UBC Theses and Dissertations
The lifestyle and health of Saudi women with special reference to type 2 diabetes mellitus Al-Bannay, Hana
Although the health of Saudi women has been severely compromised by lifestyle-related conditions like Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), this topic has been understudied particularly in relation to women’s cultural and religious contexts. This thesis constitutes exploratory work with the aim of informing lifestyle-related health studies for women in Saudi Arabia. Its objectives included: Study One, to examine Saudi women’s lifestyle-related health beliefs and behaviours and their understanding of religious teachings in relation to health behaviours and; Study Two, to explore the outcomes of a pilot intervention study of a T2DM education program, based on international standards and adapted to participants’ cultural and religious contexts, and compare outcomes of this intervention with outcomes of usual care for diabetes in Saudi Arabia. The studies were conducted in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. In Study One, a cross-section of women (n=407) participated in interviews based on a survey questionnaire about lifestyle-related health beliefs and behaviours, and related religious teachings. In Study Two, women at risk of or diagnosed with T2DM (n=35 including drop-outs) were assigned to two groups; an Intervention Group participated in a T2DM education program, based on international standards and tailored to Saudi women’s cultural and religious contexts, and a Usual Care Group received the usual care for diabetes in Saudi Arabia. Outcomes included blood glucose, body composition, six-minute walk test, life satisfaction, quality of life, and diabetes knowledge. At the end of the study, the Intervention Group participated in a focus group discussion of their program experience. For the analysis of our data, we used mixed methods; descriptive statistics (SPSSv.20) were used to analyze the quantitative data and Atlas.ti® software to code themes in the qualitative data. Results from Study One showed that Saudi women commonly report lifestyle-related conditions that are associated with unhealthy behaviours in contrast to their positive beliefs about healthy lifestyle and their understanding of related Islamic teachings. Study Two showed that Saudi women may benefit from a T2DM education program, based on international standards and adapted to their cultural and religious contexts. These findings provide several avenues for future research related to the health of Saudi women.
Item Citations and Data
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