Cultural diversity: A qualitative study on Saudi Arabian women's experience and perception of maternal health services

N. Karout, S.H. Abdelaziz, M. Goda, S. AlTuwaijri, N. Almostafa, R. Ashour, H. Alradi


Background: The Saudi Arabian healthcare system is mainly staffed by Non-Saudi health professionals who are recruited from all over the world. At times, inadequate cultural awareness by health professionals can render their caring for Saudi patients inadequate and thus more challenging for the women. When nurses and patients belong to different cultures, culture-based misunderstandings can influence their relationships and interactions adversely. The aim is to describe the experiences of women who were admitted to maternity wards gaining their perceptions and understanding of the cultural diversity exhibited by health care providers.

Methods: A qualitative phenomenological approach was utilized for the exploration of the experiences and perceptions of 37 Saudi women who admitted to a private hospital in Saudi Arabia and related to cultural diversity of health providers' team. The principal method of data collection was a semi structured, open-ended interview. Focus of enquiry was the experience of the participants during their stay in maternity wards and then depending upon the answers further discussion was subdivided into questions about gender, believes and values, religion, language and the nationality of the health providers.

Findings: The findings were grouped into five themes, namely: religious diversity, linguistic diversity, gender diversity, values and beliefs diversity and nationality diversity. The themes have been discussed as representing key experiences and perceptions that can positively and negatively affect maternity services provided by nurses.

Conclusion: Understanding the concept of culture and the factors related to it will enhance the quality of care provided by the health team and may also play a positive role during recruitment of the health team providers and in the provision of any continuous education programmes.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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