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Title: A qualitative study exploring perceptions of physical activity among Kuwaiti older adults
Author: Alkhezi, Eiman
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 776X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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Background: Research targeting the health of older adults is limited in the Arab world, with most studies into physical activity (PA) behaviour being conducted in the West. Kuwaiti adults have low level of PA and high prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases, increasing burden on the health sector. Improving PA among this population could have positive influence in preventing and treating chronic disease. There is a need for an in-depth understanding of appropriate, gender- and age-relevant physical activities which consider cultural, social and religious factors that are important to people in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Aims: To explore perceptions and attitudes of older Kuwaiti adults and their significant others toward engaging in PA and provide suggestion for developing effective, culturally sensitive strategies to increase PA levels. Methods: The research had two phases: 1. Systematic review to explore barriers/facilitators to PA among adults in the GCC. Twenty-one papers met the inclusion criteria. 2. Qualitative study: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews with older Kuwaiti adults and their significant others. Twenty-four interviews were conducted, with 32 participants. Data were analysed thematically using NVivo 10. Findings: The systematic review identified barriers and facilitators influencing PA among adults in the GCC. These were synthesised according to an ecological model to intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental levels. Included papers related to 'adults' generally, and no research targeted older people specifically. Findings from the semi-structured interviews identified individual, social and environmental barriers to PA including Kuwaiti culture and weather which related to the complexity of PA behaviour. Findings showed that significant others in older adults' lives, such as spouses, adult children, friends and health professionals, influenced PA behaviour. To overcome many cultural and social barriers that could prevent the regular adoption of PA, the findings suggested collaboration between health professionals and community leaders to deliver leisure-time family-based PA in the community. Conclusion: This study is the first to explore the perceptions of older adults and their significant others regarding PA in Kuwait. The findings help to develop an understanding of the barriers/facilitators to PA among older people in Kuwait, including their own ideas for improving levels of PA. Findings suggest that PA promotional strategies targeting older adults should be culturally sensitive, age appropriate and designed to target the family as a whole to be effective. The results of the research will inform practitioners and policymakers of culturally appropriate PA promotion guidelines for older people in Kuwait.
Supervisor: Barnes, Sarah ; Hock, Emma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available