Examining barriers and facilitators to effective nurse-patient communication within a Saudi Arabic cultural context

Albagawi, B 2014, Examining barriers and facilitators to effective nurse-patient communication within a Saudi Arabic cultural context, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Health Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Examining barriers and facilitators to effective nurse-patient communication within a Saudi Arabic cultural context
Author(s) Albagawi, B
Year 2014
Abstract Effective nurse-patient communication is of paramount importance in countries with large foreign healthcare workforces such as the Middle East and in particular Saudi Arabia. The presence of a large expatriate population with a different language from the host society and the ensuing complexity of sociocultural linguistic and health belief systems require a sound knowledge of communication and associated skills, which have been poorly practiced and researched.
Objectives
The research was founded on the following objectives: (a) to identify the nature of current communication practices; (b) to critically examine the barriers to effective communication; (c) to identify the nature of an appropriate support system needed for effective communication; and (d) to make recommendations based on study results for improving the effectiveness of nursing communication towards patients within the context of a subset of patient safety protocols.
Aim of the study
This study aimed to investigate barriers and facilitators of nurses’ communication towards Arabic patients in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) health organisations.
Methodology
Mixed-methods were utilised an exploratory descriptive research design conducted in two phases. The first phase, quantitative, delivered a Nurses’ Self-Administered Communication Survey (NSACS) (Anoosheh et al., 2009) to a random sample of 291 nurses in surgical and medical departments at five hospitals in Saudi Arabia. For the second phase, a total of four focus group interviews were selected based on the NSACS scores, participants’ age, nationalities and gender. A total sample of 23 nurses participated in phase 2.
Results
The quantitative component showed that nurses’ specific nationality was found to be statistically significant, with Filipino nurses scoring higher communication skills than other nurses nationalities on the personal/Social (NSACS) Scale. The contention that Arabic patients preferred to be care by international nurses more than Saudi nurses seen due to that as the international nurses had higher quality of nursing skills and able to communicate effectively. Moreover, another critical finding was the significant difference between the participants’ years of experience and their communication skills towards patients in a Saudi Arabian context. An additional empirical finding was that the nurses who had not attended specialist courses perceived greater barriers to communication with respect to personal characteristic and job specification (NSACS) subscales than the nurses who had attended such courses.
In phase 2, personal factors that influenced effective nurse-patient communication were testified by the local and international nurses interviewed. These included perceived language barriers between overseas trained nurses and patients who could not converse in English. Conversely, professional factors facilitate effective communication, as seen in the statements of professionalism fostering acceptance and trust. Nursing workload also affected the effectiveness of nursing communication. A particular problem attributed to high workload, as an organisational management concern, was tiredness and poor mood negatively affecting the nurses’ communication styles and patterns.
Recommendations
The study recommends training programs for all new graduate nurses in how to provide culturally competent Arabic-targeted nursing. In addition, the learning of simple Arabic language terms key phrases and meanings of key service delivery areas, such as pain, within an Arabic context would be useful.


Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Health Sciences
Keyword(s) Saudi Arabia
Arabic culture
communication barriers and facilitators
mixed-methods research design
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Created: Fri, 13 Jun 2014, 14:18:50 EST by Maria Lombardo
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