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Perceptions of physicians in Saudi Arabia on the use of international clinical guidelines for managing primary insomnia

Dobia, A., Ryan, K., Abutaleb, M. and Edwards, A. (2019) Perceptions of physicians in Saudi Arabia on the use of international clinical guidelines for managing primary insomnia. PLoS ONE, 14 (8). e0220960. ISSN 1932-6203

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220960


Introduction While there are no national clinical guidelines for managing primary insomnia in Saudi Arabia, there are also no published studies of physicians’ perceptions of and attitudes towards using international guidelines. The objective of this study was to explore the knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes of physicians practising in Saudi Arabia about using international guidelines for managing insomnia. Methods A qualitative study using in-depth, face-to-face, and semi-structured interviews with 15 physicians held in July 2017 at a tertiary care hospital in Jazan, the distal south-western province in Saudi Arabia. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded using the qualitative software NVivo11 and analysed thematically. Data saturation was assumed as no new understandings of the broad thematic issues were produced by the last three interviews. Results Themes identified were: Knowledge, Resistance, Barriers and Facilitators. Participants acknowledged their lack of awareness of available guidelines and their lack of training and education about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). They highlighted a lack of education for patients about insomnia and its treatment. Beliefs about dependence on hypnotics and the inappropriateness of international guidelines for Saudi Arabia inclined many to resist using them. Inability to document diagnosis and consultations due to limited time and lack of suitable electronic systems, lack of suitably trained practitioners for referral for CBT-I, and lack of accountability for practice were identified as key barriers to following international guidelines. Development of national guidelines was the most important facilitator suggested by participants. Conclusions The health authorities in the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) should improve general public awareness about sleep disorders and provide focused training for specialists and technologists. Above all, KSA needs its own nationwide guidelines for treating sleep-disorders based on evidence-based clinical trials, consistent with its history, culture, socioeconomic conditions and traditions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:85516
Publisher:Public Library of Science


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