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Patient safety issues in intensive care units in Saudi Arabia. Health professional perspectives: a descriptive study

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posted on 02.03.2017, 04:27 by Al Malki, Adel Ali K
Statement of the problem: Critically ill patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are faced with the challenge of surviving in a high-risk area and rely on healthcare professionals to ensure their safety and provide complex care. One way of measuring safety attitudes in the ICU is through self-reporting questionnaires. Aim: To examine attitudes to patient safety in ICU from the perspective of healthcare professionals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Method: A descriptive cross-sectional design was employed. The survey instrument - Safety Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ-ICU version) – comprised items regarding attitudes to patient safety, rating of communication and collaboration with colleagues, as well demographic questions. Results: Sixty per cent (n= 144) of the healthcare professionals from two hospitals in Taif in KSA responded. Six safety domains were scored and showed that all participants had a negative attitude towards patient safety in the two ICUs, with one ICU scoring lower in all domains. Mean scores across domains ranged from 47.14 to 70.36 on a 100-point scale, with lowest scores for the ‘perceptions of management’ domain. Leaders and bedside nurses shared similar attitudes across domains. There was a significant difference in attitudes between respiratory therapists (RTs) and nurses (F (2, 131) = 4.18, p= 0.017); there were no other significant differences between groups. Whilst communication was mostly scored as adequate, physicians rated communication high with each other and with nurses (t= 4.35, p= 0.000). Conclusion: The findings indicate that all domains need further attention. Differences between the two ICUs indicate that hospital safety culture may be an important issue for exploration in further studies.


Principal supervisor

Kelli Innes

Additional supervisor 1

Ruth Endacott

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Nursing and Midwifery

Campus location


Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences