Cultural adaptation of self-management of type 2 diabetes in Saudi Arabia (qualitative study)

Alslamah, T., Nicholl, B. , AlslailI, F. Y., Harris, L., Melville, C. A. and Kinnear, D. (2020) Cultural adaptation of self-management of type 2 diabetes in Saudi Arabia (qualitative study). PLoS ONE, 15(7), e0232904. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232904) (PMID:32722666) (PMCID:PMC7386581)

214996.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Background: Saudi Arabia is continuously working on developing its health care system, however with the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes and comorbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases, self-management education programmes are essential. As part of a planned series of studies to develop a culturally sensitive type 2 diabetes self-management programme, this study explores the need versus barriers and facilitators relevant to implementing a national programme for type 2 diabetes self-management education within the community and health care system in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A qualitative methodology was used to explore the views of a multidisciplinary group of diabetes health professionals and adult patients with type 2 diabetes. The views of nine health professionals working at a specialised diabetes care centre were gathered at two focus groups (four and five) that included doctors, nutritionists, health educators and nurses. Individual interviews with 12 patients with type 2 diabetes (six females and six males) attending the centre were also carried out. Recurring themes through the translated transcripts were studied and treated by the research group under pre-set protocols. Results: Focus groups with health professionals revealed three main themes. 1. Resources: availability of resources and how they impacted on performance and patients’ care; 2.Familiarity with self-management education programmes: educating patients and raising awareness among them; and 3. Lifestyle: patients’ lifestyle and how it could affect their compliance with self-management programmes. Interviews with patients also revealed three main themes. 1. Habits: post diagnosis changes in patients’ attitudes and behaviours towards diet and physical activity; 2. Health education: awareness of managing type 2 diabetes through health centre advice or self-education; and 3. Culture and society: a lack of cultural or social support created by some social practices or conventions. Conclusion: The findings from this study highlight a gap in type 2 diabetes care system that can be breached through the development of a Saudi specific self-management programme for type 2 diabetes. The identified barriers and facilitators can be used for adapting a self-management programme to the Saudi context. However, initial training is needed for local health professionals to understand the mechanisms of self-management programmes. Such programmes will need to infiltrate to the society, and the patients’ families, in particular to tackle the rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Saudi Arabia and provide a friendlier, more supportive environment for the current patients to self-manage their diabetes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nicholl, Dr Barbara and Harris, Dr Leanne and Alslamah, Thamer and Cairns, Professor Deborah and Melville, Professor Craig
Creator Roles:
Alslamah, T.Writing – original draft
Nicholl, B.Writing – review and editing
Harris, L.Writing – review and editing
Melville, C.Writing – review and editing
Kinnear, D.Writing – review and editing
Authors: Alslamah, T., Nicholl, B., AlslailI, F. Y., Harris, L., Melville, C. A., and Kinnear, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS One 15(7): e0232904
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record