Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Eleni Roulis, Amel Makoshi, Karen Westberg

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is progressively increasing in Saudi Arabia. Tackling the common risk factors of NCDs is an urgent priority to ensure the population’s health. Even though healthcare is free of charge in Saudi Arabia, the issue of non-compliance or non-adherence from the public still exists. The current research addressed the factors that affect Saudi’s health related attitudes and behavior, which has so far been lacking in the scientific literature. This qualitative case study provided an in-depth analysis of Saudis’ health consciousness phenomena. The findings are based primarily on themes that emerged from the data analysis of 1618 qualitative survey responses and 18 personal interview transcripts. Major themes that emerged from this study were: health beliefs, health awareness, health motivation, and health barriers. The data described the participants’ health-related knowledge, practices, and challenges. Participants correctly identified the relation between healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. Yet, many participants failed at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The data clearly presented a dichotomy between Saudis’ health-related knowledge and practice. Saudis’ health understanding is based on a broad range of cultural domains, and not solely on health perceived knowledge. Hence, Saudis’ health behavior is influenced by personal, social, environmental, and economic factors. Saudis must reflect on their health reality, by addressing the influential factors, and change the myth or the misunderstood health concepts. Understanding the concept of health consciousness as a personal attribute will have greater power in predicting diverse health behaviors among Saudis. The Health Conscientization Model calls for a need to foster critical health consciousness to build collective action to improve the health status of the Saudi population. It is only by reaching critical health consciousness that the health status of Saudis will improve. The model defined Saudis’ ability to recognize and analyze influential forces shaping health status and their willingness to change unhealthy behaviors. The Health Conscientization Model speaks to health policymakers, leaders, educators, and the Saudi community at large to empower Saudis in changing their risky behaviors to improve their health.

Keywords: Saudis’ health, health attitude, health behaviors, health consciousness, Saudi Arabia healthcare system, health awareness, health information, healthcare utilization, Paulo Freire’s notion of level of consciousness, critical consciousness, Health Conscientization Model.

Keywords

Saudis' health, health attitude, health behaviors, health consciousness, Saudi Arabia healthcare system, health awareness, health information, healthcare utilization, Paulo Freire's notion of level of consciousness, critical consciousness, Health Conscientization Model

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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