important references, and discuss how this approach may not only improve the health system but it could also lead to improvement in other fields in the society too
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