Saudi female university employee self-determination in their own health-related issues

Liisa Elina Hallila, Jehad Omar Al-Halabi


Introduction: To date, there have been no studies located investigating Saudi women's self-determination in their own health-related issues. This study aims to investigate how women in Saudi Arabia see their ability and willingness to decision making in this matter.

Methodology: The study design is ethnonursing and Leininger’s Sunrise model was utilized as background theory; qualitative data analysis method was used. 12 Saudi women worked at a large University in Saudi Arabia were interviewed in-depth.

Results and discussion: Seven universal Saudi Arabian cultural themes were identified: customs and traditions, women’s decision-making denied, shared decision-making, informed women and empowerment rise, financial status matters, emerging changes in the society, and impact from the Western world.

Conclusions: One of the major findings in the interviews was that all research participants observed themselves as more independent and empowered than in the accounts reflecting other women they knew. They saw other women, whom they met at the hospital or who were their friends or relatives, were without equal rights for independent decision making. Mainly, men are interested in reproductive health and are willing to dominate women’s independent decision making in healthcare. The main conclusion, according to this study, the Saudi women research participants who are educated, are more independent in their health-related decision making than the previous literature suggested. The result may be different in villages and among less educated women and their husbands.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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