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Title: Access and utilisation of primary health care services in Riyadh Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Author: Alfaqeeh, Ghadah Ahmad
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 5054
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2015
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) faces an increasing chronic disease burden. Despite the increase in numbers of primary health care centres (PHCCs) current evidence from the KSA, which is limited overall, suggests that access and utilisation of PHCCs, which are key to providing early intervention services, remain unequal with its rural populations having the poorest access and utilisation of PHCCs and health outcomes. There is a dearth (lack) of information from the KSA on the barriers and facilitators affecting access and utilisation of primary health care services (PHCS) and therefore this study aimed to examine the factors influencing the access and utilisation of primary health care centre (PHCC) in urban and rural areas of Riyadh province of the KSA. The behavioural model of health services use (Andersen’s model) provided the contextual and individual characteristics and predisposing, enabling and need factors which assist with an understanding of the barriers and facilitators to access and utilisation of PHCCs in Riyadh province. A mixed methods approach was used to answer the research questions and meet the objectives of the study. The converged qualitative and quantitative findings show that there are a number of predisposing (socio-demographic characteristics; language and communication and cultural competency) enabling barriers such as; distance from PHCCs to the rural residence, lack of services, new services, staff shortages, lack of training, PHC infrastructure, and poor equipment. Facilitators: service provider behaviour/communication, free PHCS, service provision and improvements, primary health care (PHC) infrastructure, manpower, opening hours, waiting time, and segregated spaces and need (increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, PHC developments in the KSA) factors influencing access and utilisation of PHCS. This study highlights important new knowledge on the barriers and facilitators to access and utilisation of PHCS in Riyadh province in the KSA. The findings have some important policy and planning implications for the MOH in the KSA. Specifically, the findings suggest: the need for clear documentation/guidance on minimum standards against which the PHCS can be measured; an audit of service availability at the PHCCs, regular patient satisfaction evaluations of PHCS, that the MOH take a parallel approach and continue to resource and improve buildings and equipment in existing PHCCs, the recruiting of more GPs, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists and physiotherapists to meet patient demand and more Saudi health care staff, more targeted health education and interventions for the prevention of chronic diseases in the KSA and the need for an appointment system for attending the PHCCs. There is a need for further research into the barriers and enablers to accessing and utilising health care in Riyadh and the KSA overall. This research would be made easier with a clearer definition of rural and urban in the KSA context which would allow a greater comparability between urban and rural PHCS for future research, audit and evaluation as well as comparison with PHCS in other parts of the world. The Andersen model provided a useful conceptual model to frame this research and provided a structure for contrasting and comparing the findings with other studies that have used the Andersen model to understand the barriers and enablers to accessing and utilising health care services.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: primary health care ; Riyadh Province ; Saudi Arabia ; L510 Health & Welfare