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Exploring patient safety culture in a Kuwaiti secondary care setting: a qualitative study.

Alqattan, Hamad; Cleland, Jennifer; Morrison, Zoe; Cameron, Isobel M.


Hamad Alqattan

Jennifer Cleland

Isobel M. Cameron


Objectives: Qualitative studies can improve understanding of patient safety culture (PSC), which has been relatively neglected by researchers in the Gulf Cooperation Council context. This study employed a qualitative approach to explore healthcare staff and patients’ perceptions of PSC and how it can be improved. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in a public hospital in Kuwait. Individual face-to-face interviews were used to understand the experience of healthcare staff and patients concerning PSC. After obtaining the required ethical approvals, maximum variation sampling was used. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. The analysis was inductive and thematic. Results: A total of 51 participants were included in this study (35 healthcare professionals and 16 patients). Data analysis revealed four overarching themes relevant to the research question: (1) workload; (2) communication; (3) environmental constraints; and (4) incident reporting. These issues were interrelated in practice. Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti participants held different views, particularly about the response to errors and expatriate staff members’ clinical skills. Conclusion: This study revealed multiple factors related to workload, communication, healthcare environment and incident reporting, which hindered the promotion of positive PSC in the included department. The presence of numerous constraints suggests that multiple interventions which target both individual and organisational levels should be implemented.


ALQATTAN, H., CLELAND, J., MORRISON, Z. and CAMERON, I.M. 2021. Exploring patient safety culture in a Kuwaiti secondary care setting: a qualitative study. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal [online], 21(1), pages e77-e85. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 15, 2021
Publication Date Feb 28, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 18, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 18, 2021
Journal Sultan Qaboos University medical journal
Print ISSN 2075-051X
Electronic ISSN 2075-0528
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages e77-e85
Keywords Health services research; Patient safety; Safety culture; Kuwait
Public URL


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